A horrible mistake


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Europe » France
September 10th 2009
Published: September 30th 2017
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Lunch on the train - simple sandwich with cheese and cooked ham.
Geo: 49.2667, -0.7

This lychee yogurt I've been eating is pretty good, but seems a bit odd eating it in the morning, as it's more dessert than breakfast. A cheese sandwich and apple juice rounded out the meal. The hostel serves breakfast for 3 euros, including cereal, coffee, tea, milk, OJ, bread, jam, and butter. Not a bad value relatively speaking, with the variety offered, but I prefer having my yogurt.

Off to the train station - a pretty cool day, shorts were not the best choice. SCNF, the French national rail company, has the cutest little jingle that they play before they make announcements at the train station. The only thing cuter would be the same "da da da da" in Spanish! You can hear the jingle at the start of this video:


I'd almost forgotten about this until I returned to France this time around. I now associate "da da da da" with France and therefore French pastries, so I have a Pavlovian response any time I hear it, and drool uncontrollably, imagining pain au chocolat, pain au raisin, croissant, macarons ...

I passed through Paris just to change trains, on my way up north to Normandy. It was a bit
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Cafe au lait - too much milk, but otherwise good coffee. Yesterday's coffee was even better. Amandine - a bit like 1/2 cake, 1/2 cookie, we'll call it a cakie.
of a pain, as I needed to change train stations as well, from Gare D'Austerlitz to Gare St. Lazare - I ended up doing so by metro, but it probably could also have been been done by RER (Paris suburban commuter rail), perhaps saving me the cost of a metro ticket.

Having time to kill before my connection, I wandered outside the station, in search of a cafe au lait and a pastry. There weren't many decent options, so I ended up at what looked like a chain patisserie. Things are getting expensive in France, as train travel isn't cheap, and I'm also doing a few tours from Bayeux, which will add significantly to the cost. Of course, all these gourmet meals are unnecessary and I could save by eliminating those, but ... well, I'd never do that!

Bayeux is ... cold! After checking in, the first order of business was to book a tour to the D-Day beaches for tomorrow. The whole point of coming here is to use it as a base for day trips. After, a quick walk around the town - there isn't a whole lot here, in terms of making strolling around a great experience, though
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Lies!!! The temperature read 20 deg C, but it felt WAY colder than that, especially with the wind.
there are a ton of WWII-related sights. I looked around in a couple of clothing shops, as I am in desperate need for some additional long pants - I've only got one pair of jeans and seeing how the weather has drastically changed up north, it definitely won't be enough.

I checked out a number of restaurants around town, not really seeing anything that jumped out at me, except for one place I saw at the beginning of the dinner search. I decided that unless I found something better, I would return here. I decided to investigate all the restaurants listed in the guidebook before choosing a place, since it's a small town, and I really had nothing else to do.

The final restaurant recommended by the guidebook was La Coline D'Enzo, which happened to be one of the very first restaurants I saw, and was in fact the one I earlier saw that piqued my interest! I probably could've saved 30 minutes off my dinner search since I ended up back where I originally started - but it was a good thing, as I needed to burn a few calories before yet another gorge fest. I don't usually have
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I need some more pants!!! Especially with this cold weather!!!
a set budget while I travel, but I watch what I spend and the trip usually doesn't end up being too expensive. I have the usual odd splurge, but not much more than that. But after this trip, where I'm splurging on food every night, I'm pretty sure I don't want to see the final numbers!

As I sat down at the table and got settled, a very cute French mademoiselle approached and asked if I was dining alone. Isn't that every guy's dream, that a beautiful woman just strolls up and sits down? Unfortunately, she was one of the waitresses and was just here to clear away the extra setting 😞 Overall, the meal was decent, though I found the restaurant tries to be a little too much, and overdoes it with some of with their dishes, obscuring some of the simple flavours, instead of accentuating and letting them shine through.

Once again, I ate too much, a very common theme for me in France. Needing a walk, I wandered around for a surprisingly long time, given the size of the town. Some drunk dumbass made a mocking bowing gesture to me as I walked by a cafe - shows
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St. Eve - a local specialty. Divine and heavenly, it was definitely saintly! Kind of like a hollow meringue cookie, that was impossibly light and soft, very chewy. There was a bit of cream inside, and it was dusted with powdered sugar, and sprinkled with crushed nuts, possibly hazelnuts. Phenomenal! Pastries are cheap here, which is going to be trouble for me - or more specifically, trouble for my waistline!
a lot of ignorance, as I'm not Japanese and really, a bow is meaningless to me. I should've probably snapped back in Spanish, which probably would have confused the ignoramus even more ...

Back at the hotel - a bit of reading, and a bit of TV. I ended up watching a 9/11 documentary, and only then realized that tomorrow would be the anniversary.


Additional photos below
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Bayeux's cathedral.
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I really liked this version of Vermeer's "Girl with a pearl earring".
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I realized something today ... I've been making a horrible mistake each and every single day of this trip, without even realizing it. Normally while traveling, I carry a block of chocolate with me, and have a few pieces of it every day. For some reason, I haven't even thought of doing this thus far - this mistake needs to be corrected! Immediately!!!
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I was impressed with the restaurant's interior, probably more so than with the food.
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I ended up putting too much water in my pastis again, despite being well aware of the ideal 5:1 water to pastis ratio. Apparently, I'm too klutzy when pouring water! And it wasn't even pastis, it was Ricard - didn't matter, because it was still good. The licorice flavour also seems to calm my cough, and in a bizarre way, reminds me of these nasty licorice cough drops I used to eat as a kid. Weird, because the cough drops were disgusting, but pastis is amazing.
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Amuse bouche - blini with very good sausage, and rich creme fraiche. Tomato with almond and salt - who knew such a simple combination could be so good???
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Cream of maroilles, a local cheese. I don't remember much about this dish.
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The tomato was phenomenal, and was the highlight - the big ball of foie gras was too hard. The foie gras in Sarlat was definitely better. The prune sauce sort of wrecked things - it didn't seem to match the foie gras, but would've been good on its own or with something else. The prune sauce was actually quite nice on the crusty and crispy bread. The almonds were a nice touch, as they were freshly toasted and still warm, giving off a nice aroma. Overall, the dish was a bit busy, and didn't seem to go well with the nice, light white wine I had. I think it was Riesling, but can't be sure. A little pricey for France, at 6 euros a glass.
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The snow peas and beans were ever-so-slightly overdone, but were good, as was the zucchini, carrots, and peas. A very good selection of veggies. The mahi mahi was perfectly cooked, juicy and sweet. The oysters were nice, pan fried with corn meal, giving it a nice crust. Sea salt whipped cream, balsamic reduction ... a number of good accompaniments. The leek club was pretty blah - at least the leek was, the crunchy toast was surprisingly flavourful, seasoned with herbs that I couldn't identify.
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The next course was a somewhat savoury dish, made again with the local cheese, maroilles, and was a type of French toast served with a cherry sauce, a bit like a coulis. The sauce was great, and the French toast was quite crisp. It was decent, but something was odd about the dish. The bitter greens were part of it, as they seemed out of place.
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Finally, for dessert - a soft chocolate and basil cookie with surprisingly, a Pocky stick! The spearmint ice cream was great, as it dissipated the richness of the chocolate.


19th July 2011

scrumptious!
10th October 2011

Must have this recipe, anyone know how I can find it?

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