Bon Appetit

I love a lot of things about France, and the food is probably one of the things I love the most. The French, at most restaurants that aren’t fast food joints, take their time eating and put all that they can into making their meals taste great and look great. Even when I dined at lower end establishments, they did whatever they could with what they had to make some sort of artistry on the plate. They just appreciate it more than having meat, veggie and potatoes all separate with a hunk of parsley as plate filler like we do in the states.

I am not saying that once in a while I don’t like a great steakhouse and/or ‘Mercun style meal. I do. I am saying that I prefer to take more time, relax and enjoy the artistry of a meal.

One thing I really hate about restaurants in France (at least in the south of France where I have cycled the last four years) is that they all let dogs in. Bars too. At first I thought it was novel and cute, but that wore off rather quickly. Most of the time I see the dogs under tables. This scene above from a few weeks ago made my skin crawl.

Cross posted at LITGM.

17 thoughts on “Bon Appetit”

  1. In my experience there are people who don’t have dogs, people who have dogs, and people who sleep with their dogs. I’m guessing that the lady in your photos is in the third category, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  2. I’m in the third category and he is an 80 pound basset hound.

    Lots of dogs in restaurants in Germany and Austria, too. At least there, they clean the dog sh*t off the sidewalks. In France, I have to watch the sidewalk to avoid it. Last time I was in Paris, there was a homeless guy with diarrhea living on the sidewalk down a half block from Starbucks. How did I know he had diarrhea ? Don’t ask.

    A few years before that, we were on the train to Versailles and, walking from one car to the next, I had to warn the girls not to step on the newspaper on the floor.

  3. “I might think twice about bringing it to a Korean restaurant in France.”

    It’s a bit of folklore and probably racist but I lived for a year and a half in Leisure World, which these days is heavily occupied by Asians. Maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of my neighbors. They were all friendly but I did not meet one that like dogs. They would walk in the street to avoid my dog when I was walking him. He is friendly, like all basset hounds, and loves people. I had to explain to him why they didn’t like him. I don’t think he understands.

  4. It wouldn’t worry me unless they started serving the dogs wine. Everyone knows that beer is the proper drink for dogs.

  5. I knew some dog-at-the-table/dog-in-the-bed people. I’m fine with a dog on the floor at a bar. Seating for hounds in France is on it’s last legs, I’m sure, as the entire republic hurtles toward becoming a “sensitive zone”.

  6. MikeK, 80lb. Basset Hound? That’s gotta be a gross dog. And, if you’ll permit me to be judgemental for a moment, not responsible of you. Perhaps you exaggerate.

    There is a trend in my part of the world to allow dogs in restaurants. I’m a dog guy but I hope the trend flops.

  7. “That’s gotta be a gross dog”

    Pictures at my blog. He is just a very big basset. People who have owned basest say they have never seen one this size. He is probably about 10 pounds over weight but I have cut down on his food with little change. He only eats ground beef. Wont touch dry dog food or any “wet” dog food.

    A few pics . He is about the same size except the puppy photo.

  8. Not to worry. The modern French people (that is, Moslems) will put an end to dogs as companions.

  9. MikeK, Yes, overweight a bit, no doubt, but that’s not the blob of a dog I imagined. Thanks for sharing. What do you call him?

  10. His name is Winston and he knows it. He’s getting gray around the muzzle but he did chase a rabbit the other day for a few seconds until he remembered that he has food at home. When I work a long day, which I still do once in a while (12 hours yesterday), my grandkids come over and walk him. He has a back yard now but, in dog psychology, he doesn’t like to go potty in his own yard. He prefers someone else’s or the park.

  11. I can remember years go having this eccentric distant cousin, lived in MD, spoke 7 languages & tought at Johns-Hopkins.

    She had one habit that made our skin crawl.

    She let all of her cats up on the table while we were (trying) to eat.

    I have brought my dogs to restaurants – obviously here I have to find tables outside – but they have always laid down beside me and never ate at the table.

  12. “If I had a dog I might think twice about bringing it to a Korean restaurant[…]”

    American raised dogs don’t taste right; it’s about the diet.

    *That* experiment already happened in South Korea. Some military folks have their families along and that tends to include the family pet.

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