On a cold, blustery and distinctly damp Saturday in January, what better than a bustling French informal cafe-restaurant!
Moules marinière and frites has been a favourite of mine since I was a kid (just ask my parents, if you get the chance, how, aged just 2 or 3, I'd be able to devour an entire adult's portion!) so on a day like today, it was a no-brainer!
... and I wasn't disappointed! They were fresh, tasty, not too salty, or too creamy, or oily. Actually pretty spot on! My only quibble was that the frites were slightly undercooked... or maybe that was just because I spent too long on the moules and neglected my chips for too long so they went soggy...
Overall though, the place was full of happy customers, nobody having to wait long for their food, all of which looked so tasty that I'd have happily eaten anything on their menu.
The 'madame' is quite a formidable lady. At first especially, I got the impression that she was a little haughty and didn't have the time or inclination to pander on somebody whose first language was clearly not French. However, over the course of the meal, she showed that she did have, at least, a little bit of a sense of humour and I warmed to her.
So as I write this, having emptied the last drips of the carafe, got to the end of my café serré and, err, a certain little petit biscuit, well let's just say that I am happy to call this place my local!
I'm also very pleased that they have a happy hour, every day from 18h-22h. All the cocktails, plus a little bowl of peanuts, for just 5 euro a piece! A real bargain if you're in the area! Especially because the cocktail I had last night (a Blue Lagoon - with very generous amounts of vodka and blue curacao) was lazily mixed, but probably the strongest cocktail I've ever had and I only needed two before toddling off back to my flat!
The waiters who work here (one for the daytime and another for the evening are both very friendly) and especially once you've been here a few times, they make you feel very welcome. And nowadays, even if I'm only walking past, they'll give me a big smile.
You come here because you're in the area (visiting the cemetary perhaps?) and you feel like a hearty meal. No frills or fancies about it, this is a solidly good local cafe.