Saturday, April 11, 2009

So That's What Tartare Means! - Europe Tour 4.2

Even though the sky was not on our side, I still really wanted to say we'd gotten to the Mediterranean on this trip. We had hoped to go to Sete, recommended to us by the nice ticket agent at the train station, but it didn't seem worth the effort now. Instead, I discovered that there was a beach only 20 minutes away by bus. With no better options, we decided to give it a shot. The ride took a little longer than normal - the door on the back of the bus malfunctioned and the poor bus driver was finally able to close it after struggling for almost 15 minutes. We arrived at our destination, Perols, which turned out to be a nice harbor with an area full of restaurants, creperies, ice cream shops and souvenir stores. Of course the majority of them were closed until high season, but James and I were hungry and decided to give one a go.

Like I've been saying, my French is very rusty, and there were so many words on this particular menu that were not ringing a bell. The waiter came over a few times while we tried to figure it out but we weren't having much luck. I decided to play it safe with a Nutella waffle and James went with the "tartare du beouf". I knew it was beef, but didn't quite know what the tartare was all about. We were about to find out.

As I enjoyed my waffle, we spotted the waiter rounding the corner with James' plate. Just in time too because he was so hungry he wasn't even speaking anymore. He was like a kid on Christmas waiting to rip open his presents...eyes wide with excitement and hands clasped together in extreme anticipation. The plate arrives and is set down by the waiter and it's like James just ripped through the wrapping only to find a package of socks. The plate was literally a mound of raw beef topped with a raw egg yolk surrounded by vegetables. Sort of an Atkins hamburger, just sushi style.

Of course I was able to see the humor of the situation instantly so I began laughing and was able to take a quite telling photo. James, however was less than entertained. Luckily both the waiter and chef were very understanding and didn't get completely offended when we asked for the meat to be cooked (which, I'm certain, is an extreme faux-pas). Take two went much more smoothly, James devoured his cooked beef and all was well in Perols, although I don't think we'll be ordering tartare again.

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