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Bordeaux Trip

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#1 gfweb

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:11 PM

I had business in Bordeaux a few weeks before Christmas and managed to eat well and see a bit.


Preflight at the USAir club in Philly



"Sparking wine?" Yes please



I've settled in to a rut I believe



A quite competent shrimp appetizer from USAir



Nicely cooked chicken with a spiced bread stuffing



After landing at deGaulle and the usual CF trying to connect to Bordeaux. What a disaster that airport is for connections. One must take multiple buses which arrive irregularly...allow at least 2 hours...crazy place.


But arriving is Bordeaux all is calm and French. To me the place looks more like Paris than Paris. It is a UNESCO-protected place, which means that all construction has to conform to style standards. It also appears that store signs etc must be restrained. There is none of the garishness of Paris. Charming foggy afternoon.



The Opera House


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#2 gfweb

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:14 PM

Stayed at the Grand Hotel du Bordeaux. A really first class joint with some charming quirks eg my room was up an elevator then a flight of (grand) stairs then down a long hall then another elevator down a half floor. There's a Mich 1 star in the hotel I was told, but never had the chance to eat there



Things livened up a lot after dark...





Dinner the first night was at a bistro a few blocks away. Some jamon iberico waiting to be shaved...it was excellent



A small tin of a country pate at each place along with lots baguette.  The fat on top looks gross, but it did taste very good.



Second (third?) round of appetizers. Big local oysters. I had a few and they were good, but I can't shake my respect for the hepatitis virus so intake was limited.



Main dish...steak frites. Was supposed to have an au poivre sauce which eventually arrived. It was a nice piece of meat for France.  Lots of local vin rouge was consumed and a good time was had by all.



Cheese course. The comte was particularly nice. I suggested that it reminded me a bit of aged gouda which pleasantly pissed off my  French friends in a humorous way.


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#3 gfweb

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 03:58 PM

Apologies for the blurry photos.


A day of work at the hotel. The buffet lunch was a substantial upgrade over the average hotel meeting lunch.





Absolutely perfect duck breast on a bed of garlicky local mushrooms. As good a duck as I've had. Since the tray kept being refilled I had 4 breasts, washed it down with a fine wine (lovely French business practice) and slept it off during the meeting.



Afternoon snack. The caneles on the left were wonderful crunchy sweet crusted things filled with pastry cream. Pretty and tasty




There was a Christmas Market outside the hotel with lots of good-looking food






Later that night a group of us went to a guided wine tasting at the Malartic Lagraviere winery with a noted (we were told) local wine writer, followed by dinner at the Chateau.  He was a nice fellow, clearly despised California wines as being unsubtle and drunk too young. I think he has a point.



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#4 gfweb

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:40 PM

Room service snack. Croque monsieur w frites. Best room service meal I've had. Frites were perfect, croque was perfect. Mayo was very mustardy, but a good thing with this dish.




Final night. Dinner at La Tupina, a cool old place that specializes in regional specialties. Lots of dishes are cooked over an open fire. They served a local aperitif made with red wine and armagnac. Perfectly foul




Scallops au lard. Actually delicate and lovely.



I thought I was ordering brandade de morou, but got this lump of cod. It was about as tasty as it looks. Clearly cod was a tactical error, those who got the wild boar tenderloin scored big. It was tasty.






Another CF at CDG ariport. 90 minutes to get from one terminal to another and then no way to check in from a connecting flight on Air France. Valiant work by USAir people got me a boarding pass through the security line. I love USAir.


Brunch Bloody Mary followed by a nice cold chicken app, tenderloin with yam puree and green stuff





Young Frankenstein on the video thing



Greenland out the window and thence back to PHL



Prearrival flatbread pizza. Not at all bad


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#5 Darienne

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:49 PM

Pardon my question, but are the scallops sitting on raw bacon slices?  I would guess not.  What is the meat?


Really enjoying your blog as usual.


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#6 gfweb

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

The scallops were described on the menu as being on lard. As far as I could tell it was raw cured but not smoked pork belly that was slices paper thin

Edited by gfweb, 31 December 2013 - 05:01 PM.

#7 annabelle

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 05:04 PM

I love France.  I must curb my envious streak with your adventures.


Unless I can go a long as your assistant.

#8 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 06:45 PM

"...and slept it off during the meeting."


LOL!  :biggrin: 


Thanks for sharing!

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Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!

#9 Smithy

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:22 AM

Great trip report! I'm surprised: I thought all the US-based airlines had done away with Real Food. Guess I've spent too many hours in Cattle Class.

Thanks for those wonderful photos!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

#10 Meredith380

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:36 AM

Um do you need an assistant? I can send photos and am highly organized when it comes to making reservations. Plus I like to drink.
Those oysters looked awesome.
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#11 gfweb

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:29 AM

Great trip report! I'm surprised: I thought all the US-based airlines had done away with Real Food. Guess I've spent too many hours in Cattle Class.

Thanks for those wonderful photos!

I fly too much, so I get up front most of the time, which is nice. The food is variable on domestic flights, but overseas it is usually decent considering the cooking space available etc.  The one exception is Hawaii flights. For some reason the food is always wretched.

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