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Kids in Restaurants in France


therese
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Also, I'd suggest that most people writing on this topic do not make a habit of dining at McDonald's in France, where you can see fat French kids behaving in ways that would get you thrown in McPrison in New Jersey. So many of the generalizations here are based on poor samples in two ways: 1) they are based mostly on observation of well-behaved kids, and 2) they are based mostly on observation of the venues where well-behaved kids are likely to be taken.

I've seen those kids. They are tourists from Belgium and Canada.

Aha! But if you dine at Quick fast-food places in the suburbs, you get to see how normal French kids behave, which for the younger ones, is just about like how American kids behave. :smile:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Do you drink wine with merguez?
Yes I do. Usually a red, depends on how much it is seasoned.

In Marseilles where there is a large North African (mostly Algerian) population as well as pied noirs, Rose seems a more choice.

So to some extent it depends on what's historically available and suitable when it comes to pairing spicy/strongly-flavored foods with beverages. Spicing of food may be even be deliberately matched to certain beverages. Beer is the traditional accompaniment to BBQ, and the sweetness of the sauce is a nice counterpoint to the beer's bitterness.

Merguez are great with beer, IMO. But my favorite beverage with them is actually cidre, because that's how I first ate them in Normandy. Cold, a little sweet, and fizzy to put out the fire.

I've seen those kids. They are tourists from Belgium and Canada.

Absolutely. And it's easy to tell that they are from someplace else because they are behaving so poorly.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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...
I've seen those kids. They are tourists from Belgium and Canada.

Absolutely. And it's easy to tell that they are from someplace else because they are behaving so poorly.

No comment on similarities or difference of Belgium/Canadian/French children ( :smile: ) but it seems likely that kids travelling on vacation are likely to be more tired, excitable and out of their normal routine, thus being more likely to whine or misbehave...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A short list of the most common complaints

1. Half and half.

2. Margarine (invented by in France btw).

3. Cinnamon in pastries.

4. Ketchup.

5. bbq sauce.

6. Large cups of coffee with the plastic lid.

7. Le Hot Dog.

8. American mustard.

9. Their perceptions that Americans overuse condiments in general.

10. Sodas with meals. Drinking a sweet beverage with savory dishes is one of the biggest gripes I hear. I say no one is forcing you.

Ok, I can understand the reasons for #2 (it's "fake" butter), #4 (especially this one) (same as item 9, you want to be able to taste what you're eating, etc.), #5 (ditto), #7 (it's not "proper" food), #9 and #10 (wine, not soda) but the rest I don't get. Cinnamon in pastries?!?

Explain please. What's wrong with that?

Soba

It took me 10 years to get used to those big cups of coffee. It's like 100 times the size of a typical French coffee. I have picked up an American habit, coffee to go. I drink from them now because that is they are served that way in the States, almost impossible to avoid. Bbq sauce is cloyingly sweet, sour and spicey what sort of wine does one drink with that? Half and half, what is the point of this?

I admit, I need to have a tankard of coffee in the morning...quite difficult when I go see the in-laws in France. The important thing is the the volume of warm liquid in the morning...gets the system started, and is a comfort thing. It definitely cannot be done with the strong coffee served in most places in the world...gets one too wired, and gives me a stomach ache. No, it has to be the relatively weak, milky, sweetened but not too much caramel colored beverage. Makes any bad morning better.

In terms of their dislike of ketchup and bbq sauce...fair enough. They are strong tasting, but used selectively, they do add great flavour to dishes.

Le Hot Dog is, in the general sense, disgusting. However, a really well made one is quite good. yes, with ketchup and American mustard.

I'm surprised that peanut butter, plastic chocolate, and the poor quality of the average baked good don't make the list.

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Bbq sauce is cloyingly sweet, sour and spicey what sort of wine does one drink with that?

As others have pointed out, everybody drinks beer with BBQ.

But the main thing I want to tell you is that you are incorrect in your generalization that "BBQ sauce is cloyingly sweet....." Only in certain parts of the US is BBQ sauce that sweet. Throughout the country, the preferred sauces vary from the really sweet (which I agree with you is cloying to the point of being unpleasant), to a very thin, vinegar-based hot chile preparation, much like Tabasco, with no sugar added whatsoever. And many varieties in between these two extremes.

However, one drinks beer with it all. Or lemonade. Or iced tea.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Bbq sauce is cloyingly sweet, sour and spicey what sort of wine does one drink with that?

As others have pointed out, everybody drinks beer with BBQ.

But the main thing I want to tell you is that you are incorrect in your generalization that "BBQ sauce is cloyingly sweet....." Only in certain parts of the US is BBQ sauce that sweet. Throughout the country, the preferred sauces vary from the really sweet (which I agree with you is cloying to the point of being unpleasant), to a thin, watery vinegar-based, hot chile preparation, much like Tabasco, with no sugar added whatsoever. And many varieties in between these two extremes.

However, one drinks beer with it all. Or lemonade. Or iced tea.

I don't really like beer either. I've only recently begun drinking some on hot days at someone else's house.

There MUST be some great bbq sauce out there. Although the Tabasco type sounds even less appealing. :rolleyes:

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Cinnamon in pastries?!?  Explain please.  What's wrong with that?

Soba

Many French think Cinnamon tastes like medicine.

Yes. The smell and flavor are too strong. It is also associated with savory dishes not sweet dishes in Moroccan or Western Algerian cuisine.

Had some 'Chiclets' gum sent to me from the Etats Unis (keeping in theme), in the 1950's, cinnamon flavoured , it seemed to me to be a medical product having been brought up on Beech Nut chewing gum. (the little of it we got in those times, with food rationing.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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There MUST be some great bbq sauce out there. Although the Tabasco type sounds even less appealing. :rolleyes:

I've had good ones, but there isn't much of a point if you don't eat pork. Pork goes well with sweet stuff like fruit, so the BBQ sauce isn't much of a stretch. To be honest, I don't think it goes as well with chicken or beef, even though I guess lots of people use it that way. Especially beef just doesn't work with sweet flavors for me. Nothing sweeter than onions, anyway. IMO a good spicy dry rub is much better in that case! Oh, also American pork is very lean and dries out quickly, so the sauce has that function also.

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I don't really like beer either. I've only recently begun drinking some on hot days at someone else's house.

There MUST be some great bbq sauce out there. Although the Tabasco type sounds even less appealing. :rolleyes:

Beer's an acquired taste, but very refreshing on a hot day, and a nice counterpoint to certain sorts of food, especially if you don't want a sweet flavor. Lots of different sorts out there, including some sweets type (which I find really dreadful for the most part, even if they are the expensive fancy sort).

I have to admit that I'd be wary of BBQ in LA: the vision of chicken breasts on a grill slathered with bottled sweet sauce comes to mind. Doctoring the bottled sauces with mustard (Maille works just fine :wink:) cuts the sweetness, but it's easier to just start from scratch anyway.

As for not eating pork, it does limit your exposure to good BBQ, as much of the best calls for pork. Texas BBQ typically include beef brisket, but it's not nearly so good as pulled pork or ribs (shhh, don't tell my husband, he's from San Antonio). Some parts of Kentucky barbecue mutton.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I had grilled beef sausage at a place in LA. They refer to themselves as "Black southern bbq" Interestingly the sausage reminded me of merguez. They do a nice bbq beef sandwich which I like without the sauce. heh heh.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I had grilled beef sausage at a place in LA. They refer to themselves as "Black southern bbq" Interestingly the sausage reminded me of merguez. They do a nice bbq beef sandwich which I like without the sauce. heh heh.

Sort of an odd way to refer to themselves, actually. BBQ varies a lot with location (so using the term "southern" would be the equivalent of a Vietnamese or Korean restaurant calling itself "asian"), and some items might be somewhat more likely to show up in a BBQ place with mostly black clientele (chitterlings come to mind), but the difference isn't sufficiently marked that a place would typically distinguish itself that way.

Sausage is typical of BBQ in Texas, particularly the areas around San Antonio and Austin which were settled by Germans, and BBQ places will often make their own (according to a jealously guarded secret, of course). They're so typical of some places that they show up on just about every plate served, no matter what you've actually ordered, sort of like a side order of beans or coleslaw.

Great with beer. BBQ places are great for kids---casual, friendly, loud, and plenty of beer.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 8 months later...

A few years ago my wife, son and I were enjoying a wonderful lunch at the fabled La Pyrmide in Vienne France. Across that glorious room a girl of about eight or nine was eating with some adults. We remarked on how she sat through the entire three hour meal. No signs of complaint. Aren't the French a marvel?

Al gusto,

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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  • 8 months later...

We will be two families travelling to Paris in January, staying in the 1st. I am looking for suggestions for traditional brasseries, where the kids can get a good steak frites, and the adults a good fruits de mer. We will be a total of 8, so want to reserve in advance.

Also, have adult dinner reservations at Sensing, and would love any feedback.

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We will be two families travelling to Paris in January, staying in the 1st.  I am looking for suggestions for traditional brasseries, where the kids can get a good steak frites, and the adults a good fruits de mer.  We will be a total of 8, so want to reserve in advance.

Also, have adult dinner reservations at Sensing, and would love any feedback.

Hi.

First off, I hope you'll check out our threads on brasseries that are in the compendium we've put together.

Second, having taken my kids and grandkids to brasseries all over town for some years, I cannot imagine one that wouldn't meet your requirements. The steak, frites and seafood are not going to be of the top top quality - for that you'd have to go to the great but reasonable beef places like the Bis de Severo + Le Quincy or for seafood to l'Huitrier + Bistrot du Dome. And as for frites, I pass, although my crew swears by Leon de Bruxelles which I boycott on principal.

Finally, 8 is not so many, on weekends (like this one) I saw many multigenerational tables of 6-8.

As for Sensing, you'll find some mixed opinions here; I can't advise you, folks I respect come down on both sides but I personally did very very well.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all,

My husband and I had been to Hotel de la Plage a couple years ago (Relais and Chateaux place) and loved the location and the food. When we called to see if they were baby friendly they said yes, but the dining area is soooo stuffy and formal that our 15 month old running around is not very welcome. So we are stuck in Brittany (ok not a bad thing) without any backup plans for eating. We are in St Anne La Palud, about 30 minutes from Quimper and near the Pointe du Raz if you know that area. We're here til the 4th, so if anyone has any good suggestions quickly of a place for dinner - either outside where she can run around - or inside where it's very family oriented but still good food - I'd be greatly appreciative. Thanks so much in advance,

Zoe

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Zoe - Although I can't recommend anywhere specific I can say that the French are very baby friendly. Enjoy the experience; the French love baby's. (And by the way have some of the greatest baby clothes in existence)

We see lots of baby's, toddlers and up in the restaurants. This applies to everything from humble bistros to Michelin starred places. They are welcomed and are great 'ice breakers' as most French especially the older ones will want to have a word.

Thus, if I were you I wouldn't worry too much. Just go where you will. There are lots of excellent suggestions in the thread that John mentioned.

I speak both as a French resident and Grand father of eight.

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No specific recommendations because when we were in Brittany with our then 3-year-old, we dined mostly in creperies and other casual places where we could decide on the spot by seeing if there were any other children inside. My daughter could also be easily contented with an order of frites or a loaf of bread.

For those occasions when we needed a really child-friendly place where she could run around, the Quick fast-food chain was a godsend. Unlike the Quick's in Paris, the ones in the suburbs have a large play area with (at the time) a netted area of balls kids can jump in.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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