Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good places get bad, bad places get bankrupt.

Do you remember this caustic remark from  Lonely Planet's travel  bibles ? It was probably in the section on why it was important to buy the very last issue of their thick and juicy  guidebooks.
Indeed,  this warning applies to Avignon's restaurants. Case in point :  Les Artistes, on Place Crillon. Once a great favorite of ours,  it has lost most of its appeal ; althought the chef is still the same, the service is far to undifferent. An other great deception was the Indian food joint,  Roobiny, rue Guillaume Puy. Even the worst Indian restaurant in the UK would make their attempt at Indian cuisine seem lucridous. If you find yourself around this part of town ( close to the rue des Teinturiers), you should give a try next door to  Le Chapelier Toqué ( a word by word translation of  " Mad Hatter") ; we had good fish there the other day.
 The Cityvox online guide tell of an astounding 682 restaurants in Avignon. I'm not sure all  the bad ones will go bankrupt, thanks to the steady flow of unsuspecting tourists in our little town. If you have a few days to spend here, you should try L'Hermitage, rue Figuière for its innovative cuisine and friendly service in the open, Marius et Jeannette place des Corps Saints, for its look of the 50'ies, Au Périgord Gourmand rue du Vieux Sextier for its terrific Southwest cuisine... All of these places are quite reasonably priced  : dinner for two should not cost you more than 50 euros .... Enjoy, save and  then splurge at a place like Le Moutardier du Pape, facing the Popes Palace, at the Hotel de l'Europe in-house restaurant ... Lastly, do not hesitate to patron " Tutti Frutti", the  fruit juice stall in rue des Marchands, in  the pedestrian area : the owner ( althougt he seems a wee bit tired on the above photograph) makes a brisk trade all summer, and that because he knows how to pick and mix for you the very  best fruit from the markets. Give it a try!