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Marseille late February

I live in the south of France but don't know Marseille very well, my husband organized my birthday this January and for my birthday lunch we ate bouillabaisse at Le Rhul. I've had it before (including at Le Bacon in Antibes) and I have to say this stuff was the best I've ever had. Not cheap but excellent! Also the resto is very nice and the view quite lovely, and you can get there by municipal bus, even on a Sunday (which is what we did).

Feb 12, 2013
juliadevi in France

10 day trip to Nice, Cannes, Monaco and Belgrade, Serbia


Sep 25, 2012
juliadevi in France

chicken stock in france?

I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it, but you can buy frozen stock (chicken, veal, veg) in cubes (galets de bouillion) from Picard. I usually make and freeze my own stock, but sometimes run out and then I turn to them. They're quite concentrated, you only need a couple of them for a half liter of stock (adding water to make up the volume). Useful for those of us with tiny freezers...

Aug 19, 2012
juliadevi in France

Week in Colmar

I've been to Alsace a few times and loved it... Last time we were there, we stayed in Colmar and rented bikes for a few days, every day making a different loop, biking thru the vineyards, tasting wine, eating flammekueche (...mmmm...).. Oh, and there's a great ride from Munster back down to Colmar - you can even put your bikes on the train to go up, and then it's a beautiful cruise down, stopping to buy some Munster cheese of course...

There's a restaurant in Rouffach, just a bit south of Colmar, Philippe Bohrer - we've eaten there a couple of times and every time it's been fantastic:‎

Alsatian riesling is good, of course (though IMO German riesling is often better *shhh!*), but the other varietals are also worth trying (e.g. pinot gris, pinot blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot noir... and of course a good bottle of crémant can be truly excellent)

Foie gras is traditional to Alsace and it's usually paired with a Vendange Tardive Riesling, if you're open to such things I recommend trying it.

If the weather is good, Alsace is adorable, hope you enjoy it!

Aug 06, 2012
juliadevi in France

"Best Quality" Olive Oil Advice Please

as far as I can tell, the only difference between the bottles and the tins is that the tinned oil is slightly cheaper. I've been using the same basic olive oil for the last couple of years, bought in both bottles and tins, and as far as I can tell, the taste is the same.

as for protection against oxidation/rancidity, I'm not sure what's preferable. My oil comes in dark green glass bottles (1 L) and 3 L tins - I'm not sure what is more harmful, air exposure in the tin (from the headspace after you decant the first bottleful) or light exposure in the glass.

(so no, it doesn't taste like tin... :)

Mar 27, 2012
juliadevi in General Topics

Madagascar - Anything at all?

I was last there about 7 yrs ago so my recs are not up to date!
At that time, there was a nice French style resto in Hellville/Nosy-Bé called Papillion. The first time I ever had Roquefort with Sauternes was there.
And in Tana we went to a chic place called KuDeTa.

Otherwise, we ate in various little shacks beside roads (curry-ish stews with the ever-present rice, often with a spicy shredded green mango relish - at that time, it was about $1 USD a serving).

In the Nosy-Bé area they produce some local rum that is often infused with spices (rhum arrangé - vanille, cannelle, gingembre...) - I had some fabulous nights dancing until late late late to live Malagasy music fueled by rhum arrangé and coke. Or Three Horses Beer...

One last thing - the national dessert (and just about the only dessert) is banane flambée - I don't even like bananas but I still make it from time to time.

I loved my visits there, have a great time!

Your Favorite Retro Dishes

not in France, at least... people make it constantly (me included) and you can buy it in every bakery....

Nov 15, 2011
juliadevi in General Topics

Duck confit - the French hambuger?

At least in the Nice area, it's not as ubiquitous as hamburgers. (Though, considering the restos we go to, there are no hamburgers or confit on the menu) I don't think I've ever seen confit de canard on a menu around here...

However, foie gras is ubiquitous. And magret. But nary a cuisse, confit or no, except in the supermarket.

Nov 12, 2011
juliadevi in France

6 Great Meals in Bologna

Thanks for the info (and all of your other reviews)!
I have to admit, I can't handle 2 resto meals a day... in Italy, our eating sched (if we're not staying with friends) looks more like coffee + pastries, small lunch and/or gelato, aperitivo and dinner.
I love aperitivo - it's a great moment for people-watching and reflecting on the day's activities - and that first glass of wine or a spritz with some munchies just hits the spot!

Nov 08, 2011
juliadevi in Italy

6 Great Meals in Bologna

thanks for the report, AWG, we've been wanting to go to Bologna for a while now (we live a few hours from there) and I've bookmarked this thread.

one question: we love aperitivo as they do it in Torino, Genoa etc, where you buy a drink and they give you a plate of food, sometimes it's a buffet - what's the aperitivo situation like in Bologna?

Nov 03, 2011
juliadevi in Italy

Restaurant recommendation for Carcassonne and Avignon?

I don't know if it's too far out of your way, but Castelnaudary is about 40 minutes outside of Carcassonne - and I ate the best cassoulet of my life there. (supposedly it's the hometown of cassoulet).

Sorry I don't remember the name of the resto - we arrived in town after wanderling along the Canal du Midi, and went into one that looked good (small, ugly décor, well-fed middle-aged server... ;)

If you're staying in a holiday let with a BBQ - the other truly memorable meal we ate was duck sausage grilled over grapevine wood (sarments de vigne - they make everything grilled taste better!), washed down with a local red (la Clape) - all of it picked up at the local supermarket in Narbonne.

Aug 10, 2011
juliadevi in France


Simon, it was because of your rec that I went to Lao Lanxang (I was going to go to Rouammit, but I didn't write the name down... but I remembered the name Lao Lanxang, so we went there).

I've spent some time in Thailand and Laos and the meal we ate was the best I've had since being there.

I live in the south of France so I don't get to Paris all that often, but I would make an effort to go back and eat either at Rouammit or Lao Lanxang.

Thanks, Simon!

Aug 05, 2011
juliadevi in France

Mothers Day meal: French Riviera, Vence?

I've eaten at the Auberge de La Penne many times... it's my favourite restaurant in France. email: pouletchicken"at"aol"dot"com

The chef is French but his wife is English, so no sweat about communicating in English, either email or phone. They're lovely people.

And yes, they have (basic) rooms, with a beautiful view over the Esteron valley.
Lots of hiking trails in the area... we like to go up there to eat, spend the night, and then go wandering. (if you're not so sporty, there are numerous charming villages that you can drive to and through... Cigale, Roquesteron, Ascros to name a few)

Highly recommend.

May 05, 2011
juliadevi in France

_______ ruins my figure/diet/life

too true.... packets bought on clearance after v-day, consumed in april or thereabouts... mmm... dammit now i want some! ;)

Jan 29, 2011
juliadevi in General Topics

_______ ruins my figure/diet/life

+1 red hots

...they stick in your teeth... so you need some more... and more until the packet is gone...

thank god they don't exist on this side of the atlantic

Jan 29, 2011
juliadevi in General Topics

A family-run hotel & restaurant near Colmar, please? (And general area dining recs?)

I've never stayed in the hotel here but I've eaten at the Philippe Bohrer restaurant a couple of times over the last 4 years and really enjoyed it

Restaurant Bohrer-hotel Ville De Lyon
Rue Raymond Poincaré, 68250 Rouffach, France
+33 3 89 49 65 51 ‎

last June we stayed in Colmar and rented bikes to go visiting the vineyards, here's where we stayed, it was quite inexpensive and "familiale" - we'd stay there again, no doubt - but no resto, just their house wines to taste and drink....

Jund Martin Maison
12 Rue Ange, 68000 Colmar, France
+33 3 89 41 58 72 ‎

Jan 25, 2011
juliadevi in France

Searching Soupe de Poisson around Vence/Nice/Antibes etc. (will travel)

maybe some chowhounders would shoot me down, but i've eaten the soupe de poisson at acchiardo in nice on several occasions. it's not a fancy restaurant and they're not open weekends, but it's one of my favourite restaurants in nice.

the soup is a starter, i think a bowl of it plus trimmings (croutons, garlic, aioli, cheese) is around 7 or 8 euros... definitely cheaper than le bacon...

Oct 17, 2010
juliadevi in France

vietnamese food in paris

based on this rec and craving viet food, i went to dan bau this july (i live in the south of france, where there is no good viet food). i grew up near little saigon in CA, i love viet food.

however i was disappointed at dan bau.

next time i go to paris, i will try out some of the places on blvd d'ivry, they looked promising, as well as the restos in rue volta (near the bahn mi place) - small, not at all chic, but completely packed full of asians, not a frog in sight... ;)

Oct 17, 2010
juliadevi in France

Good Indian In Paris?

I went to Krishna Bhavan in July and, while it did sort-of scratch my itch for a masala dosa, I wasn't so impressed by the food. It wasn't particularly spicy, and the best thing I ate there was not on the menu (rasam - which was nice and spicy, as it should be).

However rue Cail is full of Indian restaurants, I even saw a restaurant offering Mexican Indian food (a new fusion trend? :), has anyone tried out some of the other restos around there?

Sep 12, 2010
juliadevi in France

Is Your Wine Chill Activated?

@zin1953: you're conflating beaujolais with beaujolais nouveau. nouveau should be avoided at all costs. beaujolais (e.g. beaujolais villages, morgon), while not fantastic wines (IMO), can take a couple of years in the bottle and can be acceptable light red table wines.

if they don't have a temperature-indicating graphic, that is. :)

Sep 07, 2010
juliadevi in Features

Help! I'm a foodie trapped in a family with weird diet issues!

ferris, i feel your pain! dining hall fare is horrible and i'm addicted to spicy food, too. so, my ideas for light and low in garlic:
try soba noodles - they're made with buckwheat and i think they're low-glycemic - just watch the salt in soy sauce and miso
*brahmin indian
brahmins traditionally avoid garlic, they often use asafoetida powder (hing) in it's stead
and whole wheat basmati rice is actually good
plus they include a lot of bean/pulse/legume/dhal dishes which are yummy, low in fat and full of fiber
you can tone down the spicing to suit your mom, and then eat some pickle or chutney on the side to spice it up for you. don't forget to make some raita (yoghurt sauce/side dish) - they're super fast to make and are creamy and cooling without being rich.

and aren't corn tortillas low-glycemic? you could try making some taco fillings (no packets, please!), with a chili-garlic salsa on the side for you and your dad, or maybe some enchiladas baked over with red or green sauce but hold the cheese and sour cream.

hope it helps.

Aug 06, 2010
juliadevi in General Topics

Squeezable Hummus That's Not from the Old Country

how can you not be offended by hummous in a squeeze bottle? what's next, squeezable pesto? squeezable guacamole? (i don't live in the states, so forgive me if these bastardizations have been brought to market without my noticing)

i don't have to try it to criticize it: the very idea is repulsive.

Jul 22, 2010
juliadevi in Features

Dijon Vinaigrette

make it even easier on yourself: use a jar (jam, mustard, whatever), put the ingredients inside, and shake. voilà, perfect emulsion, handy for storage if you make a double batch.

ps - if you like creamy dressings, try adding a spoonful of yoghurt, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream... whatever you've got on hand. it makes the emulsion even thicker.

Feb 03, 2010
juliadevi in Recipes


have you tried the "vrai" brand of organic fromage frais? my darling german man scarfs it as soon as i buy it (i buy the 3.5% MG (= 20% magerstufe) kind because "magerquark schmeckt nicht!" but they do have 0% as well.)
it's in a green sort of packaging, i get it at carrefour (sorry, don't live in paris)
the yoghurt from this company is also überlecker... ;)

Feb 03, 2010
juliadevi in France

Lunch & Dinner suggestions Monte Carlo

sea urchins don't have tongues.

i don't want to spoil your fun, but IMO èze is a complete tourist trap. there are tons of adorable perched villages here in the area, and i think st paul de vence is cuter, though it's also quite touristy. chèvre d'or is really expensive (i haven't been) and i've heard some mixed reviews.

villefranche is nice, though, and the sentier littoral (the coastal path) that goes around st jean cap ferrat has some nice views. if it's a sunny day , it can be really pleasant even in january.

sorry no resto recommendations

Jan 22, 2010
juliadevi in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

unfortunately everything on cours saleya is basically for tourists, recommend avoiding. (but fresh food market in the mornings is nice and you can find some locally grown fruit and veg if you know where to look)

a resto we go back to over and over is acchiardo (in rue droite, old town nice)... it's small, family-run (very good looking sons are the servers ;), and the food is typical, rustic, yummy nicoise (no fancy froufrou cooking here!). my man and i normally have an apèritif, starter, main, + bottle of house wine and the check comes to €50-60. (there are no prix-fixe menus, everything is à la carte, menu is quite short, plat du jour sells out early)
downside: they aren't open weekends. and if you go friday night, booking ahead is the only way to go.

btw, the gelateria finocchio (on the square, catticorner to the cathedral) is locally famous... and with 96 flavours, you can even have black olive gelato if you dare....

Dec 14, 2009
juliadevi in France

Where to buy lardons in San Francisco?

why not buy a piece of bacon (i mean whole bacon, not the pre-sliced for breakfast stuff) and cut it into lardons yourself?

here in france, lardons are just little sticks of cured pork belly... they come in "nature" (unsmoked) and "fumé" (smoked).

Peanut butter in France

I second Dodo on the tinfoil etc... you can buy them in any supermarket.

As for peanut butter, you can find it in bigger supermarkets (I see it at my local Carrefour and Géant), and they also have it at my local health food store. Unfortunately, it's all American-style PB (like Skippy), not my preferred all-natural nothing but peanuts-and-salt type PB. :(

Maple syrup is expensive here, I always bring a bottle back from NA.
And Mexican/Tex-Mex food is horrible here, you can get limes and cilantro and a couple of types of fresh chilies, but if you like Mexican food, bring along some dried chilies and canned chipotles in adobo.... you won't find them here anywhere!!! And taco sauce.

Nov 27, 2009
juliadevi in France