February 19, 2017

"A workmen’s café in central France was overwhelmed with gourmet customers and TV crews after it was awarded a Michelin star by mistake."

"Prospective diners were astounded when they turned up at Le Bouche à Oreille, in the small town of Bourges, to find a cheap and cheerful eatery with red and white polka dot tablecloths, serving a fixed price lunch menu with homemade lasagna or beef bourguignon for about €10 (£8.50)."

33 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

Great story! The cafe owner, her son, and the owner of the high-end restaurant with the same name all see the humor in it.

David said...

The workingman's cafe is probably pretty good. At every level the French are serious about the quality of their food.

David said...

The name translates as "word of mouth." Literally, the mouth at the ear.

Laslo Spatula said...

" The cafe owner, her son, and the owner of the high-end restaurant with the same name all see the humor in it."

The same thing happened in Scotland with 'McDonalds'.

I am Laslo.

Curious George said...
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Curious George said...

"David said...
The workingman's cafe is probably pretty good. At every level the French are serious about the quality of their food."

But not their military. If not for us the house specialty at both Le Bouche à Oreilles would be Sauerbraten.

chrisnavin.com said...

Sacre Bleu!

MisterBuddwing said...

$11 for beef bourguignon? Show me the way!

BudBrown said...

What do some people mean when they use homemade as in homemade lasagna? I mean
does it automatically disqualify you from getting a star?

EDH said...

Looks like one of the "storefronts" used on the reCAPTCHA thingy.

Probably how the restaurants got confused on the Michelin intertubes.

jimbino said...

Here in Rio de Janeiro, I get a "quentinha" of rice, beans, salad, plus chicken, beef or pork--enough for two--delivered to my home daily for R$10 ($3.20).

MadisonMan said...

I was chuckling as I read the article at the light-hearted response by all.

You can believe that I'd try the awarded-by-mistake place long before I'd try the other.

tcrosse said...

Of course it's homemade lasagne; the Stouffers Frozen Lasagne is unavailable in France.

Bad Lieutenant said...

jimbino said...
Here in Rio de Janeiro, I get a "quentinha" of rice, beans, salad, plus chicken, beef or pork--enough for two--delivered to my home daily for R$10 ($3.20).
2/19/17, 8:25 AM


Yeah, yeah, poor countries are like that. Then for an extra nickel I suppose you can sodomize the delivery boy and for another quarter, strangle him if you feel like it.

Aside from which, there's a question of quality. There's a difference between beef and beef bourguignon.

Rob Parrish said...

My sister lives in a nearby town and I've eaten at that place a couple of times. Pretty standard French cafe food. I bet they were surprised!

Michael K said...

"Pretty standard French cafe food. "

Which is excellent. I used to eat in little left bank cafes all the time in Paris and did not find a bad one.

gspencer said...

Which proves, yet again, how pretentious the pretentious among us really are ever so pretentious.

Sebastian said...

So, would the gourmets be able to taste the difference in similar dishes from both places in a blind test?

exiledonmainstreet said...

Yes, even modest little cafes and bistros in France serve up great food - which was good for me when I was there as a young woman and the dollar was not doing well against the franc.

From an American POV, the best times to be in France were during the 1920's and the late '40's (which were not good times for the French). A friend's dad was stationed there in the late '40's and shipped home a lot of cheap copper cookware to his bride. Now copper cookware costs a fortune. My friend inherited the set and says that if the house were on fire, she'd make a beeline for the kitchen to save those beautiful pots and pans.

Original Mike said...

How's the meatloaf?

Michael K said...

would the gourmets be able to taste the difference in similar dishes from both places in a blind test?

A good chance they would not. There was a famous wine tasting back in the 80s. A California chardonnay won it and there was a big flap. The California wine would never have won except it was a blind tasting.

ddh said...

This story should be the premise for a great French comedy, coming to a cinéma près de toi. Or perhaps we should say a cinéma près de l'étoile.

Angel-Dyne said...

Michael K to Sebastian: "...would the gourmets be able to taste the difference in similar dishes from both places in a blind test?"

A good chance they would not. There was a famous wine tasting back in the 80s. A California chardonnay won it and there was a big flap. The California wine would never have won except it was a blind tasting.


Probably true, but the wine (I thought it was some cabs) won because it was a good wine, not because the tasters thought it came from somewhere in line with their prejudices. There is a huge amount of hype and b.s. in the wine industry, and price and name are no guarantee of quality, but some wine is better than other wine, and there are people who can, too, tell the difference, who aren't pretentious posers. (Regardless of what idiots who say "hrrrr, 3 Buck Chuck is just as good as any French wine" think.)

Same with food. There may be even more posers among foodies than there are among wine aficionados, but while a Michelin-starred meal would be wasted on someone like me, I do not doubt that there are passionate devotees who can tell a superbly-prepared meal by a great master chef from a well-prepared meal by a good one.

PB said...

All those early arrivals, probably tasted the food and exclaimed, "C'est Magnifique!".

PB said...

Curious George: A cornerstone of the French military strategy might be to have such good food that invaders get bogged down at the borders in the cafe's.

buwaya said...

I could do with some boeuf bourguignon right now.

LYNNDH said...

Curious George, you really do not know anything about the French military. I suggest you go visit all the cemeteries in France that are along the Western Front trench line. You have no idea what the slaughter did to the French mind set. You have no idea what the occupation and almost complete destruction of a quarter of France, a part of France that was the bread basket of France, did to them. CG, have you ever been a Ground Pounder, or just a typewriter slob.

exiledonmainstreet said...

France collapsed in 1940, but in WWI, they fought like hell.

harryo said...
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harryo said...
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Sam's Hideout said...

"Two buck Chuck" was started when there was a huge wine glut in California, so in the early years it could be very good. But that market condition did not (and could not) last so it's merely a good for the price wine these days.

Daniel Jackson said...

I was pleasantly amused by the story. Most French villages have a cafe that serves a workman's dejeuner for pretty much the same price. Lots of food, wine, cheese, and a choice of dessert all for a fixed price. Of course you need to make reservations.

I'll put in a plug for my favorite, La Legende in Plaisance, Aveyron. Tell 'em I sent you.

SukieTawdry said...

Now that's a great story!