How to spot the cheap lunch in France
I've lived in Limousin, France for over ten years now so I'm in the right place to help you with the trick to spotting a cheap lunch in Limousin, France. It's very straight-forward and simple - look for the many types of restaurants that serve cheap lunches, or go for the menu for 'Ouvriers' (or workmen).
Look out for Supermarket restaurants - self-service but in France that doesn't mean poor quality food.Cheap 'ouvrier' menus are offered at many, if not most restaurants. They only offer these menus on week-days and for lunch times only as they are aimed at workers, and, largely, working men. If you are not put off by this, then do read on ...
What am I doing in deepest rural France? I run a guest house and holiday cottage, Les Trois Chenes, in Videix, near Rochechouart, Limousin, France. We also offer painting holidays. If you're in the area and would like to stay with us contact us at email@example.com. You can telephone on +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84 or take a look at our web site: www.lestroischenes.com
These are a few of my favourite restaurants
These are not all cheap places, but just a few favourites around and about our hamlet of Videix. I can't list all the good places to eat, there are just so many of them. Instead I'm giving you a few tips on finding good, cheap placed to eat yourself.
There are sure to be lots anywhere you go in Limousin, but I can't swear that the same rules would apply in the Tourist honey pots of France. My advice? Don't get stuck with tourist commercialism, and buz on down to lovely Limousin instead.
A cheap lunch does not mean a sub-standard lunch in France!
Oh no, not at all. Your average French tradesman or manual worker takes food as seriously as those in the very top professions and they know all the best French restaurants and the best places to find excellent, cheap lunches.
I was a lady painter 'of a certain age' when I came to Limousin in South West France to set up residential painting holidays. I bought an old farmhouse complex and along with my husband we set about renovating it to make a Bed and Breakfast and holiday cottage, accommodation for our painting guests as well as holiday makers, tourists and other travelers. Les Trois Chenes is now finished, but during the course of this renovation, I was given the opportunity to train as plumber (really, this is all true), and working with French 'plombiers', (all men), gave me great insight into the world of the French workman.
First of all they don't ever, or hardly ever, talk about women or sex. They talk about FOOD. The other students on my course would swap recipes, discuss barbecue techniques and give each other tips about finding the best mushrooms and wild fungi.
Choose the 'Ouvrier Menu' for your French lunch
The Ouvrier Menu (or worker's menue) is the key to finding a good, cheap lunch in France.
The men that I did work experience with all stopped at mid-day (precisely) and went to one of the restaurants offering Ouvrier menus and they then spent the next two hours leisurely eating their four course meal. Afterwards, when they met up with other members of their team the first question they would ask was, 'Est-ce que vous avez bien mangé?', have you eaten well ? They then compared notes about their respective restaurants for future reference.
Expect to pay between 10 and 15 euros for a three or four course meal which may also include wine. You would normally be offered a starter, a main course, and/or cheese and a dessert. Coffee is usually extra. (2010 prices)
Just an example of the quality of cheap lunches here
An example of the great French Limousin lunch
When my sister and her children come to stay with me in Videix, we always pay at least one visit to this restaurant in Saint Auvent for lunch because my nephew enjoys the steak served here so much. Limousin beef is a regional speciality and the restaurants often offer steak. Have it cooked 'à point', which means just nicely done. If you ask for rare, it will be literally raw with the outside seared a bit. If you want it cooked through you will annoy the chef. Also over-cooking the meat makes it tough. If you still want it like this, my mother used to ask for it to be 'burnt on both sides'.
The restaurant also serves other local specialities, cheese, apples, walnuts, fish.
These pictures were taken from a slightly more expensive menu as the only chance we had to have a meal here was to take Sunday lunch. The content of the meal is not dissimilar from the Ouvrier menu, but the presentation would be simpler. So here is just a taste of what to expect.
The Auberge de la Vallée de la Gorre
Place de l'église 87310 ST AUVENT
Closed Monday and Sunday evenings but it is always best to phone before hand as we do find that they tend to close for holidays Tel : 05 55 00 01 27
Other restaurants in Saint Auvent
Saint Auvent is a sleepy little town surrounded by beautiful Limousin countryside. It has a church, a little Chateau, a Marie and a few little shops, but amazingly it has no less than four restaurants in the village centre.
Barruche Dominique Traiteur Tel : 05 55 48 17 95
Jaccia Tel: 05 55 00 01 27
Lou Cafirou Tel: 05 55 48 17 95
Find us and the cheap lunch spots in this article
- Office de Tourisme Rochechouart
Tourisme.fr : ROCHECHOUART OFFICE DE TOURISME * DU PAYS DE LA METEORITE : ROCHECHOUART : Limousin : Haute-Vienne : Annuaire des offices de tourisme et syndicats d'initiative
Supermarket restaurants and chain for cheap lunches
There are several good restaurant chains and restaurants associated with supermarkets that offer real, good quality, French food at excellent prices. Get a delicious cheap lunch at La Toquenelle next to Super U in Sint Junien, Limousin.
Flunch is a chain restaurant that I don't really like myself - it's very busy - but you can find them in and around Limoges and the food is good.
Chinese and Asian buffets are great value luch spots
OK, not very French - not at all, but great for kids - they love them! Great for all the fussy eaters, vegetarians etc because everyone can go and help themselves to a buffet lunch - all you can eat from 9.50 euros to perhaps 12euros. This will set you up for the day.
There are at least three good one in Limoges that I use on a regular basis, and one in Saint Junien that I go to all the time is the Nouvelles d'Asie.
Do you have any cheap lunch tip or comments?
Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on September 15, 2010:
Thanks, REIMillions, for the information. See you are 76 so well done.
REIMillions on September 14, 2010:
I see this hub is sitting at a 74 hub score and in order for Google to index it, you need a 75. This hub was an excellent source of information, so I "Voted it up" and followed you, hopefully witnin the next couple of hours you will be at a 75 and indexed. It is really worth of being on googles front page. I am in the same spot you are... Hopefully, I will be at a 75 today as well ;-)
Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on September 12, 2010:
Om Paramapoonya The small family run restaurants are very relaxing. Perhaps the more formal places are good for special occasions. Not sure they do tux in Limousin.
Om Paramapoonya on September 11, 2010:
I agree that cheap does not mean sub-standard. I prefer having a relaxing meal in a small restaurant rather than eating in a five-star eatery where the waiters look so arrogant in their tux! Thanks for sharing this. All these places sound very nice.
Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on September 08, 2010:
Hi James. People don't visit much or even know about this area which is why it is so quiet, calming and traffic-free. It really is hidden France. While I don't want tourists pouring in, the area does need a bit of income and a few more visitors would be welcome. So why not book now??
James Mark from York, England on September 08, 2010:
These are not parts of France we visit, but the articles make mouth-watering reading.
Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on September 07, 2010:
Many thanks Elise, for taking the time to leave this message. If anyone else has found any little gems it would be wonderful if you could leave a note and a link. Spread the word, these restaurants are hard work and the owners need a pat and a bit of publicity.
EliseSwart on September 07, 2010:
In Saint-Sulpice-le-Dunois (Creuse) la Fontaine aux Loups serves a wonderful 4 course lunch, wine and coffee included for only 11 euro. Very nice and considerate brother (chef) and sister (waiting) and very good cooking. Nice view as well!