The wind was blowing through my hair, the sun was shining creating a shadow behind me. With no clouds in the sky and birds flying high it felt like the perfect summer day. My dad had told me twice already to come and sit at the table, but being the stubborn kid that I was, I decided to ignore him. Eventually it was time for me to sit down, which wasn’t a punishment to me, for the food that I was about to be served was a whole experience within itself. The road was long, narrow, and curvy. At first, I didn’t really know where we were headed.
We’d turn left for five kilometers and then right for three kilometers, passing through multiple small towns. When we passed through each town, there was almost always a round-about with signs telling us which way to go, but I could never read them, for they were in a different language. After thirty minutes of driving on these curvy roads, left right left right, we finally arrived at our destination. A little dizzy from the ride, I could not wait for my dad to finally turn off the engine so that I could get out of the car.
Enjoying the vitamin D from the sun, my stomach was growling and I felt like mashed potatoes without the gravy, a burger without the patty and french fries without ketchup; it felt wrong. I sat down at the table, next to my dad and my sister, when the waitress came up to me and said, “Voici le menu de ce soir. ” Not only did I not understand what she was saying, but my understanding was jeopardized by the constant bear growling in my stomach.
After what seemed like five minutes had passed, but in reality had only been five seconds, my mom responded with, “Elle ne parle pas franÃ§ais . After this, the waitress excused herself and repeated what she had said but this time in English, “Here’s the menu for tonight , and I responded with broken French, “Merci! “. I opened the menu and realized that once again everything was in French; nonetheless, I looked at the menu. Trying to look as professional as possible, I flipped through every page.
Trying to pick out all the words that I could kind of read and understand, I finally asked my dad to help me choose what to eat. Our final decision came down to: foie gras as the appetizer, lamb meat with gravy and vegetables as the main course, and for dessert three different types of creme brulee. When the first dish came, my stomach was growling so hard that I had absolutely no patience to wait. The foie gras is like a pate’ but with multiple fatty injections.
It has a smooth consistency, texture and a buttery feel to it. When it first hits your mouth there are a million different flavors jumbled up, each one hitting you twice as hard as the previous flavor. As it melts on your tongue the flavors sound like fireworks in the sky on the fourth of July, each one making a bigger and brighter explosion in the air. This happens about twelve times until the foie gras is gone and the fireworks have dimmed down.
The next dish was the lamb meat with gravy and vegetables, my favorite and always satisfying dish. The gravy is like a cold drink on a hot summer’s day, the lamb is perfectly cooked with the slightest color of pink in the center and the vegetables are the perfect medium between crunchy and soggy. Then the dessert, the food that I have been waiting for ever since I’ve sat down at the table, creme bralee. The three different types of creme bralee or, chocolate fudge, honey and original, and of course the original is my favorite.
When handed a creme bralee the first thing one must do is see if the crust is crunchy. One does this by taking a spoon and tapping through the crust, and listening for that sweet sound like the ice cream truck coming around the corner in the middle of July. If this sound is heard, you know a good spoon of creamy and crunchy delight is about to enter your mouth. Going to the southwest of France has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.
We would spend most, if not all, of our vacations there, and along with the beauty of France, I got to go to this amazing restaurant on the top of a hill overlooking a valley of the Dordogne river. Every time that my family and I would go, I would look forward to that day for weeks, and my heart would start pounding so hard like the bubbles of boiled water. I will never forget all the times that I’ve gone to this restaurant, for not only does it bring back memories of all the amazing food, but also all the fun, laughs and love shared with all the people at that table.