On my very strict budget, I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve “eaten out” in France. And let’s be real, most of them were when my dad came to visit. Thanks dad! But for some reason, we wanted to be boss for a weekend in Bordeaux. Go big or go home, right? Here are my recommendations for budget friendly eats in Bordeaux.
Our first culinary delight was in a beautiful little corner of Bordeaux, right past the gallant Porte de la Monnaie. We crossed underneath this arch and entered a gorgeous neighborhood, choosing to eat outside at charming red tables while awaiting the sunset. Our meal started with a homeade gaspacho topped with fresh parmesan, a perfect summer appetizer. I continued with the piece de resistance, confit de canard. You really haven’t lived until you have eaten this. This is heavenly duck leg slowly cooked until the end result is tender, juicy, and flavorful – a typical dish of the Gascony region.
On Saturday night we went to a fresh, local restaurant called Palais des Sauveurs. A little Bordelaise woman and her husband Gilles opened this quaint restaurant, off the beaten track and known only to locals. A cozy room distinguished by its tables set with mismatching dishware, I felt almost as if we were eating at the couples house. I had fresh steamed fish with local veggies and wild rice, which was refreshing and light. The menu changes daily according to what is in season, but always features their delicous savory tarts. The best part, however, is the homeade cakes and sweets for dessert. They also have an extensive list of teas – so if nothing else, be sure to stop here for tea and dessert after an afternoon of sightseeing. I had a dense, dark chocolate cake topped with lots of ripe strawberries. Miam miam.
We were lucky enough to be in Bordeaux on a Sunday, so headed to the Marché des Chartrons. This wonderful Sunday market along the river was what I hope heaven will be like. Tables filled with seafood and white wine, appetizing pastries like Cannelés de Bordeaux, runners jogging by the river, and gourmet cheeses calling my name. The ambiance was so calm and relaxing, a perfect Sunday activity.
After walking around, Craig and I sat down to eat at a table that was offering grilled meats and vegetables. I basked in the sunlight while Craig ordered for us. Poor Craig “accidentally” ordered duck heart – claiming he never thought “coeur de canard” could actually be the heart of a duck. He put on a good face and tried it anyway, but I still couldn’t stop calling him a duck heart consumer.
The moral of the story is that you can’t order wrong in France, until you order duck heart. Or Andouillettes. But that’s another story for another time.
Bar Cave de la Monnaie, 34 rue Porte-de-la-Monnaie
Tél : 05 56 31 12 33
Le Palais des Saveurs, 69 Rue Palais Gallien
Tél: 05 56 81 22 09
Marché des Chartrons, quai des Chartrons, 7am-1pm Sundays