The last time a waitress took the trouble to warn me off what I was ordering for my meal I almost ended up in casualty. As it was I found myself getting more intimate with my friendly Polish GP than I might otherwise have felt comfortable. That was all down to a “super duper hot mackerel” curry I had to eat last September.
I am pleased to say that the after effects of the lunch I had in Paris were more benign.
We had spent a Tuesday morning wandering through the foothills of Montmartre which included coffee and croissants in a crowded cafe. We had then made the walk up the hill and skirting the crowds spent an hour in the Montmartre Museum. This included a recreation of an artist’s studio that was filled with light and posters and pictures going back to its glory days included grainy black and white pictures of the athletic looking women who dance the can can in the Moulin Rouge.
We then walk down the other side of the hill and having refreshed ourselves with a drink in the sun (where we were waved back from sitting on too much of the pavement) we went in search of lunch. This was to be found in a bistro wedged up next to one of sets the stairs that take you either up or down the hill centred with a double metal hand rail.
We were shown into a room round the back with plush red leather seats and we settled down with our menus. Almost immediately I decided I would have the Andouillette especially as it was 5A rated (The Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique (AAAAA) ‘The Friendly Club of Lovers of Authentic Andouillette’ is a club formed by several food writers in 1970. It gives certificates (“diplôme”) to producers of high-quality andouillettes.)
The rest of the family ordered and it was then down to me. I put on my best French accent and asked for the “andouillette avec frites”. The waitress gave me a worried look and said something that sounded very much like “Are you sure?” as she rubbed her hand over her stomach to make it clear that what I would be eating would be made up of the stomach of something else.
I reassured her that I knew what I was doing.
It arrived twenty minutes and a pint of Pelforth later. A burnt dark sausage on a plate piled with chips. As I split the casing the folds of meat fell away leaving little doubt that it was made up of the intestine of pig. It came with an earthy farm yard smell which went well the bland crisp chips. I ate with relish.