Le Relais Gascon

     After navigating the narrow streets of hilly Montmartre, I came across this quaint-looking French restaurant.  Ironically, Montmartre is full of Italian restaurants, rivaling the number of local ones in the area.  Of course all restaurants were full but fortunately at that time I saw some vacant tables at Le Relais Gascon.  As you read on, you will find out why this was so. 
     When I saw escargots on the menu, there was not even a split second of hesitation.  I had to eat it.  Light-colored shells stuffed with bright green herbs then cooked in butter.  Tender but tasted earthy.  I could definitely taste the soil in there.  Did they even bother cleaning it?  Am I being too picky, given the fact that these creatures crawl the earth and therefore, should taste like, erm, the earth?  Nah.  I've eaten enough snails in my life to know what they taste like.  In this case they look way much better than they tasted.

    Now on to my entree: Pavé de Rumsteak avec sauce Roquefort.  I am a huge fan of Roquefort cheese so I went for this steak, thinking not much could go wrong with steak and fries.  Hmmm.  The meat was slightly tough, I had a bit of a struggle chewing it and the sauce was too thin and bitter to my liking.  The cook had better things to do than mind the sauce, I suppose.

     It is a fact that restaurants in Paris charge an arm and a leg but I don't mind spending more if the food is good.  But when you end up thinking you're spending more to rest your tired, aching feet instead of getting good food, you're much better off eating at McDonald's. 
     However, I was not ready to give up.  I gave Montmartre another once around and went for the one thing I think the French are exceptional in making: bread.  This time, the photos don't do justice. 

     Forget what's in it.  Here, bread is the star of the show and when you're in France, you can live on it alone because it's  fresh, deliriously fragrant, crunchy, and soft to the bite.  Bon appétit indeed.

Le Relais Gascon (go at your own risk)
13 Rue Joseph de Maistre
75018 Montmartre, Paris 

Assorted sandwiches - available in cafes and boulangeries all around the city


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