Restorontes are snackbar restaurants attached to service stations along the highways. Brasseries are a cross between a restaurant and a bar. Most restaurants post a menu outside. The prix-fixe (fixed-price) is usually cheaper than ordering a la carte (item by item). Many restaurants post a menu touristque which usually includes an appetizer, a main dish chosen from the day’s a la carte menu, and cheese or dessert.
Probably no people except the starving take food as seriously as the French. The French notion of eating is a linear progression from the spicy appetizer through fish, flesh, salad, cheese, fruit, sweet, and coffee.
Word-of-mouth is usually the best advertising for travel destinations, accommodations, attractions and restaurants. Next best for Europe, according to many people, are The Michelin Guides for France, Britain and Ireland, Spain and Portugal, Western Germany, and the Benelux countries. The gastronomic gospel according to the Michelin committee in Paris is laid out according to a star system. Three stars go to restaurants that are culinary paragons.
France has recently had only eighteen to twenty-one such restaurants. About ninety French restaurants receive two stars. Some 530 restaurants get the one-star accolade. In Michelin parlance a three-star rating means exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. Two stars denotes “excellent cooking, worth a detour. A one-star restaurant apparently is not worth going out of the way but very good cooking in its class.
The Michelin inspectors think very few three-star restaurants exist outside of France. No other country gets more than one or a few such ratings. The Michelin blogs have the virtue of experience; the First were published in 1900. They also contain maps, information on hotels, repair services and other travel information.
France Subway Map Photo Gallery
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