So what's for breakfast? Breakfast in a French hotel will seldom be a big deal. Normally it will consist of the basics, namely coffee or tea, bread and a croissant with butter, jam and fruit juice. If you are lucky it might also include cornflakes, boiled eggs and fruit, all for for around €12. In large towns (like Auxerre) if you go to the local bar you should be able to get the basics as described above for €6 and still have €6 left in your pocket. Outside of large towns stick to the hotel.
Now that the most important meal of the day is out of the way, let's consider the rest:
It can sometimes be difficult to find vegetables on the menu of a French restaurant, but this can be resolved by choosing a salad or asking the waiter for extra vegetables; just don't be surprised if you get an odd look. The majority of French menus will use the best of local produce and should include a range of:
The menu of the day, normally chalked on a board outside, will be great value. This will be available Monday to Friday 12:00 to 14:00 and you may be able to get three courses with a local wine for €12 or less. Vegetarian dishes are available but often unimaginative (think omelette, mushroom pizza).
Burgundy is spelt Bourgogne in French. You will find it in local dishes which may or may not (but often do) include the red wine of the same name. So Salade Bourgogne will have at its centre an egg poached in red wine, beef casseroled in red wine is Boeuf Bourguignon and Coq au Vin is based on chicken in red wine. Other local specialities include
- Dijon mustard
- Snails (escargot)
- Rosette de Lyon - a coarse, dry pork sausage
- Andouillette - a small, coarse, pork tripe sausage (an acquired taste!)
- Cervelas - a split beef, pork and bacon sausage
- Parsley flavoured ham
- Gougère - a savoury choux pastry
- Game (in season) such as pheasant and wild boar
- A wide range of cheeses.
On the Yonne you will find few menus translated into good English, though many guide books giving you a helping hand on food for a more detailed food/translation guide then look at the book below.