-0.2 Le Faitout*, 23 rue Simon-Bolivar in the 19th, 01.42.08.07.09, closed Mondays (Metro: ah, maybe Pyrenees, #26 bus better) was a place I had on my list, I admit it, I confess, it was there, right there on he list and I will not blame my fellow blogger Aude Baron for putting it into my pigeon brain. When I was stretched to come up with a place in the 19th where an impressive new pastry chef worked that she could get to during her lunch break and after my first idea fell thru (ever heard of a place open every night but only lunches on weekends?), I came back to Le Faitout*, so John, what's this asterisk stuff all aboit, some Roger Maris* thing? Minute papillon.
I enter gasping for breath exactly on time (I knew she had only a 1.15 hour break) and survey the surround; it's a dump, really a dump, what have I done? The banquette seat is patched with duck-tape (which stops the spring inside from pronging you where you haven't asked to be pronged), the toilet has no seat and they bring water in a wine bottle without being asked. At this point, my friend Greg, would whisper or maybe even shout "RUN AWAY!" Ah, but I didn't.
I've quoted my father, who frequently said "yah gets what yah pays for" but my mother would reiterate time and again that "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It was that sort of a childhood that leads to this sorry story. So I'll be nice.
I ordered "defensively," that is, things that even a crappy hash house couldn't screw up. First, frogs' legs provencale, a no-brainer except that they were on the border between tasteless and inedible (Dad "you dumb jerk" said fondly, trust me; Mom "the chopped cooked tomatoes were very nice," which they were, indeed they were outstanding). And then I recalled last night Channel 2 piece on the fact that almost 100% of what's served in restos comes sous-vide or frozen or dessicated from emporia like Metro.
Madame had an enormous salad with a block of chevre/courgettes lasagna that she did her best to have half of. And I had the priciest piece of beef on the menu with a supposed Sechuan pepper sauce (1.5 E and 1.0 E more than the others offered), ordered "BLU" - (My father - "Ach du lieber" aka "you got yourself into this;" my mother "Oh Johnnie, aren't the fresh, uncooked, nicely sliced vegetables tasty and gratinated potatoes superb?," which I must admit they were. End result; I schlepped 98.5% of the beef out the door into the poubelle after eating my veggies.
Dessert? Are you kidding?; sorry Mom, "Thank you, the tomatoes, carrots, squash and other vegetables were wonderful." Iowan Dad: "Well, it was beef, beef can't be bad unless it was from Nebraska."
The bill, with a bottle of quite decent wine of the moment, awful bread, so-so coffee and indifferent if not sullen service by a waitperson sporting the name of either her lover or self in technicolor in half-view, was 55.50 E; ah Dad, you were right "yah gets what yah pays for."
Go? I'm the parent and grandparent and even the "decider" now and I say "no way."
*Faitout means stewpot, appropriate? I dunno'.