Day 128 of 400: Sauternes, Langon and Bazas – France
We discovered a few of the small villages within the southern Bordeaux area today. Our first stop was the Lillet distillery in Podensac. The large red & white building stood out amongst the other stores on the main street and has been there since 1872. We were welcomed right away and tasted two of the reserve aperitif bottles. We opted for the red which had a distinct flavor, different from any other aperitif we’d tried.
We continued driving through the countryside and taking pictures on our way to the village of Langon. We parked and walked around a bit. Next to the bakery was a store with a sign that said, Pate de Canard. We recognized the words as being foie gras (duck liver). We went inside to find shelves full of canned pate of different quality. Giff insisted on buying a couple of cans to taste. The thought of canned liver is not exactly appetizing to me but we have the pate now and at some point will pull it out to taste.
Leaving Langon, we drove towards Chateau Roquetaillade which we were told was one of the most famous château’s in this area and has been lived in by the same family for over 700 years. When we arrived, it was closed to the public for the day but we were able to see the outside and take some pictures.
It was near dinner time so we headed over to an old medieval town called, Bazas. There were several houses dating back to the 16th century and in the main square the large gothic cathedral stood out…it dated back to the 13th century. We walked through the small narrow streets looking in the windows of the closed boutiques before sitting down for dinner.
Let’s talk about this dinner we had…I think whenever one is going to criticize, we are supposed to give a compliment first correct? The owner whom didn’t speak a word of English was very friendly. The food however was, how do I put this…nasty. We had been told to go to this city specifically for a steak…that the Bazas cows were actually named after this town. We wanted to try the best steak in Bordeaux and this restaurant was recommended. The problem is that there was a set menu (which is quite common in restaurants of France) of three courses. The appetizer course was set up as a buffet…there were various dishes to taste. The table had things like canned beets, couscous, sliced ham, cold mussels in a red sauce etc. We forced a small amount down our throat not wanting to waste the food on our plate. The second course had three options…all in French. We recognized one option which was poulet (chicken), we didn’t come here for chicken so we ordered the two other dishes assuming one was a steak. The entrée arrived…Giff’s was a pork chili with french fries and mine was a thin pork chop drenched in butter (I am not using the word drenched lightly) and french fries. Now…the restaurant itself was cute with several small tables and pictures all over the walls of these Bazas cows. Why in the world was there no beef on the menu? Again, we forced a small amount of the food down before dessert. Dessert was a slice of hot apple pie without ice cream and a chocolate mousse.
We paid our bill and on the way out the owner asked that we taste his home-made rum…again very nice of him but after a small sip…not tasty.
We got back in our car to drive home…we debated on throwing up our food but didn’t.