Approximately 70% of the French eat at least once a week outside the door. Eating in a restaurant happens a lot during what is called lunch in the Netherlands. People then enjoy the repas, while wine is still drunk in the countryside. That happens less and less in the restaurants in the cities. The most drunk drink in France is mineral water. In the weekend and on public holidays a special event is made of the Sunday lunch (déjeuner). From twelve to three is then under the pans. The kitchens in the restaurants open later in the evening than in the Netherlands. At half past eight you can go to a restaurant in the evening.
It is also worth mentioning that a menu d’ouvrier can often be taken during the week. For little money you have a good meal with soup, starter, hoof and dessert. Wine and coffee are often included.
Some restaurants in the neighborhood
Workers on the land do not have breakfast, they use at most a small cup of black coffee or bread in a large bowl of coffee with a lot of milk. By eight o’clock the farm workers go to the farm and then take a substantial breakfast. Bread (the national folk food), meat, sausage (charcuterie) etc. At twelve o’clock the main meal follows (le repas – our ‘hot food’), which consists of meat, vegetables, (stick) bread, cheese, dessert, coffee. And of course wine. The women and sometimes children often drink the wine with some water. The latter get some biscuits (le goûter) in the afternoon when they come home from school. In the evening there is supper. A light meal with some lettuce, soup and some bread.
In the city usually no breakfast, at most a cup of coffee. Croissants are hardly ever eaten at home. That is done in a café. The lunch (no repas) exists for the office people from a sandwich. Many employees also receive vouchers from the company to use the lunch, le déjeuner, somewhere in the city. Also a kind of hot meal, but a bit lighter than in the countryside and not always with wine. Business lunches are extensive and arrosés, sprinkled. But that too will be less.
There is a large repas that can last from noon to noon. Starters (patés, terrines, soups), meat dishes (often wild), occasional dishes, salads, other vegetables, lots of cheese, sweet desserts and digestifs. Everything richly sprayed with the better wine (table wine is for the week) and always with baguette. Especially the men use that bread for everything: to satisfy the first hunger, to neutralize the mouth when another wine is passed and as cutlery to clean the plate.