Monday, April 02, 2007

Brasserie Le Donjon, Carcassonne

Carcassonne, the medieval city of all medieval cities (can you tell? I haven’t been to that many!). This place is magnificent from a distance, but maybe not as charming close up. The problem – tourists! Even in the off-season, during the day, Carcassonne’s Cité (the fortified old town) was overrun by tourist groups, making it unpleasant in some of its little narrow side streets. I hate to imagine what it would be like in summer during the peak tourist season!

Nevertheless, after all the tourist groups had gone on to visit the next old, charming French town on their 500-stop in 5 days itinerary, the Cité was extraordinarily peaceful in the evenings.

In terms of food, the region around Carcassonne is well known for its cassoulet, a rich mixed stew of haricots blancs (white beans), duck, saucisson (sausage) and other assorted meats (who knows what really goes in there?).

Given the number of tourists in Carcassonne, the restaurants can be very hit-and-miss! The Cité is full of restaurants; most you’d rather be missing than hitting! We ended up in Le Donjon for lunch one afternoon.
While it’s a little too “meaty” for me, Hubs indulged in a tastebud-awakening belly-exploding velvety cassoulet, dripping with calories no doubt!

I on the other hand, was eager to make up for the half-frozen salmon from the other day, and went for the salmon again. This time however, the salmon was perfectly grilled and Hubs left the restaurant dragging his belly along with him!

The service on the other hand, despite the restaurant being half empty, progressed at the pace of a well-grilled shell-less snail, that is to say, it was at a standstill! If the waiters moved any slower, they would have been working in reverse! This doesn’t mean however that they weren’t pleasant enough, just bloody slow.

Anyway, the verdict for Le Donjon in Carcassonne:

Restaurant décor: Cozy and dark, with a nice airy glass ceiling terrace section on the inside.
Service: 1 wooden spoon (they were nice)
Total damage: 34.90EUR
Food: 3 wooden spoons (a bit on the expensive side, but to be expected in touristy places)


  1. This salmon looks cooked just right! Flaky texture. I think I need to start sauteing my salmon. I always grill them and end up with those "white stuff" (albumen proteins) showing up...arrgh...edible...but just looks ugly...

  2. I usually just pan-fry my salmon with lemon pepper.

    When I'm in Europe, I just adapt my pace to slow. I don't expect American-level speediness in service. Or maybe it's b/c I'm on vacation so I don't get too bothered by it. :)

  3. Tigerfish: I have the same problem when I grill my salmon only I didn't know it was "albumen proteins" - I always thought it was fat!

    Wandering Chopsticks: Service is slower here but at that restaurant, it was even slower than the normal slow!

  4. hahaha, were the waiters old or something? your description made me laugh! :) it's a pity i didn't know beforehand that you were going to be in carcassonne, i know another malaysian girl living there, could've introduced you to her. She regularly comments on my blog under the nick of "cheesewithaspoon".

  5. Shilpa, they were actually quite young waiters - that was the problem. They kept chatting away to themselves which is why they took so long!


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