Saturday, May 16, 2015 – our first good meal. Off to the mas

The day broke crystal clear and windy.

We made the drive to the dialysis center in Salon in 40 minutes, as the early morning Saturday traffic was light.

David returned at 11:30, mumbling about traffic, which apparently had gotten a lot worse as the morning wore on. In any event, we made our way back to Maussane, hampered only by a guy on a bike who was being followed by a “back-up” or support car, as they do in the big bike races. Unlike the reaces, this guy was traveling very slowly, and his back-up car was basically blocking the road so that no one could pass. Finally, after crawling through Mouries, the biker pulled off the road and his car pulled partially off, letting the long line of cars go past.

We arrived at Fd2 and were greeted by a local artist who was exhibiting her work. Inside, there is a small shop with ceramics and knick-knacks, then you enter the restaurant. I was attracted by the ceramic cookware – big casseroles, etc., but it would be hard to get them home. Maybe we can arrange shipping and get a bunch. Something to explore.

We enjoyed our kirs while perusing the menu. The place quickly filled up, with those arriving without reservations given the option of dining outside or coming another time. The place is always booked, according to Christine.

I selected the steak bernaise, cooked bleu (mooing). It was done to perfection. David started with fresh local asparagus which was wonderful – tender and flavorful. He followed with the steak tartare, which he said was the best he had enjoyed in a long time. Both our dishes came with a small side of excellent frites. We never have desserts, but Flo’s are always superb and light, so David had tarte aux framboise and I had the Baba bouchon. Both were superb.

Finally a really excellent meal. We noted that Fd2 was now serving Sunday brunch (brunch has caught on big time in France) and toyed with coming back the next day to enjoy it. We opted not to, as we have another Sunday in the area so would save it for then.

Then it was back to the cave and some time with Christine and Philippe. It is always enjoyable being with them, and we filled the next two hours with catching up on all the news and playing ball with Fred, their wonderful dog. Fred brings the ball back to you, then stands in front of you and drops the ball, which in dog means, “okay, I brought the ball back. Now it’s your turn to throw it.” Fred being Fred, he dropped the ball in my purse. I dutifully retrieved it and tossed it for him. What a delight. Makes us miss Lucy.

Then it was off to the mas to get settled there. We dropped off our suitcases, and headed to the roundabout in Orgon to shop at the new Intermarché. The builders had cleverly decided to make it almost impossible to find the entrance to the parking lot, so we drove around for 5-10 minutes. We could see the cars parked, but could not find an entrance. Finally, we found a road part way up the route Orgon, and pulled into the lot.

The market is nice, but not as extensive or upscale as the one in St. Remy. The cheese and meat selections were somewhat limited – no old Comté or jambon a los, and we couldn’t find any good olive oils. We got almost everything on our list and headed down the route Orgon to the mas. They have been repaving the route for the last year, and it is now smooth end to end, which is great.

We stopped at Domaine Valdition for a six-pack of rosé, then to the mas where we unloaded and stowed everything. We thought at this point we deserved a carafe of wine at the Café du Centre, so headed down the road. Crystelle greeted us back and brought “the usual.” David went into the alimentaire for celery and good olive oil, then we settled back to relax.

After a bit, it was back to the mas. A light snack, and to bed, to get ready for our first full day in the mas.





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