Lunch at L'Estaminet de L'Andouiller

When we think of French food, it’s cliché to think of gourmet food made with rich butter and plenty of cream. Then in France, especially in the very traditional towns, I observe that most people are in fact very slim and seem like they are in great health. How does this work out? Oh, the other very cliché part of French cuisine is imagining tiny portions on the plate.

During this summer I have been very lucky to be able to experience great homemade French food, at a home, every day. The truth is that the daily dishes were very high in salads and lower in meats. They were definitely low in creamy things or things bathed in fat. A little bit of butter can be spread on the bread. And plenty of gorgeous summer fruits were the normal for dessert.

That must be how the French people stay so slim!

One day during the weekend, however, we went for a ride into the amazing countryside to have lunch at L’Estaminet de L’Andouiller, in a village called Douriez. I had published this map in a previous post but I think Douriez was a bit blurry. I’ve circled it here in blue.

Map with Douriez

I would describe the food here as hearty traditional Northern French gourmet food. Everything was so tasteful. The heavier foods were lighter in portion. The proportions were just perfect to feel perfectly satisfied but not overly stuffed. I must say the prohibited D word, everything was Delicious. I had banned myself from writing this on my blog about my own food, but I think I must make exceptions for exceptional restaurants.

This is probably what we envision that the French people eat all the time, but this is what they eat once in a while.

Estaminet de l'Andouiller

As a starter I had a andouille (tripe) terrine baked with goats cheese and speculoos bread. After that I had stuffed quail with vegetable and French fries. Then some prune pudding for dessert. It may sound awfully heavy, but it was just perfect. Besides, evidently, I like eating a lot.

Tripe terrine

Chips

Prune cake

Just in case you would like to visit, here are the opening hours, or to be precise the closing days: Monday mornings and all day Wednesdays.

Opening hours

Inside

Thank you for reading!

Address: Michel Vasseur, 15 Place du Marché, 62870, Douriez, France // Telephone: + 33 03 21 90 41 53

26 Comments

  1. Bunny Eats Design 2014-08-26 at 00:37

    I think they eat a diet of real food. Less processed unidentifiable stuff, more things that were in a market mere hours ago.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:08

      I think thats the thing, it’s real food and it makes a huge difference!

      Reply
  2. Sunny 2014-08-26 at 00:50

    That is one hearty meal! I guess the “French food” people think about is fine dining, and most probably not the more homemade stuff?

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:08

      Yep I think you’re right!

      Reply
  3. Ngan R. 2014-08-26 at 01:52

    Yum! Everything looks great. As I looked at what you ate/are eating on your trip, I recall what I ate when I was in France. I think I was not adventurous enough to try terrines and quail, but I would now! Nice insight into the eating habits of French dining.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:10

      Haha Ngan, it’s not that I’m adventurous, by my trick was that I put my trust in Mr H to choose the dishes for me. All the dishes were marvellous but I let him pick what he thought I’d like, and he was 😉

      Reply
  4. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2014-08-26 at 02:42

    French techniques are the basics for AMAZING food and the heart of cooking in many modern kitchens. I loved your descriptions and the foods presented. I would eat this meal with you anyday!!!!!! 🙂 French food has a big range from rustic to high-end, but it is always great (good ingredients and preparation!). xx

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:11

      Yes I’d eat this with you too Shanna! That’s it, it’s good ingredients and preparation. Take care xxx

      Reply
  5. Amanda 2014-08-26 at 03:05

    Wow what a great post! I’ve always wondered about all of that. That restaurant is beautiful. Your meal looks amazing. Wow. I kind of want to follow you around! Enjoy and enjoy! I had the best meal i’ve ever had in Quebec. Rabbit, duck, salad…wine. Wonderful.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:16

      You’re so funny, want to follow me around 😉 Oh your meals sounds just wonderful too! xx

      Reply
  6. Sue 2014-08-26 at 04:22

    I love the inside of this restaurant!!! Now, have you read David Leibovitz’s books such as “My Sweet Life in Paris?” It is very funny in addition to being informative about the Parisian “way of life,” which would of course include eating. I don’t think French people really “pig out,” I think they seem to eat lots of real food, real fat, and smaller portions . . . I have some french and european friends and I swear they eat like birds compared to maybe Americans but they eat a bit of everything.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:17

      I haven’t read his books yet, though I do read his blog once in a while! Yeah, French people don’t pig out, and their very polite in fact when it comes to eating (and I read that in a David Leibovitz’s post too).

      Reply
  7. Dalo 2013 2014-08-26 at 04:41

    I’ve always wondered this, as when I have eaten French food, it is so rich and delicious and I stuff myself…I can’t help it. So I never could understand how they stay slim, so I assumed it was the wine, so I drank a lot of wine 🙂 It makes sense now, smaller portions and perhaps not always eating the creamy/rich French dishes. Sounds like you are in heaven with your travels!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:20

      That’s funny, wine isn’t exactly dieting. But as you say that, I was once in Poland and eating the most gigantic meal ever. I asked the Polish people how on earth do they eat such huge meals, and the answer was: well we keep on offering you vodka and you keep on saying no. The answer is to eat it with plenty of vodka. OK!!!
      Apart from that, I find that their creamy and fatty dishes are made in a minimally fat and creamy way, if that makes any sense?

      Reply
      1. Dalo 2013 2014-08-28 at 06:14

        That is funny, I had a similar experience in Poland…their vodka is quite good too! Your trip sounds great, enjoy ~ enjoy!

        Reply
  8. pianolearner 2014-08-26 at 18:25

    That first dish looks stunning! I think the french paradox is a fascinating subject.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:20

      It is a fascinating subject..

      Reply
  9. Guillermina Stover 2014-08-26 at 20:46

    As usual, your photos are superb! And about the concept of French food and French health, here is my opinion. They drink wine with their food; they RELAX when eating and thus spend a lot of time at the table talking and visiting; they used to take daily naps (don’t know if they still do); they walk a lot more than we in the U.S. of A…the list goes on and on. And yes, they do use REAL cream, REAL butter, REAL everything. And less processed food. This applies to all European countries, of course, but the French are FAMOUS for it!
    Gosh, do I miss Europe…especially SPAIN…oy vey…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:22

      I don’t think they take daily naps now. Now do the Spanish… But also you’re right there, it’s real cream and real butter, and that makes a big difference!

      Reply
  10. Guillermina Stover 2014-08-26 at 20:49

    Oh, I forgot to thank you for posting the address AND the hours for the restaurant! Very useful when we return to Europe for a visit!!!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 22:21

      Haha, de nada!

      Reply
  11. Liz 2014-08-27 at 04:59

    it all looks amazing. How lucky you are 🙂

    Reply
  12. Guillermina Stover 2014-08-27 at 07:16

    Another thought about French life: as most Europeans, they enjoy life. Their enjoyment of LIFE (including eating well, drinking wine, enjoying the ambiance as I mentioned before) comes first…they are, for the most part, NOT workaholics…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-27 at 16:10

      Tell me about it…

      Reply
  13. Patty Nguyen 2014-09-02 at 05:37

    What a great summer you’ve had, Sofia! I love it!

    Reply
  14. GretchenJoanna 2014-09-26 at 02:00

    I skimmed a paperback book a few years ago on the topic of why the French women are not fat, and one thing I learned is that it helps to eat your biggest meal in the middle of the day when your metabolism is at its peak. And all the other tips that people have mentioned here. 🙂 These food pictures make one want to cook and enjoy real food in a leisurely manner, that’s for sure.

    Reply

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