18 June 2011

Patisserie vs. Viennoiserie

I'm on the train leaving the station in Bordeaux and I had to write about my three day breakfast adventure in Bordeaux.

Day 1:

(of course this is all in French)
Me: decaf with cream Monsieur and do you have a chausson aux pommes? (specific apple breakfast item)

Waiter: No, I think there is one chocolate croissant left

(he brings me the coffee and the pastry and all is fine)

Day 2:

(I decide to get creative and ask for pastry in general so I can potentially have more choices)
Me: Decaf with cream and do you have any patisseries?
Waiter: Patisserie or Viennoiserie?
Me: (not knowing the difference after being married to a Frenchman for 5 years) Patisserie.
Waiter: brings me a menu with nothing on it but lemon and apple tarts
Me: but do you have an apple or chocolate pastry?
Waiter: ah, you meant Viennoiserie! (he doesn't have any left but sends me next door to a shop where I can buy one and bring it back to the restaurant to eat it - this is a very nice gesture)

Day 3:

Me: Decaf with cream and do you have any Viennoiserie?
Waiter: Yes, we have a plain croissant or a chocolatine.
Me: I'll have the chocolatine.

I sat back, took a breath, surveyed the beautiful park next to the cafe, and felt like I had conquered a very small bit of the language barrier.

And the chocolatine was delicious!

Location: Bordeaux

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