This is the face of compromise!

As the mother of three boys between 7 and 13 years of age, feeding the little hooligans can be challenging, if not depressing.

To give them credit, I have to say they will try anything and sometimes like things you wouldn’t necessary expect them to. The younger two, for example, are mad about snails. We discovered this one night when I made a dozen each for Mum and Dad to enjoy and ended up having to fight the kids off with the pointy fork and special tongs only to have three snails ourselves, and our kids nine. Liam adores beetroot, Mathieu loves gherkins, olives and capers, and only last week Pierre tried his first oyster and promptly had three.

Yet, when it comes down to it, they have no appreciation whatsoever for home-cooked meals, hand-rolled brioche and the likes. What they want – what every kid seems to want – is fast food, industrial biscuits with ersatz-chocolate and refined sugar in large quantities. You want to make my kids happy? Announce you’re making fish fingers.

Today I had to go into town with my youngest for an appointment just around lunchtime. While I was craving sushi, he was pointing out every poster, every signpost indicating the presence of a certain fast-food joint with golden arches, just around the corner. What’s a mother to do?

I decided to navigate the city centre like the savvy woman I am by avoiding McDonald’s completely and heading for a little place called L’Atelier du Burger, Rue Gambetta, just around the corner from the Place du Capitole. Its selling points are fresh ingredients, local beef, artisan buns baked at a local bakery, hand-cut chips… On those points, they deliver. Prices are OK, with the cheapest burger at 6€90 to which you add 3€ for chips and a soft drink, €4 if you want a beer and €5 if you prefer wine.

The downsides:

  • The kids’ menu consists of a meat patty, chips and salad. No bun. Where’s the fun in that?
  • If you can at all, eat outside or in the front part of the tiny restaurant. I had a great view of the toilets, complete with eau de air freshener.

The food was fine. My main complaint with burgers, even home-made ones, is a lack of seasoning. Salt and pepper the meat, guys… the ketchup can’t do it alone.

Pierre was happy. He declared it the best restaurant in Toulouse. I still would have preferred some wakame, though. Maybe next time.

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