Anna and I know very limited French. We can say things like “I would like” or “the check please”, but when it comes to deciphering a French menu, we’re completely useless. Our inability to understand the menus here has been the source of much confusion and has helped us to create a fun new game.

Dinner Roulette. How you play: Look at a completely French menu, point at something random and hope that you don’t get liver. When the food comes out, take whatever the waiter gives you and then try to figure which dish is the one you actually ordered, once everyone has been served. The hard part is making sure that your family members don’t take your meal because it looks the best. When all you know is that you should be eating chicken there’s a lot of room to convince yourself that its not the chicken with stinky cheese.

Rules: no crying when you end up with something gross and you have to clean off your plate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat everything on your plate. There are plenty of ways to hide unwanted food; my mother is great at it (see blog post “So-long for Now Paris”). The pawning off of unwanted food has continued (see “Don’t feed the rats and don’t eat the fish). Last night my father very kindly offered me some of his food. I thought he was just being giving like he always is, but then I realized that he wanted me to take all of it. I saw the look of chagrin in my daddy’s eyes as my brother told me that my dad was in-fact eating duck gizzards ( or maybe even organs).

We have tried using our google translate app to decode these dinner-time mysteries, but when there is no English translation you just have to guess. There have been a few recognizable signature French dishes that we have enjoyed including but not limited to Coq au vin, creme brûlée, and of course foie gras. Saying that we enjoyed the Foie gras is a bit generous.

French Onion soup
That orange and green blob is an avocado covered in a mayonnaise sauce.
foie gras and apricot jelly

Dinner rouletted hasn’t turned out all bad, sometimes it’s a happy surprise. The other day Josh ordered two coffees and we got three instead. We have Come to the conclusion that Josh is just bad at pointing to things on the menu. Once when served a deep red wine we asked him what it was called. He replied “I don’t know, I thought I was ordering a white wine.”

This gourmet coffee that Melissa ordered for dessert. The only description on the menu (in English) was “according to the chefs humor.” Score for the Mel-belle with a baby creme brûlée AND mini cheese cake!

As long as you’re not a too picky eater, dinner roulette adds excitement to a normally mundane task. I suppose it adds excitement whether or not you’re a picky eater, it’s just if you’re a picky eater you may end up giving your food to your family members and starving yourself.

Right now we are in the lovely little town of Sarlat. I told my sister in law today that I think Sarlat means Goose-ville in English because every market and restaurant around are centered around geese (I don’t think Sarlat actually has an English translation). Wether they serve goose meat, sell canned foie gras, sell goose figurines or have brass statues of geese in the square, geese are everywhere. So long story short, you have to beware of ending up being served goose liver while playing dinner roulette in Sarlat.

The Goose statues in the ancient goose market.
canned foie gras in a little shop off the Main Street

So to all my friends with wonderfully comprehendible English menus back home, happy eating!


Be on the lookout for Anna”s next blog coming super soon. Read all about our awesome adventures in the Loire valley and the unexpected differences and similarities we’ve encountered while traveling abroad.

Join the Conversation


  1. Sounds. . .fun? LOL With all of my food allergies, I’d be in trouble. I hope you’re mother is able to find plenty of sustenance. I’ll be praying that all of your food guesses are amazing! ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bobbi, I eat a lot of salads, then I’m safe. I do try some nibbles of their interesting meals, but I did skip the plate of fish looking back at you. Thankfully it was lightly battered – my out. I know the word for cheese, so I always say, “No fromage, s’il vous plait..”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! When we can actually understand the menus it seams that French are actually more accommodating to gluten, dairy and sugar restrictions. All the food here is more natural and clean and has less ingredients hiding as fillers. Miss you!


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