Parthenay (16th May 2012)Le Drapeau Bar-Brasserie 75 Boulevard de La Meilleraye 79200 Parthenay
This did not claim to be a restaurant b ut a bar-brasserie. As such it had a limited brasserie menu of salads, steak frites, croque monsieur and the like, but it was obviously doing something right as on a slightly chilly day in May the interior was completely full at lunchtime and there were a couple of dozen office workers braving the outside terrace so we joined them. The secret of their success was their Plat du Jour which was a lamb tagine with couscous and salad. Virtually every customer was having this dish and having smelt a delicious aroma as a couple of plates went past us we ordered the same. It was as good as it looked – and smelt! 2 or 3 meltingly tender lamb steaks in an excellent mildly spicy sauce with a mixture of fruit and vegetables. The menu du jour on offer – at 12 euros – included an entree of choice and a lemon meringue pie to follow but the plat du jour was so generous that we forewent any extra courses and the tagine with a pichet of bordeaux and coffee cost just 24 euros. A good place to eat, centrally placed at the end of the Wednesday market, offering exceedingly good unpretentious food, friendly and efficient service and excellent value.