French roadside cafe selling €13 meals wins prized Michelin star (but there's a twist)

The Local France
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French roadside cafe selling €13 meals wins prized Michelin star (but there's a twist)
Photo: Google Street view

There's nothing quite like a Michelin star to boost interest in your establishment - and that's exactly what the team at a down to earth roadside cafe in central France learned this week.


The Bouche à Oreille cafe, a favourite lunchtime stopover for workers, in the town of Bourges, offers cheap and cheerful French classics like moules frites and boeuf bourgignon for as cheap as €13.

And while it may not look like much of a fine dining establishment, the online 2017 Michelin guide awarded it the prestigious star of culinary excellence in its latest guide released last week. 

Then the customers came flocking to eat at the diner on Route de la Chapelle. 

"I’m starting to get snowed under, I have these new customers who want tables of two, three and four but at the same time I have all my regular customers," the owner Véronique Jacquet told Le Parisian. "The problem is we don't have a big area and we only have four hands."

But the rush may only be temporary.

As it turns out it was all a mistake, because the prized Michelin star was meant for another restaurant of the same name on a very similarly named street - Rue de la Chapelle - but in the very different town of Boutervilliers, to the south of Paris. 

"When we heard about the mix up we laughed about it," owner told The Local. "Michelin rang us to tell us it was a mistake," she added.

Order has since been restored, with Michelin giving the star back to the right restaurant, where diners will have to fork out a little more for a meal.

For €48 clients can dine on a haute cuisine menu offering ray wing and lobster tart. 

The accidental star, however, proved to be a happy mistake for the bistro owners, who have become the darlings of the French media and who say they won't let the sudden fame go to their head.

And it doesn't mean their food is not worth checking out if you are ever in Bourges.

"I'm going to continue to work just like before. The spirit here is that our door is open to everyone. We make quick food, home-made, buffets, plat du jours and desserts," Jacquet told France Bleu.



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