Monday 23 July 2007

Le Brin de Zinc, Rue Sainte Catherine, Orleans, France

Big, buzzy, old-fashioned bistro spread across several shopfronts with tables inside and outside on a pedestrianised street just off Orleans' main square. Each of the inside rooms has a different feel, but all are cluttered with prints and artifacts. The house speciality is a huge bowl of salty mussels with one of six or so different sauces. The Moules de Bleu, which are adorned with a hefty dollop of heart-stopping Roquefort cheese, are particularly good. However, the accompanying chubby, greasy chips let the dish down somewhat. If you are watching your salt intake, the salmon lasagna comes with a respectable side salad. For kids, the menu de enfants is good value at 8 euros for two courses and a drink, but there isn't a healthy option - choose from steak and chips, chicken and chips or mussels and chips, followed by chocolate mousse or ice cream. Service is efficient, but sometimes surly. 6/10