A ballad for Toulouse

This time the plane for Toulouse was taking off at 7:30, that meant I had to leave Mannheim at 5:30 to be one hour before departure at the airport in Frankfurt.   That could only be possible by waking up at 4:30.  When I arrived to the airport the first meal of that business trip took place.  Close to the entrance to the embarking zone A you find a Kamps (1) coffee and bakery store.  As usual I took my café-latte-croissant awaking formula.

coffee croissant Kamps Frankfurt airport

After crossing the security control area my attention was called by the name Leica on the showcase of an electronics store.  In my college days I was member of the photo club, I took pictures with an old and cheap Nikon FM10 and always dreamed about using one day the Rolls Royce of cameras.  On a special glass box was displayed the body of the new Leica M Monochrome (2) and a picture made with that camera.  That was food for the soul, a fantastic piece of optical engineering and a sample of its capabilities.  Good things are expensive, as you can read on the picture only the body costs more than 7000€, add a good lens to that and you can double that amount.  Well I guess I will keep on taking pictures with my smartphone for a while, yes the old film Nikon is not operational any more.

Leica store Frankfurt

The second meal of that trip was proposed on the plane.  A system composed by a portion of muesli and natural yoghurt.  The whole presented in a nice packaging.  You were supposed to extract the muesli from a cup and empty it on another cup half full of yoghurt.  While I was trying to open the packaging system I took a look to the nutrimental information and realized that this apparently healthy food contained 15 grams of sugar.  Something in my head made me stop and I decided to take only the black tea that a nice stewardess proposed.  After landing the colleague who was travelling with me and I found a café where we could wait for a third colleague coming from Belgium who was supposed to land a couple of hours later.  We ordered two coffees which were served with little bags of 5g of sugar; I confirmed 15g was really a lot.

5g of sugar

When the third colleague arrived we took a taxi to go to the customer facility, since we were one hour early we asked the Taxi driver to take us to some restaurant around the area.  He found a Buffalo Grill (3), a steak house.  I went for the steak Tartare (4) it was OK.  That taxi driver informed us that the next day all taxis in France would be on strike and in the case of Toulouse they would block the access to the airport beginning at 06:30 a.m..   He recommended that we arrive to the place before that time if we wanted to catch our flight back home.

Steak tartare Bufallo Grill

The visit to the customer was really long but interesting, after that another taxi took us to the hotel and the driver recommended to go for dinner at Emile(5) in the down town of Toulouse.  We did not plan to exactly follow that advise but curiously as we were walking in the city center trying to find any place that could be nice  we did find that restaurant.  We were amused by the coincidence and decided not to fight the destiny, even if our wallets started to get nervous but how many times do you have the chance to be in Toulouse and have a nice gastronomic experience?

The place is small but elegant; we were guided to a table on the second floor.  As aperitif we drank a glass of… sorry I completely forgot to write down that name, but it was tasty :-P



We were presented the menu which on the cover showed a “sanguine” (6) made by the artist Guy Coanut specially for the restaurant.  We went for the menu that included Foi gras de Canard mi-cuit (7)  and Cassoulet au confit de canard (8)  which originally was the recommendation of the taxi driver and proved him not to be wrong at all.

Sanguine Emile Toulouse

I love mineral water; one of my preferred brands is Badoit (9) so a bottle was ordered.  The recommendation regarding wine was a Cedre Heritage Malbec(10), we got a bottle from 2010, nice nice wine, as you can see on the picture a drop did escape, it’s loss made the rest of the bottle even more valuable to our hearts.

Wine Creche Hermitage Malbec










The foi de canard arrived; it literally melted in my mouth, little bread toasts were served with it.

foi gras de cannard


The tour the force met its peak when the cassoulet was served, a fantastic and strong mix of tradition and contemporary talent in a terracotta bowl.

Cassoulet de cannard

We knew we were in a gastronomic no way back trip and fearless we went for dessert, the scariest one, the one with the meaniest name, hold on to your seat,  I got a “tube marron/mandarine, noix caramelisees, coulis de griotte et sorbet mandarine”  An image can tell more than a thousand words right?  Does the picture impress you as much as the name?  not really?  Well the flavor did impress me.  Do visit Emile and check it by yourself.

Dessert Emile Toulouse

“Un déca s’il vous plait!”  Or in plain English a caffeine free espresso please.  I usually do not put sugar on my coffee, but look at the picture next to the espresso picture, those little “friandises” were proposed as compliment, sugar it was!









As we walked away from Emile we had valid arguments to understand the recommendation of the taxi driver and the presence of all those recognitions on the front of the place.

Emile Toulouse 01Emile Toulouse 02Emile Toulouse 03Emile Toulouse 04
















Next day as announced all taxi drivers were on strike.  The second advise from our friend last night had been to take a cab early enough to get to the airport before his colleagues block the area.  We did, together with thousands of travelers which not planning it had met for an early breakfast and crowded all restaurants in the airport.  That parade breakfast was a funny way to close that trip that had begun with a café latte and a croissant, why fix it when it works? “S’il vous plait, un café au lait et un croissant!”

caffee croissant Toulouse Airport

As usual some links for you.

(1) Kamps

(2) Leica M Monochrome

(3) Buffalo Grill

(4) steak Tartare

(5) Emile

(6) “sanguine”

(7) Foi gras de Canard mi-cuit

(8) Cassoulet au confit de canard

(9) Badoit

(10) Cedre Heritage Malbec

Mario Alvarez

About Mario Alvarez

On regular business trips since 1998, I was lucky and unlucky to eat at the best and not the best places in The Nafta Region and Europe while on the road.
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