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A Surprisingly Good Meal in Carcassonne--Restaurant Cinq

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Meals in major tourist villages are not usually the high points of one's visit, and most restaurant menus have a tedious sameness about them. To our surprise, in the midst of all the medieval kitsch of Carcassonne, we found a refreshingly modern little place that served very decent food.

After scanning half-a-dozen menus in search of dinner, I noticed the alluring words "frites maison" and figured that any place that would go to the trouble of making its own fries would probably offer a better meal than the usual tourist trap. And I do believe I was right. Two of us had the "millefeuille de brandade et sobrasada" which was actually several thin layers of tasty chorizo alternating with a nice brandade. With a bit of bread and the accompanying fresh, lightly dressed salad, it was an ideal light dinner. DH has a beautifully crisp duck confit, and a friend had a salad topped with tender heap of richly flavored goose gizzard confit. And, of course, there were the fries: hand-cut, crisp and golden on the outside, moist and sweet on the inside--best frites I had this trip, and first thing I'd eat if I am ever in the Carcassonne area again.

Restaurant Cinq (after its address, 5 Place du Petit Puits, La Cite--11000 Carcassonne) is tucked away in a corner of the little square, and it has a nice little patio in the back. Tel. 04 68 77 14 93.

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