Flirting with the waiter


Le Blé Noir
Pete, Bill, and Gaynor at Le Blé Noir restaurant, Carcassonne

Before we made our first trip to France a long time ago, we tried to read all that we could about how to make your visit especially enjoyable. One of the most curious tips was to flirt with your waiter. Although the article was written by a woman, she was careful to point out that flirting had nothing to do with the gender of the server but all about rapport and that it’s a two-way street. The last time we were in Paris we showed up at 7:00 PM without a reservation just as the restaurant was opening so naturally the place was empty. In my best French I explained that we had not booked in advance but could we please have a table. The gentleman who greeted us looked around, then back at us with a sad face, and then promptly placed us in the window seat facing the sidewalk. By 8:00 PM every seat was taken and we still remember the meal and the wonderful service.

In Carcassonne we think we have found a similar place. We had been in Spain for a few days so naturally the language from there was still on our minds when we arrived in France. We walked into Le Blé Noir, a crepe restaurant, to make a reservation which was going fine in French until we got to the number of people for dinner. I said cuatro instead of quatre so the gentleman, who turned out to be the owner, started talking Spanish to us. Then when we arrived for the meal he managed to converse with us in every language except French so back came the Spanish, then English, German, maybe Dutch, and saying goodnight in Russian. His restaurant is listed as the third best in Carcassonne on a well-known user rating website, for which Bill happens to have written hundreds of reviews, and now I know why.