Postcard from Toulouse, France: Flavors with a different accent

Above: Vegetarian version of the generous planches found at Prosciutteria

When traveling and eating out every day, sometimes you crave breaking out of the regional mode. A wild abundance of vegetables was our goal when we ducked into Prosciutteria on Rue des Filatiers. We found ourselves well-rewarded with a vegetarian appetizer board, so abundant we shared and ordered nothing else. Well, aside from wine. Subsequently, we found their salads and bruschetone equally as fresh and good.

Rue des Filatiers was our neighborhood, so we tried several other casual spots there as well, all with fine street-side people-watching opportunities. We found ourselves grabbing amply filled empanadas to-go for cocktail-hour snacks from El Almacen – Empanadas. Miss Fish appeared to be brand new, or only recently reopened, and boasted a nice variety of seafood. It seems a place that should prove particularly popular with British travelers missing their fish and chips.

Show-stealing seafood was found at C. Viche, which also seemed new. We enjoyed a tuna ceviche spiced up a notch with chorizo and a beautiful, colorful Peruvian one. The sides were not mere starchy after-thoughts but flavorful additions – mashed potatoes enriched by the flavor of shitake mushrooms and a Thai rice with plenty of ginger. The lemon coconut cake was a perfect end to the meal.

Both the menu and the restaurant are large at Curry Café, with a long row of outside tables stretching down an alley-like side street. Our visits there started out with complimentary Curry Café cocktails, light and refreshing after our walks. Samosa-like Bengali singara and deep-red-sauced eggplant beignets were nice starters for our vegetarian feasts. Our first encounter was so good, we returned. But we made an ordering error the second time. We should know better by now, but, being hot-sauce-trained Texans, we ordered our food spicy. The chef complied. Not sure what region of India he or she is from, but the heat was way too intense for us. Definitely go there if you are hankering for a change, but we recommend that even Texans stick with the medium-spiced option.

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