Relais de l’Entrecôte.

Here’s a great idea for a restaurant, how about just having one dish, there’s no menu because there’s no choice, there’s no vegan option, no gluten free, it’s perfect, it’s brilliant, it’s steak and chips with an amazing sauce!

And people line up every night there and the place is always packed. For decades the Relais de l’Entrecôte formula has ensured it’s success; a green salad with walnuts, tender sirloin accompanied by its famous secret sauce and its matchstick fries.
The line was long and took me an hour, fortunately, I arrived early and was able to get a place in line so that when Elo arrived we would be ready. A waiter came out to the line and said, how many are you? I said ‘deux personnes s’il vous plaît’, and followed her in, briskly manoeuvring between the tables crammed closely together. We arrived at the table and I explained in basic french that my friend was arriving soon. Not good enough – and she indicated that I should follow her back out.
So, there I was back in the line again, but at least I was at the front. Elo arrived a few moments later and we got a table, actually in a much better spot, with a view outside.
They have been serving this single meal since 1959 and I guess it’s now in every guidebook – there were many Americans in the line moaning about having to wait, but never-the-less, they stayed there in line.
Elo explained to me there are only women waiters. They all wear their smart matching outfits and many work there their whole lives and are paid very well, and apparently, many of them live together in the same houses. To get a job there you need to be in the network . They are all super efficient serving up the steak, it’s on your plate within a few minutes of sitting down, it’s a well-oiled machine.
It was a nice surprise to see they do a double serving. Once you finish your steak, and wow, that sauce!, they put another steak on your plate and a heap more fries.
When it comes to desserts there is some choice, and what desserts they are.

Author: Tony Richards

This was originally a travel journal to share with family and friends but when home again it became a general blog about anything that came to mind – but now I'm travelling again, this time wandering the streets of Italy – do check in. Ciao baby!

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