Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Nora's is no more.

We went there some months ago to have lunch. When we got to the front and peered in, a workman inside returned our impertinent stare and resumed his job. The place had been almost emptied.

We liked Nora's. Not just for the food (which was good), but because we would - if everything went well - be treated badly. (”I'd like an Italian soda, please”. “Monsieur, this is a
French restaurant, we don't serve Italian sodas”.) It was the closest we'd found in our area to a real French cafe; we looked forward to eating there and being treated badly.

The pièce de résistance for me was the coffee. Nora's served really good, strong, smooth French roast. Each serving was brewed individually in a large cup with a wonderful crema. It satisfied my caffeine addiction wonderfully.

On that last occasion we wandered up the street in search of another place for lunch. We came across Café Brioche. It was crowded. At first glance it looked promising. So we decided to give it a try. How bad could it be?

It was bad. Definitely not like Nora's in quality or atmosphere. The MOD was definitely not French, nor was the staff. And we were decidedly not treated badly. The food was odd, at best. And the coffee - mon Dieu - was poor. While suitably strong it was very acidic. I didn't finish it.

We settled the tab, and left - disappointed and dejected.

Time has not allowed us to seek out a suitable replacement. Surely the French expats have found another place by this time!

Meanwhile, with fond memories of Nora's, we sigh with hope and anticipation.

There must be another Nora's. Like Shangri-La it exists somewhere, hidden, on the peninsula.

We just have to find it.