“Chez Mimi”

Posted: July 3, 2017 in Food, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A visit to France immediately elicits thoughts of food.  The pairing is as inevitable as France and wine, visions of stars dancing in heads, little bistros in Paris, bouillabaisse in Marseille, Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas in Provence (or rosé when it’s too hot), and, of course, croissants and pain au chocolat.

The good news is that you can find wonderful food (and better prices) in the hinterlands of France.  In tiny Mélisey (less than 2,000 inhabitants) in the Vosges and closer to German and Switzerland than to Paris or Provence, you can find memorable meals at Café Auberge, familiarly known as Chez Mimi after, I believe, the wife of the couple who owns and runs the restaurant.

The space is small (although there’s another room), but has the feel of a good bistro anywhere in the country.  As you can see, in addition to meals, there are other delights on offer.  Cheeses, chocolate, and coffee are just three and many offerings are regionally produced.

© janet m. webb

Although there are a few other choices, you’ll find yourself happy to take the menu of the day: a first course, main course, and dessert for…are you sitting down?…14 Euros!  At today’s exchange rate, that’s maybe $15 for mostly regional a/o organic, and always carefully prepared, food.

We had three or four meals here, but between just eating and feeling a bit odd taking photos of my food, I didn’t take many photos until the last meal.  The meal began with a carrot salad and pork slices. That doesn’t sound so special, but the carrots were heirloom, full of sweetness and topped with a tasty dressing, accompanied by full-flavor tomatoes, the kind you remember or dream of.  And don’t forget the cornichon!  The pork slices were amazingly flavorful and we would have been happy to have another plate of these, then just rest happily.  (It makes my mouth water just to see the photo!) However, there was more to come.

© janet m. webb

The main course was steak (a lot of it underneath the carrots and pasta), more carrots, and fresh pasta, all with another tasty sauce.  What more needs to be said? 

© janet m. webb

Dessert was of modest size (thankfully, as we were fairly full), but enormous in taste: strawberries in a small pastry/shortbread shell on strawberry coulis.  The owner told us (translated for me by my s-i-l, as I speak hardly any French and he spoke no English), that he had been worried that the pastry was to dry, but that wasn’t the case.  As you can see, I started before realizing that I want to memorialize the entire meal.

© janet m. webb

This was lunch, which meant that we didn’t have to eat much in the evening.  Evening prices here are more than 14 Euros, but still plenty of food bang for your Euro buck.  My s-i-l and b-i-l had an Easter dinner here that sounded divine and she signed them up for an upcoming special feast that, unfortunately, was after I’d left.

If you get to this part of France, it’s worth your while to make a stop here.  You’ll find Café Auberge at 11 route de Ronschamp, 70270 Mélisey, 0384632146 or 0660063974.  They’re closed on Monday.


  1. Su Leslie says:

    Wonderful! I love genuinely local cafes and restaurants that work with good produce and respect it. The heirloom carrots sound divine!

    • Su, my s-i-l was very skeptical about a carrot salad, but she loved it, too. It was ironic, as I’d been telling her about the heirloom organic carrots I buy in the grocery store here. Shredding is a nice way to serve them.


  2. ksbeth says:

    oh, this all looks so wonderful –

  3. Tina Schell says:

    I think the food in the more remote areas of France is unbelievably good. So fresh and creative – my mouth was watering just reading your post and seeing the photos!

  4. Marvelous and reminds me of the fabulous ingredients that is found in French countryside.

  5. I have enjoyed every prix fixe repas I’ve had. Yours looked and sounded really delicious! Miam!

    • It was, Deborah. I think it makes sense to go with the meal of the day, as it’s likely to be the freshest and most possibly the most inspired.


  6. I took lots of photos of our foods when we were in Europe, and did feel a bit odd about it, but the food was half of the fun of our visit. Especially in places that didn’t have English translations on them, lol. We often got surprised with our guesses at what to eat!

    • I usually do, too, Madison, but this place was so small and, truth be told, I often started eating before I thought about it. 🙂 As my s-i-l speaks fluent French, I always knew what I was getting, but it could still be a surprise in how good (or not so good) it was.


  7. anne leueen says:

    Delicious dishes!

  8. Dan Antion says:

    I am so hungry now !!

  9. de Wets Wild says:

    Looks scrumptious, Janet!

  10. joey says:

    Wonderful! My mouth waters over the carrot-heavy dish, and oh, your dessert! Berries are one of the best things about summer. 🙂

  11. marianallen says:

    You make me want to fly to France, just to eat Chez Mimi!

  12. […] I saw these in Mélisey as we walked back to our parking spot after yet another wonderful lunch at Chez Mimi.  What a glorious […]