Chinese Food in France (Helps with Homesickness)

Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans, whether you are actually celebrating it or not! This week is always hard for me because I’m usually rather homesick, more so than at Christmas since Christmas actually exists in France (albeit a less excessive form of the holiday… I need an overload of decorations, people!) Luckily we did something this week that helped with the homesickness: ate lunch at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant.

Eating out in France is not common for us since we can’t really afford it, but I make an exception for Chinese restaurants. If I could find a decent Mexican restaurant where I live, I would make an exception there too, but I’ve been having no luck finding one. Luckily there is a good Chinese restaurant near Chambéry with offers an all-you-can-eat buffet (buffet à volonté) and it reminds me of an American-style restaurant because it is huge:

Finding restaurants that serve more than French or Italian food can be hard outside of the large cities, and even in Indian or Moroccan restaurants, épicé is not what Americans would call spicy. Every time I travel I make sure to find a restaurant that serves food that I can’t find in the Alps, such as falafel and hummus. There’s only so much cheese and potatoes I can take, which is surprising because I really LOVE cheese and potatoes.

The lack of variety of food that we take for granted in the US is what makes me homesick often, and I’m not just talking about in restaurants. I would give anything to find frozen mini tacos in my local grocery store. There is usually one small section of international food, and even though you can find fajita kits, Asian soups and occasional British items, it just isn’t the same. Luckily Picard offers more choices in the frozen food department (bagels!), but some days I just really want some nachos, you know?

For now I’ll take advantage of the Chinese restaurant and its side of the highway exterior and non-French decor.

Le Palais Cantonais is just outside of Chambéry, on the borders of Barberaz and La Ravoire. Lunch is 13€ and dinner is slightly more, but there is more food available in the evening (and karaoke on weekends!). Plus they accept tickets-restaurant, so thanks French government for paying for half of my lunch.

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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