cheap eats

Situated south of the city center, and around the corner from our apartment, lies Grand Rue Saint-Michel. It’s a residential quarter popular with students and although it can be kind of seedy, it’s also where Daniel and I do all of our grocery shopping and get great, inexpensive meals.

We walked along Saint-Michel our first night in Toulouse in search of dinner. It was Sunday night and we were worried that if we waited any longer, everything would be closed. We found a kebab shop and it hit the spot!

Since then, we’ve been back for all kinds of ethnic food. I’ll start with Dan’s favorite, Le Sud d’Asie.


It’s a combination of Chinese and Vietnamese items like dumplings, rangoons, and spring rolls lined up inside a case. You choose a variety of things and then take a seat while they warm or fry them up for you. We picked out 2 pork wontons, 2 samosas, 2 chicken kebabs, and a beer to split. We were a little hungover that afternoon and all that fried, golden goodness was the remedy we needed. Plus a little hair of the dog. A+ for speed and service.

One of my favorite places to go, especially on Sundays when we’re lazy, is a kebab place with an Indian twist. It’s called Delicious Vitamins and has the classic kebab-shaped neon sign. I always order chicken tikka wrapped in warm cheese naan and served with the hottest, crispiest french fries with Chili Thai sauce on the side. A+ for fusion and those fries that made this American shed a tear.


Then one night, we were craving sushi so we dropped into Yaki Zakana and ordered up this –


The boat load of sushi plus a plate of pot-stickers meant we about needed to be rolled out the door. What really made this visit memorable though were the glasses of sake we ordered. In the bottom of the small glass, was a marble


And then once sake was poured in –


A naked woman with a dildo appeared! A+ for being exotic and erotic.

Finally, I can’t conclude this post without mentioning Kilin, our favorite restaurant for a full-service, dine-in Chinese meal. Chinese food in the States can be disappointing – weird cuts of meat in a gooey sauce that ultimately leaves you feeling like the lo mein noodle you just ate. This experience couldn’t be farther from that. Everything is fresh and homemade and lives up to a certain quality that we’ve come to realize is the standard in France.

I wish I had pictures from either of our two visits here, but I’m usually too busy shoveling food into my face.

Down the road from Kilin, there’s a dark and cozy Irish bar, Mulligan’s. They have a pool table, plenty of spots to watch sports games, and lots of beer/liquor choices.

So if a cheap meal or a place to meet friends is what you’re looking for, head down Saint-Michel for a world tour of tastes.


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