Les Chevaliers (Beaune, France)
The heartiest meal and certainly one of the best I had in France was in Beaune in the Bourgogne (Burgundy) region. Les Chevaliers (3, Petite Place Carnot - 21200 Beaune Tél: 03 80 22 32 26) has a tiny first floor with only a couple of 2 to 4 person tables. The rest of the dining area is located in the basement that appears to have been a cellar.
The lunch 3 course prix-fixe on the chalkboard looked promising and as affordable as a decent meal in France gets.
I think they offer the largest portions in the country. I was flabbergasted when my first dish, haricot vert salad with ham and cornichons, came. Remember, I ordered a 3 course prix-fixe. My first course looked like it would fill me up before the main course comes. Good thing my mom's first course was only a tiny dish of escargots. She eagerly took to my offer of sharing my delectable salad.
Haricot Vert Salad with Jellied Ham and Cornichons; Escargots
Because we were in Bourgogne, I had to order the Boeuf Bourguignon, while mom ordered another dish that I desperately wanted to try, magret de canard with pears, wild mushrooms, and a berry sauce. The portions were big even for American standards. The beef was so rich and thick. The meat and tendons melted in my mouth. It was like eating meat chocolate. The duck breast was juicy from sitting on berry juice and soaking the oil from the sauteed mushrooms. I would be fat but happy if I ate like this everyday.
Boeuf Bourguignon and Magret de Canard with wild mushrooms, pear, and berry sauce
Ah yes, the main course came with a side of scalloped potatoes. Pile on the carbs!
The only photo I have of the potatoes
Because it was a prix-fixe, we had to persevere on and eat dessert. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever denied myself dessert in France. The tarte aux fruits was thicker than other tarts I've had in France, making it a complete hearty meal.
Tarte aux Fruits