The Search for a Roast Chicken in Nice

Now that we’re living in Nice, we’ve got to get the butcher’s schedule down. This is how it went the last trip…

Our first 2 days in Nice we were craving a good roast chicken with potatoes roasted in chicken fat and all the flavors that drip down from the chickens.
What we got was two nights of eating some surprisingly good lasagna from an Italian take out place
down the street from 3 butchers, in a span of three blocks, that were closed for the following reasons:

  1. They’re closed, possibly for vacation.
  2. They’re on vacation but it’s Tuesday and it’s a moot point because they’re always closed on
  3. They were open, but it’s after 4 or 4:30 which means they would usually be open but it’s Covid
    or employee issues, so they now close at 1 for lunch and never reopen unless it’s a Friday or
  4. They were open but it’s after 4 or 4:30 and you’re still out of luck because it’s Wednesday which
    is the one day of the week when they close at 1.
  5. They were open, and it’s after 4, but just after 4 and this butcher doesn’t open until 4:30.
  6. They’re open at 8 in the morning, but the chickens won’t be ready until later and they close at 1
    so there’s a long line.
  7. They’re open at 6:30 in the morning, but the chickens won’t be ready until later which doesn’t
    really matter because you didn’t order ahead of time (and they close at 1).
  8. They’re usually open, but it’s Saturday and they close at 7 instead of 7:30.
  9. They close at 1 for lunch, but it’s Wednesday, so they might close at noon, or they might close at
    1:00, depending on their definition of “midi”.
  10. Or on your fifth or sixth attempt on what is now day 4, you get lucky and get the next-to-last
    roast chicken and potatoes. Phew (and yes, it was worth it).

As my friend Gary said, when it comes to butchers, you need to be a genius (or have an Excel spread sheet) to remember who is closed and when they’re closed. To add to the confusion, their hours are written in chalk in case they change their minds. Vacations usually rate a piece of paper, because once you’re gone there’s no turning back.

Please notice I did not say open, because that’s a fleeting thing–ethereal and wistful like the smell of a well-roasted bird wafting in the breeze.


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