My Dinner in Carcassonne

It’s Day 24 of my 100-day trip to Europe, and I’m in Carcassonne, updating the Rick Steves France guidebook with my co-author, Steve Smith.

Surveying this touristy town, we were very happy with the variety of great-value restaurants we recommend in the book. As usual, our favorites are personality-driven. Here at Restaurant L’Escargot, the owner, Thomas, is hustling all night serving his diners. Our challenge is not only to find the good places but to describe each restaurant vividly, so our readers can choose smartly. Eating, soaking the experience in good wine, making friends with the proprietors, and taking notes…it’s tough work, but we manage.

(Heading to France? You can pick up a copy of our guidebook at