MCC 2015 Food Photo Marathon #7: The French Confection

Cropichon et Bidibule Eiffel Tower!

While my lovely dinner companion and I await our charcuterie, a tiny Eiffel Tower twinkles merrily at passersby.

Our very special MCC extended interlude concludes!

Once again we return to Massachusetts Avenue, the part of downtown Indianapolis where trendy eateries cheerfully serve those of us who don’t live in any of the upscale north-side neighborhoods. For my birthday last May, my wife and I tried a relatively new place that specializes in unpronounceable French cuisine. Anne and I met in high school German class, but we did our best to fake our way through dinner from one of Germany’s notable European colleagues.

Indy hasn’t had any French restaurants on our side of town in years (R.I.P. Chez Jean), and it’s not a category we’ve historically sought too often. When it comes to birthday dinners, though, I’m always in search of something new and different, within certain pricing limits. So full credit goes to me for choosing an evening at the delightful Cropichon et Bidibule. As the helpful Indianapolis Star informed its Francophobic readers in a recent article, “Cropichon et Bidibule is pronounced ‘crow-pee-shawn ay bee-dee-bool’. The ‘ay’ rhymes with ‘pay’; the ‘bool’ rhymes with ‘tool’.” The article was complimentary, but their rhyming choices seem mean. Considering how the image “crow pee” doesn’t exactly encourage one’s appetite, I feel like maybe they should’ve skipped the pronunciation fixation and left that to our Midwest imaginations, if only to allow the CeB waitstaff a chance to experience the joy of having their workplace’s name mangled a thousand different incorrect ways.

(At least five of those verbal miscues would be my own fault because I could never remember the name of the place when I tried to suggest it. My favorite near-miss was “Cornpone and Beedee-Beedee”, which suggests an exciting crossover between Buck Rogers and Huckleberry Finn.)

Language barrier notwithstanding, the meal was elegant and satisfying. After a generous plate of charcuterie that we tore into before either of us could snap a pic, out came the main dishes. Mine was Magret de Canard a la creme au Poune — Cognac flambeed duck breast with a green peppercorn cream sauce. Fortunately my son took French in high school and used to correct me gleefully whenever I hurt his ears with awkward French language attempts, so I tried to remember his pointed pointers as I ordered. The response from the waitress was encouraging, but I can’t tell if I got it right or if that’s what she says to all us uncultured hicks.

Magret de Canard a la creme au Poune

And this was my wife’s Boeuf Bourguignon. Hers was easier to order because Boeuf Bourguignon isn’t quite so uncommon. I think Swanson used to make a TV-dinner version, except they spelled it “beef”, probably because focus groups declared surplus vowels unnatural and unpatriotic.

Boeuf Bourguignon!

For my birthday dessert, La Crepe a la Creme de Citron Faite Moison — crepes with lemon cream and raspberry coulis. This was my first time witnessing a coulis outside of a Chopped dessert round.


The average Chopped judge might’ve appreciated that the strong citrus tartness overpowered any and all sweetness, so for me this was a very rare dessert that didn’t taste like a sugar-infused sugar sandwich topped with sugar sauce.

On the other hand, for this course I didn’t receive the same sign of approval from the waitress after ordering. Either I botched my vowel sounds, I accidentally pronounced a last syllable somewhere, or she hates it when guests try too hard. I can only imagine the guttural atrocities they must have to endure every night. Then again, they’re kind of asking for it merely by giving their restaurant a complicated name like “Crabbyshack at Buddha-Bull” when they could’ve settled for a more accommodating label like “That One French Place” or “Pepe le Pastry”.

3 responses

  1. I’ve never…been…to a French restaurant. I want a “sugar-infused sugar sandwich topped with sugar sauce” though where can I get one?


    • At most Dairy Queens in one form or another. 😀 French restaurants are an extreme rarity for us because they’re usually four- or five-star prices, but this one’s new enough that it wasn’t quite so bad. Even the one I mentioned in the entry, Chez Jean, we only visited twice before they closed forever. The second time, we brought my son along just for fun when he was much younger, and he was annoyed that they didn’t have basic amenities such as ketchup. The waitress was a grandmother who understood kids and tried to whip up a ketchup-like sauce back in the kitchen just for him, but it totally wasn’t the same. We probably turned him off French food for life.


      • Haha…okay maybe I don’t want it if it’s Dairy Queen. I remembered I did have some French dish once….I can barely remember what it was. The restaurant wasn’t just French food either. I got some sort of duck with cherry stuff on it and really liked it but it was about 16 years ago:/!

        You got a cool waitress who’ll whip up some homemade ketchup there. I’ll see if there are French restaurants around here. I feel stupid not knowing for some reason.


What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: