Lunch at Le Chalet Basque

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. Orson Welles

I have never been a fan of Le Chalet Basque, a little restaurant tucked in the greenery of the upper N San Pedro Road in Marin County. Its “family style” offerings were always too dull, too old-fashioned for my taste.

Fortunately, the place has a nice patio and it is open for lunch.  In my eyes, this redeeming quality absolves most of its shortcomings. And since some of my friends dine there regularly, I decided to join them and give it another whirl.

Al fresco dining

Dining al fresco especially at lunch, rates very close to the top of my favorite things to do. I cannot explain it, but food eaten outdoors always tastes twice as good as food eaten indoors… it is uncanny, but few people will deny this.

Eating outdoors is relaxing. Its dress code is casual and the experience reduces your stress, releases your inhibitions and increases your libido.  Have you ever noticed? And when food and drinks are shared with friends, you will get you (if you are observant) a glimpse of heaven.

Le Chalet Basque offers simple, tasty, affordable dishes for lunch, and service is competent.

On my last visit, I had Moules Marinière and thin French fries, and upon my honor, it was one of the most delectable meals I had for a long time. The mussels were plump and tender and they were bathing in a perfectly seasoned sauce (a rather rare occurrence).

My dining accomplices (Jacques G. and Charlie D.) had respectively sweetbread and an omelet. But it is not simply the food that makes the experience so satisfying. It is the camaraderie, the esprit de corps, the sharing of jokes and information that contribute to the good feeling that stays with you for the rest of the day.

A good lunch is cheaper and much more helpful than a session with any shrink.

So, now that summer has finally arrived, if you need a light meal and something to lift your spirits, I recommend a “déjeuner” at Le Chalet Basque. It won’t break the bank and it will make your day.

I should not say that because upon hearing this, the riffraff will mob this oasis, but like George, I cannot tell a lie.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, but by Jove, there is still something called a worry-free lunch.


I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex. Erma Bombeck

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