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I have a French question for you. pfy has deduced the answer and so I am no longer wondering what the answer is. Thank you!

Many of the rest stops along the motorway in France have shops. If there is one brand of shop, that brand (i.e. Autogrill) will be listed under the picture of a knife and fork on the road sign alerting one to the presence of a restaurant there.

One rest stop had the phrase "4 pentes" under there instead. Clearly, it must mean that there are four different brands at that rest stop. But pentes literally means "slopes". So what *exactly* are pentes in this case? Kiosks? Buildings? Brands? Company that have hung out their shingles there, so to speak?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)

Could there simply be a restaurant there named "4 Pentes"?
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
A websearch for 4 "Pentes restaurant" confirms you are right. Thank you for deducing this! It's been bothering me all day and my initial web searches were not helping.
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! I did some more searching after commenting, and discovered two things. Firstly, the French Wikipedia site says it is a restaurant brand that is part of the Autogrill group. Secondly, this post is the top Google result for "4 pentes", so your journal is now the Web's finest source of information on French motorway rest stops.
Sep. 6th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
I'm impressed: that's a major company. It owns, according to that page, the third largest company in the airport food sector in North America with (based on this newer snippet) a presence in 21 airports. In other words, I've probably eaten at one of their properties somewhere before, whether in Italy or the U.S. (If we had stopped at the 4 pentes, I might have more easily figured out myself that it wasn't four competing shops!)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )