Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Paris Review - Les bonnes choses ne changent pas

Well, we took a bite of our Paris and I was thrilled that what I'd loved about the city when I studied there junior year of college was still as lovable as ever - the architecture, the Seine, the language, the FOOD. Daniel and I spent our two days there walking non-stop - rediscovering my old haunts and stumbling upon some new favorites. And since it rained on and off the whole time, we took respite not in our tiny hotel room or in museums like some folks might, but in cafes, brasseries, patisseries, restaurants, and food shops. It was paradise.

We're now in Ireland on a farm (update on this later), so I don't have a huge amount of time to go into too much detail. So here is our culinary tour of Paris. In pictures... (I apologize in advance for typos/bad grammar. I'm too tired to check...)

DAY ONEUne viennoise avec pepites de chocolate.
Breakfast number one on our first day. My old favorite French pastry, purchased at the patissierie down the street from the school where I studied. As delicious as I remembered - soft, chewy, with delicious chocolate chips. I must learn to make these....

Un croissant (duh)
Breakfast number two - Daniel had the croissant. I had oeufs en coque (soft boiled eggs). We both had cafe cremes and sat on our second floor perch over-looking the Jardin du Luxembourg. Not a bad life.

L'as du falafel
Lunch -I have been dreaming about this falafel since I left Paris. I've never found anything as good - the falafel itself is crispy on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside. The toppings - hot sauce, eggplant, cabbage, pickles, tahini, tomatoes. I am kicking myself that we didn't eat three of these each right there.

Kosher chorizo
Snack eaten on the Pont Neuf - after falafel, we walked through the Marais and Daniel oggled the kosher butchers. We bought this for him and a jar of hot sauce for me (which Daniel politely carted around for me through our day before leaving the bag at a bar ...)

Le tigre
Snack - at Stohrer, one of the oldest bakeries in the city (founded by Marie Antoinette's personal baker), we tried not the baba au rhum for which they are famous, but rather a striped chocolate chip round cake with a dollop of chocolate frosting on top. It was good, but no Viennoise...

A beer as big as Daniel's head
Pre-pradial drink - near the Sorbonne. I had a civilized glass of wine.

Brasserie Balzar
Dinner - after my mind altering experience with foie gras at Daniel, I was eager for Daniel the man to give it a try, so we started with an order of the stuff, and it did not dissapoint. It was heavenly in the way sushi from Yasuda requires eye closed enjoyment. Daniel had lamb for a main course, which he liked well and I had an entrecote with a Bernaise sauce on the side, which i enjoyed a lot more than I expected

I will cry if I tell you how much this breakfast cost
Breakfast at Cafe le Flore - Daniel had an omelette with fine herbs and cheese; I had more oeufs en coque

Oeufs en coque
The meal was great; the atmosphere on St. Germain lovely, but really, is it necassary to charge us 17 euros for a side of milk to go with our coffee?

Snack on the Champs Elysees - macarons, supposedly the best in Paris; I wouldn't disagree; we tried two and a cinnamon roll type thing called a raisin canelle

These ain't the ones we eat at Passover
While related in name to the macaroon popular in the States, these beauties are apparently generally made with almond instead of coconut. We went for a praline macaron and a cherry amaretto example. Incredible. I'm just bonkers for the texture.

Wet and tired, an apple a day keeps tears away
Snack - It rained for a large part of our second day, but that didn't deter us from continuing our wanderings around the city, and generally we were able to keep our spirits up. However, around lunch time, a huge down pour; a near tumble on my part, prevented by Daniel catching me by my hair (ouch); and a disappointing salmon salad for lunch, things were headed downhill. But then I spotted a fruit stand with locally grown Pink Lady apples, and all was remedied. After a day and a half of rich French food, nothing said loving, like a little fresh fruit.

Checking out les jambes et les poitrines
Snacks - after the apple, we did some wandering down the market street, Rue Cler; checked out the butcher and the fromagerie; tried some almond candies and spice cake; bought some coings preserves (quince!) and some spicy mustard; and best of all I had a lemon calissons, my favorite treat from Aix
We'll always have Paris (and its Moroccon)
On a rec from the Times, we hit le 404 on a tiny street in the Marais; everything we had there - the special drink of the house (like a mojito), an eggplant salad, a 7 veggie couscous - was delicious, but the lamb tagine with prunes was out of this world. An amazing end to our eating tour...

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