Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Paris: The Food

Ok, as expected, this was the best part. I decided to photograph everything I ate, but most times I dove in and forgot. However, I didn't end up eating as much as I wanted to. If ever I were to take up bulimia, Paris is the place. So much delicious food, not enough hunger.

I know I shouldn't even mention airplane food in the same breath as Paris food, but seriously, what are they doing up there? I mistakenly ordered the beef because I have made a personal vow to never order chicken from a menu as it's usually the most deathly boring option.

Instant regret. And, if judging by this picture, jaundice.
Ok, into Paris. I found this city to be the land of sandwiches - heavenly. If I had to pick my last meal, it would be, hands down, a sandwich. On any street, at any time you could get a sandwich. On fresh baguette with great cheese - so simple, yet so phenomenal. They don't call Paris the City of Love for nothing. Or wait, is it City of Light? Well, these sandwiches lit up my life.

This bakery was right around the corner and had the most amazing macarons. I spent much time here.
This was one of our dinner meals and it is all so simple: pork with a mustard sauce, potatoes and salad, but every element was the best I've ever tasted. The best pork. The best potatoes. I even ate the salad! The French just know how to do it. I'm still thinking about that meal.

Crêpes. They are everywhere and are fun to watch being made. Everyone kept telling me to try them with Nutella and every stand had huge vats of the stuff. I really don't see the appeal. I don't like Nutella - not even in France. Meh.

This was one of my last meals and I ordered a croque madame - which is the croque monsieur with the addition of the egg. I was mostly pleased that I ordered everything on the table in French. Including a new fork because I dropped mine. In fact, by the end of my time there I was speaking solely in French. Poorly, by solely. It was really fun. Turns out, OAC French will come rushing back.

On my last night I put on a pretty dress - and a blazer and scarf because it was frickin' freezing - and went to one of the last places on my list. Hemingway Bar in the Hotel Ritz. Somehow I still had plenty of money left and I knew it was going to be an expensive evening but I was sick of walking around on flat feet with a boyish messenger bag.

So, I spent the evening there conversing with other patrons, the friendly and knowledgeable bartender and eventually a couple my age from New York. Each cocktail was 30 Euro. I had 2. This is an enormous amount of money to me back home - I could buy approximately 4 chairs at a thrift shop to recover, groceries for a couple weeks and a whole outfit at Joe Fresh, including a coat. But I was in Paris and had a laissez faire attitude. If the couple and I weren't going to flit off to the next bar, I would have had a third cocktail. It was fun.Of all the food I ate, something didn't agree with me on my last morning. Since I don't yet know how to say "over-hard", I think it was the eggs. It was pretty embarrassing and technically difficult to ask the cab driver to pull over on the side of the French highway so that I could be sick. He pitifully handed me a tissue when I got back in as I profusely said, "Je suis desoleé" which I hope means, "I'm so sorry! And did you stop the meter?" After that it was the worst travel day ever.

I got stuck beside this lovey dovey couple who were about 19. They kept saying really annoying things that were made worse by my sickness. Like, pausing their movie to debate the merits and "message" of Up In The Air with George Clooney. Or, worrying that their wool sweaters would be considered animal product on their customs form. They were the worst. But they were so wrapped up in themselves the dude didn't seem to notice that I borrowed his pillow and snatched his pretzels. Take that, Love!

Ok, I didn't intend to end this post about food with a story about vomiting and nauseating love, but whaddaya gonna do?

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