Shocking as it may be to you, we didn't thoroughly document every single meal we had in Paris...and I do apologize! ;-) However, we did capture a few here and there...
In fact, I had to take pictures...for, after all, food is one of the important categories of vocabulary I have to teach my students. And it's usually the most popular part of the class. So I wanted to get some images to illustrate some words. For example...
la limonade / le diabolo fraise
This meal was at one of several cafés on the Place St. André des Arts, near Place St. Michel on the left bank. Unfortunately, it was not the best café on the Place. At least, I hope it wasn’t. Miss Chef had a roast chicken that she found so dry as to be unpalatable, and the famous frites were worse than many we’ve had in the States: frozen, mush-filled and lacking any crispness. Bleah.
Sorry, Hon, but my sandwich was ok.
The good news is, that was easily the worst meal we had all week. We generally didn’t look up reviews or recommendations, online or in guidebooks, to find restaurants. We waited until we were hungry, and then did our best to pick a place based on its menu. So the evening after our mediocre lunch, I was a little leery about whether we’d run out of luck. We had just left the Pompidou Museum and wandered into a nearby street before deciding on a place. It turned out that we had stumbled onto a Persian restaurant, and back into our good luck!
Coquelettes apparently means “wings!” The saffron rice was fantastic, as I repeatedly informed Miss Chef.
Her stuffed peppers didn’t look all that appetizing, but she said they were just like Grandma used to make. Huh, I didn’t know your Grandma was Persian…
Miss Chef was as ecstatic over her saffron, rosewater and pistachio ice cream as I was over that rice. You can see my baklava in the background. That too was quite good—not drowning in syrupy sweetness, it still had a good crisp bite, and I could see all the bits of pistachios in it.
We generally took our breakfasts at home. A couple of mornings I ran around the corner to the boulangerie to pick up croissants, but more often it was just cereal. Not very good cereal, but I ate it anyway. In spite of the packaging showing crispy flakes, it was more like raw oats with a few nuts thrown in. If it hadn’t been in the 90s for several days, I might have tried popping it in the microwave and eating it warm.
And no, I didn’t think to photograph the croissants! They didn’t look much different than what we can find at home; it was the taste that was completely different…mmmm….
Um, anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, on to our next meal, which was another café lunch. We had seen a farm truck making a delivery to a restaurant on our way past in the morning, so we made a point to stop in for lunch. Again, I think I enjoyed my meal more than Miss Chef enjoyed hers.
I had another salad with warm goat cheese, like the appetizer I had the first night. This cheese wasn’t as melted, but the dressing on the salad was delicious, and there was some very good prosciutto hiding in the bottom. (Oh, and can you see the kir just at the upper right edge of the picture? Miss Chef wanted to know why I hadn’t introduced her to those earlier. It’s one part crème de cassis to four parts white wine, if you’d like to play along at home.)
Miss Chef had a croque monsieur, France’s answer to the grilled-cheese sandwich. It was fine, but not what she was expecting. They’re not normally open-faced, but I guess this chef was taking liberties with the classics. Oh, how dare he!
These fries were better than before, but we never did have those thin, delicate, crispy fries that I remember from my earlier visits to France. Most restaurants were serving the larger, home-fry sized ones, and none of them seemed to be using the duck or (yes) horse fat that supposedly makes them so good. Something to leave on our list for our next trip: find really good fries.
That night we finally put the kitchen to use…sort of. Actually, we put the neighborhood to use! Within a block of our door, we found everything we needed to put together a quick dinner. Two grocery stores, a wine store, a foie gras store, a vegetable stand and the most stereotypical butcher you can imagine. Short, plump, balding, flushed and sporting a respectable mustache, he served us with a brusque good humor. It was so busy and we were a little off-kilter, confused by this system of ordering, getting tickets, paying, getting another ticket and then finally picking up the food…well, that’s all to say I didn’t get a picture of the butcher or his shop.
I did, however, get a picture (or sixteen) of dinner!
Bread, cheese, foie gras and some of the fruits we’d gotten at the market a couple of days earlier. In the back are the roasted chicken and potatoes from the boucherie, and the requisite bottle of wine. Yeah, it was a little harsh for chicken; I guess we bought things out of order.
Here’s a close-up of my stinky cheese…mmmm…
…and the fruits: figs, cherries…
…and gooseberries! We didn’t know what they were when Miss Chef bought them. I asked the vendor, and then had to go look up macareau de groseille before we got to…gooseberry. Then we remembered we’d had some at the Artichoke the week before! They are quite tart, and I learned that night that they pair nicely with foie gras.
Dessert was an odd selection…a pistachio brioche I’d bought that morning, which tasted better than it looked…
…my favorite yogurt I’d been dreaming of for months. And yes, it was as good as I remembered!
And then there was another adventure of Miss Chef’s. Anyone recognize this
It’s most commonly encountered in Asian cooking…here’s the white, edible fruit.
Give up? It’s a
Delving into my picture files, I see there are a couple of other memorable meals to relay, but I’m going to include them in my chronological journaling to come. Certainly, you must be full by now?
I am composing this in Live Writer for the first time, and I’m having a few “growing pains.” How can I turn off this double-spacing every time I hit Enter? And is there any way to do picture captions like in Blogger’s direct uploads?