Saturday, April 21, 2012

Paris Knows About Good Food

As I was looking through our Paris pictures on my camera, I realized that a good majority of the pictures are  of food. :) I laughed a little when I realized this, but I am not surprised. France has some of the most amazing food I have ever eaten in my life. It really defines their culture. If I were to say which countries I could travel to just to eat, I would go to France and Italy. The French and the Italians really know what they are doing when it comes to the culinary aspect. I don't think I felt hungry even once while we were there. Pretty much whenever we would see something cool or French, we would eat it. And we would lick the plate because everything was that good that we didn't want to miss even the last crumb. 

So I dedicated an entire post on the heavenly foods that we devoured during our 6 day stay in Paris. All of you foodie people out there, this post is for you! 

1. Crepes


The first night we got to Paris we went to a little street called Rue Mouffetard that my friend Skye recommended to us for some crepes. The street was full of locals and very few tourists. There were so many cute restaurants and creperies. The hard part was trying to figure out how to order what we wanted in French. We didn't understand a single thing on the menu except the word, "crepe." But luckily, the girl next to me spoke pretty good English and walked through the menu with me. The guy making the crepes spoke some English as well. I ordered the Ratatouille crepe with ham, cheese, egg, and veggies, and Nate ordered the Mont Blanc crepe full of dulce de leche carmel and toasted almonds. Yum! 

After the meal, the guy making the crepes started talking to us as much as he could with the language barrier. We told him how much we loved the crepes and thanked him for them. Then he said, "Just a minute," and smiled and walked towards the fridge in the back. He brought out a surprise for us.....
and started pouring it before we could stop him into our glasses that we already drank out of. We thanked him for his kindness and then asked, "What is it?" He told us it was a special cider and for us to enjoy it. He was so nice. Then we asked the dreaded question, "Does it have alcohol in it?" He said only a little bit. We then felt horrible but explained to him that we don't drink alcohol for religious reasons. It was so sad, and we felt horrible for him wasting this special drink on us and having to just throw it out. We thanked him again, apologized again and again, and then left.

When we got home to our hotel, we found this sitting on our table as a surprise. A bottle of wine and some French macaroons. Nate had told the hotel that we were on our honeymoon so they did this special thing for us. Since we got married during the school year, we only had a short weekend honeymoon, so in a way, (Even though we have been married for a year and a half) this was our belated honeymoon. I was so excited about the macaroons that I grabbed the clear box that they were in to look at them and open them, and they fell all over the floor because I grabbed the box the wrong way! I guess I was just a little too excited! The wine....well, there you go again, alcohol. So we decided that the next day we were going to take the bottle of wine to the nice creperie man as a gift to him for his kindness and as an apology for wasting his cider drink. 
(Here is a picture after they all fell on the floor. And yes, I believe in the 10 second rule.)

2. Croissants 

I can't even count how many croissants I had while in Paris. They are just so good. So buttery, flaky, and soft. Just not the same in the UK or in the US. And they usually come out fresh right from the oven because they are baking them all day. In these pictures, Nate had a strawberry filled one, and mine was full of chocolate. Yum!

3. Our First French Lunch at an Outside Cafe


We didn't have a working cell phone at this time, so ordering at a restaurant was very difficult for us without Google translate. When we asked the waiter about what things were, he would try to explain to us. One time a waiter pointed to his leg and then flapped his arms like a duck, to tell us it was the leg of a duck. It was hilarious. But it got the point across.

Nate ordered their lunch salad special which was excellent except for the raw beef on the bottom. This is very popular here, but it wasn't one of Nate's favorite things. I stayed safe and got the cheese platter. France has the yummiest cheese in the world! Each kind of cheese was so fresh and creamy, and a perfect compliment to the fresh baked baguettes. One thing that is sure different there is how long a "going out to eat" event should take. The French take their time and just sit and mingle before and after their meal. They aren't in a hurry but just sit and relax. This is nice, but sometimes we wanted to eat quick so we could move on to our next thing. But that isn't the French way I guess.

4. Pastries
The pastries in France are AMAZING! You walk into a little pastry shop and can't believe your eyes. They are all so gorgeous and almost look too perfect to eat. There are so many different kinds to choose from and they all are outstanding. This one was a chocolate mousse with a gram crust. I devoured it in like 2 minutes.

5. Nutella
The French eat Nutella like Americans eat peanut butter. It is everywhere. We ate alot of it. I found this huge bottle in a local grocery store and it made me laugh. They are serious about this stuff.

Here are the pictures at our second time at the creperie from the first night. We ordered dinner ones first and then this wonderful dessert one full of strawberries, bananas, and yes, of course, NUTELLA.

And the guy was there the next night so we gave him his wine gift. Thanks to Nate for carrying a bottle of wine around in his sweatshirt pocket all day. :) The creperie man was flattered and couldn't believe that we brought him that. He said that he has never had a customer bring him a gift before.

6. Laduree 



So I seriously found my heaven on earth when I walked into this little gem of a place. Laduree is the yummiest most amazing thing I have encountered in my life. I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked in there with my mouth open and a permanent smile on my face. They call this place the Louis Vuitton of pastries and I can see why. There was a huge line every time we went in because it is so popular. They have croissants, all different types of bread things and sweet rolls, chocolates, pastries, and my most favorite of all.....french macaroons!

If you don't know what these are, you have to look them up. They are not like American macaroons with the coconut and half dipped in chocolate. Nothing like that. These don't have coconut in them, unless of course it is a coconut flavored one. It is hard to describe, but they are like a soft cookie with a filling in the middle. They are firm on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. The flavors are amazing. Our favorites were salted carmel, framboise (raspberry), vanilla bean, and black current violet. They seriously are little particles of heaven.

7. Pierre Herme 

After having Laduree, we were hooked on French Macaroons. Whenever we saw them, we bought some. We saw some amazing ones at a department store from Pierre Herme. They looked even more gourmet and fancy than the Laduree ones. Later we read that these two places are the top places to get macaroons and they are always in constant competition for the top. I loved Laduree, but I think this place topped them. We got a raspberry pistachio one, a salted carmel, a passion fruit chocolate, and an apricot peach. The flavors were so strong and amazing. Every bite was a dream come true.  :)

8. Traditional French Cuisine
Nate and I ate dinner at a great French restaurant called, Les Diables au Thym that we found online. We had a perfect night. Perfect food, perfect service, and perfect company. Our waiter spoke English very well, as well as French, and several other languages.

Butter- The French eat so much butter. Maybe that is why their food is so good. I never usually put butter on anything, but since I was in France I just went with it. I thought it was cute how they brought it out on a cold slate.
Nate's Appetizer- a duck cold meat. I don't really remember exactly what it was, but he said it was great.
My Appetizer- a chilled corn soup with cooked chestnuts. Very different but amazing.
Nate's Entree- A beef and mushroom slow cooked dish with red wine sauce. Nate doesn't even like mushrooms but he liked this!
My Entree- a slow cooked bird with swiss chard and leeks. The meat fell right off the bone. It was so tender and delicious!
\
My Dessert- this was such a creative cool dessert. It was pavlova on the bottom in a semi circle shape, with a tropical ice cream on the top drizzled with custard. Yum!
Nate's Dessert- A cheese platter with some jelly on the side and fresh bread. You are to eat the cheese from the right to the left to get the right flavors on your palate, so the waiter told us.

9. Room Service Breakfast from our Marriot Hotel

There really is nothing better than to have breakfast delivered right to your door in the mornings. Can't I have this every day of my life? A cute little French old man would come and bring it to us. He was so polite and didn't speak a lick of English. Nate got their speciality one day, the chicken benedict. I mostly stuck with the fresh fruit platters, and yogurt parfaits.

10. Laduree Part 2


We knew we would be back to visit Laduree sooner than later. This time we tried out another one of their locations that served food. After a long wait, we finally got a table and it was well worth waiting. I felt like we were at an afternoon tea type of setting. We ordered their famous hot chocolate and it was so rich and creamy. The food was was creative. I got an asparagus, sun dried tomato, artichoke salad, and Nate got their signature club sandwich and salad.

There was a group of 3 Japanese teenage girls sitting at the table next to us. They were giggling and loving their pastries and tea that they ordered. Nate turned to them and started speaking perfect Japanese to them, asking them if they would mind if they took our picture for us. You should have seen their faces! Wide eyed, open mouthed, and saying, "Ohh!" while looking at each other. They couldn't believe that this white guy next to them spoke their language. It was hilarious. Their conversation for the rest of the time was much quieter. I guess they didn't want Nate overhearing them!

11. Fondue


One night we ventured out for some French fondue. We stumbled upon a whole street of fondue restaurants.  We chose to eat at Le Grand Bistrot and ordered their 4 cheese fondue. They had bread to dip in it as well as ham and potato chunks. It was a fun experience! We ate so much cheese, it was kind of disgusting. For dessert, we shared a creme brulee. Yum!

12. Eclairs
About our second to last day, Nate discovered chocolate eclairs in a little bakery and after his first one, he was hooked. From then on out, he ate as least 1 a day, some days he had 2 or 3. After Paris, we went to Southern France, and he continued to eat them there. I had a couple as well, and they were good, but I preferred other things instead. They are Nate's favorite, and over a 2 week period, he became a chocolate eclair connoisseur. He started to get picky about them after a while, and realized that some were much better than others. 
13. Laduree Part 3
The night before we left Paris, this is what we had for dinner, as well as some fruit from a fruit stand. Healthy I know.....but when in France.... We stopped by our favorite place one last time, Laduree. We got some of our favorite flavors of the macaroons as well as tried some new ones. We also got 2 pastries. So good I can't even explain. There are some Ladurees in London, so I will definitely we going there on occasion to bring back my Paris Laduree memories. 

So to sum up our Paris trip.....What did we do? We ate a lot of good fattening food. :) Good thing we walked all over to make up for those extra calories. But it was well worth it and I would do it again. However, it caught up with me because the last day that we were there, I came down with stomach ulcer symptoms and other things. I guess my stomach wasn't used to eating all of those rich, buttery, high fat foods all at once like that. Oh well. How do the Parisian girls stay so thin? I guess they have more control than I do....

We might go back to Paris for a short weekend trip in May, so Paris.....I will be back to enjoy your food again shortly! :) 

3 comments:

  1. Oh I'm so glad that you went there! Tyler and I talk about that street all the time and wish we could go to one of those restaurants! I'm glad that you had fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just gained a pound reading this and it was awesome! I've always dreamed of going to Paris and maybe, just maybe, someday Collin and I will make it to Europe. So glad you enjoying your adventure of a lifetime. You'll have such great stories to tell your kiddos later on.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mmm... la nourriture me manque.

    ReplyDelete