I hope I didn’t make people too hungry with the previous post—I have a tendency to do that with food posts on every blog I’ve created in the past.
I had my first crêpe in Paris at Crêperie Suzette in the Marais district. It was lunchtime and tempting as it was to go sweet, I opted for a savory galette instead. Since I am anti-fromage, I ended up with the only one that did not include cheese (mine came with topped with spinach, cream tomato coulis and basil). And of course, I cannot say no to a pot of (Darjeeling) tea. P went for something different and ordered the colorful Niçoise salad.
For the second night in a row, we stuck to dinner near the hotel and it was more Middle Eastern food. This time, we went to Zarame, a Lebanese restaurant. The two of us ordered shawarma plates; I think P had the chicken and I went with a mixed plate of beef and chicken. The platters were huge: slices of marinated and roasted meats with sides of potatoes, hummus, baba ghanoush, and salad. There was also a basket of warm fluffy pita bread for dipping into those delicious mezzes. And I washed it down with a pot of mint tea.
We were gifted a free dessert: Katayef, a Lebanese crêpe with a cream or custard filling, sitting in a pool of orange blossom syrup. It was a very nice and thoughtful way to end the meal. The staff was very friendly and the food was good (and healthy too).
Sunday is traditionally a day when most businesses (food and retail) are closed; that somewhat limited our choices of where to eat from the (incomplete because I left the other pages at the office) list I brought with me. I definitely wanted to check out Poilâne and with multiple locations in Paris, at least one of them was open on Sunday so that’s where we went for lunch.
The Le Marais location of Poilâne offers meal sets for different times of the day. The lunch set includes a soup or salad as a starter, a tartine or a salad entrée, a drink (wine or water) and coffee or tea. One can order à la carte as well but the lunch set was a a good deal for €14,50. I opted for the starter salad and the tartine sardines (sardines, butter, horseradish, wine vinegar, and herbs on sourdough); I was tempted to go for the tartine ecrevisses (crayfish tartine) but the sardine one appealed to me more and it was different, interesting and delicious. I finished off with a pot of green tea while P (who chose the tartine poulet) had a cup of coffee; our drinks were served with a little spoon-shaped biscuit on the side.
We did have Asian food one night in Paris, and of course it simply had to be Vietnamese. Fortunately, Time Out recently published a list of recommendations and after narrowing it down, we ended up going to L’Indochine. We were handed the French version of the menu (they did have English versions but we didn’t know that until another party came in well after us) but it wasn’t too difficult to read even with lapsed lessons in French. I ordered the Pho Dac Biet, which has beef served in various formats, including beef balls. P had the Pho Tai, which is more what I’m used to ordering at home. The bowls came in two sizes and we both chose the small. There were the usual accompaniments but what I liked was inclusion of shacha sauce, which is not an option at my usual Vietnamese places. The only disappointment was the lack of tripe in our bowls, but we got over it quickly enough.
Hot bowls of pho were perfect for the cool evening weather and we washed it down with limeade (me) and a mango milkshake. And I left room for dessert too. From the menu, I went with the Che Khoai Mon: a bowl of tapioca pearls with taro, pandan leaves and coconut milk. It’s definitely not something I’ve seen in New York Vietnamese restaurants (most of them don’t offer desserts). The Che Khoai Mon was different and tasty.
The last dinner (if one wants to call it that) in Paris was so plain compared to all others. We ended up walking from our hotel towards the Metro station and discovered a tiny Halal crêperie inside/next to an electronics shop. For all our walking along that street every day for a week, it was the first time we actually saw the shop, probably because we were walking on the other side of the street for once. Like La Varangue, the crêperie was a one-man operation. There were savory and sweet crêpes available but I wasn’t terribly hungry and went with a simple sugar crêpe. I wish I was more hungry though; the chicken tandoori crêpe sounded most intriguing and I wanted to try it too.
But that wasn’t the very last meal I had in France. This was:
Breakfast at the airport: a cup of tea and a vanilla whole milk yogurt from Paul, and a day-old (but still tasty) croissant from a bakery near the hotel. The yogurt was delicious and came in a black terracotta cup that I considered keeping but couldn’t come up with any good use for it (and there was no resealable cover). Actually, all the yogurt I had in Paris was good and that’s why I’ve been craving it since I returned, though I have yet to find one at home just as good.