Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Paris food

My first time in Paris in 2004, I had no money to buy proper food or go to a proper restaurant. When I met a Filipina OFW while looking for Eiffel tower, she became my generous host and treated me to an American meal at Planet Hollywood and a restaurant in Venice where I had pasta. In between, I had some Filipino home-cooked food care of my newfound friend, food from grocery stores and McDonald's which was the cheapest meal I could find there. It was also near where I lived. Oh, and it was the first time I used Couchsurfing. It's even better than Airbnb because it's free!

my own room in a flat owned by a nice French family

Anyway, for the first few days Claire (the French woman) prepared breakfast for me. I think she pitied this poor traveler and thought i had no money for food whatsoever so I got the feeling that she expected me to eat there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was very thoughtful of them but I didn't want to trouble them. So in a nice way, i pretended that i wasn't used to eating breakfast but secretly, I went to McDo every morning before i take the Metro. Then i eat outside before i go back to the flat at night.

Now that i try to recall it, I don't remember anything i ate in Paris except for the McDo breakfast with orange juice and the hotdog I bought in the streets while walking around.

When i traveled before, the important thing for me was to just take in everything. I didn't think or plan where to eat. I could eat anywhere decent (fastfood is decent) or live anywhere (with a nice family) as long as i could travel. I didn't care about the distance. The flat in Paris was about 15 or so minutes away from the center and it was about 10 minutes walk from the Metro to the apartment building but it was free! My first time in New York, i lived in Queens with a friend which is about 30 minutes away by train. In Japan, i lived in Saitama also 30 minutes away from the center. Just like food, accommodation was not a priority to me.

I guess it's different when you're on a budget.

It has changed dramatically ever since I got myself a boyfriend who's hard to please when it comes to food. Nowadays, food is a major part in our travel itinerary. Planning one's travel around food has its disadvantages like going all the way to San Sebastian just for the food and realizing 2 days is already enough to explore the place instead of 4 OR not being able to just go in any restaurant without checking first the reviews at Tripadvisor. Still i appreciate good food when i have it. And in Paris, there were no shortage of it even in small cafes in nondescript Parisian streets.

Here are a list of my recommended restaurants in Paris. Make sure to eat here if you visit Paris.

1. Les Enfants Perdus
Rue des Recollets75010 ParisFrance

We were lucky to have this restaurant just a few meters away from our apartment. I still don't know how to pronounce the name but we went here twice and enjoyed both meals. We wanted to eat there on our last night in Paris but it was packed. Good service, nice restaurant ambiance, great food!

the blood sausage aka dinuguan French style

the best cheesecake i've ever eaten in the whole world!
try everything on the menu!

2.  Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie
34 rue Montmartre
75001 Paris
Neighborhood: Châtelet - Les Halles

We ordered the foie gras, beef tartare and this risotto.  Sadly i failed to take pictures of the others because i was so hungry and they were just delicious.

My risotto
Just don't order desert here :) We tried 2 of them and both were not good. If you go here, don't forget to drop by their store just beside the restaurant where you can buy canned foie gras and other products. You can't miss it.

3. Je The...Me

4, Rue d'Alleray ParisFrance

We went here on a Monday and found out it was closed Sundays and Mondays. Good thing we came back because the food didn't disappoint us.
My appetizer: foie gras pate

Erik's appetizer: tuna tartare
Iberian pork! I can eat this everyday!
Erik's main course. Looks delicious right?  

This restaurant is run by a family. The father takes the orders. I believe the son is the chef.

4. Claude Colliot
40 rue des Blancs-Manteaux75004 ParisFrance

I think i had the veal while Erik had sweetbreads. We enjoyed our food very much. And the good thing about this is it's not that expensive if i remember it right. Erik had the tasting menu while I ordered a la carte.

My asparagus salad
Erik's soup
Erik's fish

My yummy veal! 

Erik's delicious sweetbreads

I think this is the dessert but i don't remember

All i remember is that we were very satisfied after our meal.

I don't think i'll ever eat at McDonald's in Paris again. Thanks to Erik, his food addiction and Tripadvisor's free offline app because i discovered my love for French food. Now I can't wait to go back to Paris to eat more food and more foie gras! Sorry goose but i love to eat your fattened liver.

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