Like you even have to ask if I’m going to write an entry about the food we ate on our trip. I’d be a fool if I didn’t take pictures of the delicious foods we ate and then talk about it with all you lovelies!
Now, please bear with me. This will be a longer post, but I assure you it will be worth it! Well, maybe it won’t to you, but it is to me – haha – and I hope you stick around to hear about our adventures of eating! :) We’ll start with Paris since that was our first stop. Then we’ll move onto Italy.
For those of you who don’t know where we went, we spent two glorious weeks in Europe: Paris, Venice and Rome to be exact. We had a hard time choosing where we would go. REB mentioned his interest in wanting to see Paris at least once in his life and even though I’ve been there before, I haven’t been there with him, so we picked Paris. I told him that I spent a night in Milan and fell in love with northern Italy (Lake Como, Milan, the Alps, etc.) so I would love to go back there, so we decided on Venice since I haven’t been there before. Then we picked Rome because…well, why not? Haha. So that was our trip!
So our first stop was Paris and we spent about 5 days there. That may not seem like a lot of time, but it actually worked out perfectly. We knew what we were going to do there ahead of time and we had enough time to do it all and also just sit around and relax.
We stayed in the 7th District on the Rue Cler and oh. my. god. I fell completely in love with that area. We were about a 15 minute walk to the Champs de Mar and the Eiffel Tower and we were staying on the cutest street filled with cafes, cheese and bread shops, markets every morning. It was just so lively! After we checked in and dropped our bags, we walked across the street to the Cafe Central. This cafe ended up being our local spot where we’d get Cafe Garamonds, cappuccinos, lunch, wine, etc. And it was ALWAYS open. Anyway, we were starving after our long flight – our flight that didn’t take note that we asked for vegetarian meals and we never got them :\ We just ate the snacks we bought (candy and chips basically) so we were starving. The one thing I needed right away? Breakfast, even though it was about 1 or 2 p.m. by the time we reached our hotel. Lucky for me, the French eat bread for breakfast and things like salads and eggs for lunch ;)
It was cooked to perfection: fluffy, flavorful and filling!
Now something we both totally support about the French lifestyle is snacking throughout the day. And REB’s favorite snack was eating crepes of course! There were creperies every where and I was actually surprised to know the most common filling was Nutella. Either way, we had our fair share of crepes every day.
They were so delicious and the perfect snack to eat while walking around. They were also ridiculously HOT. But I suppose that’s a good thing. The Nutella was just melted right in and got every where, but it was worth it. Simple, light and delicious. This was probably REB’s favorite snack while we walked around.
My favorite snack? Cafe Garamonds. It’s basically a plate with three little desserts (usually mini creme brulee, pudding, a mini cake, macaron or eclair) and then it also comes with a little cup of espresso. I absolutely loved it.
Another sweet treat we grew to love were macarons! And there were shops for them all over! They’re becoming quite the trend here in America and I can totally understand why!
REB’s coworker actually stayed on Rue Cler when he visited Paris before and told us about this great little chocolate shop near our hotel. It’s the Jeff De Bruges chocolate shop. Founded by Phillipe Jambon, this brand of chocolate is ridiculously tasty. So we made sure to get a little cellophane bag filled with different kinds of chocolates.
Speaking of famous, there was another famous brand we made sure to go see. I record Barefoot Contessa regularly on the DVR because I love Ina Garten’s recipes and I love hearing about her adventures in Paris. She actually owns a little apartment in the 7th district off Ave. Rennes. One of the things she’s talked about in several of her French-related episodes, is the Poilâne boulangerie. It’s a pretty well known bakery in Paris known for their breads with the signature “P” on their loaves.
We learned quickly that eating bread and/or pastries and drinking espresso is the typical breakfast for many French. Or eating baguettes on the go from a street cart. This is a tradition I can get on board with ;)
and of course….
I wrote a post a few days ago about the goat cheese salad we had in Paris and we tried recreating it at home. Well, now you can see the pictures of this amazing salad from Cafe Bosquet. We went there twice. We found the cafe since it was near our hotel and the first time we went, REB got the goat cheese salad while I got the provencal veggie dish. But I ended up grabbing more bites off REB’s dish than eating mine. There’s a reason why. This goat cheese salad, or salad chevre chaud, was one of the best things we ate in that entire city. And the way this cafe prepared it was just delicious!
So our last day in Paris, we went back to Cafe Bosquet for lunch and I ordered the goat cheese salad.
So while I enjoyed this salad, REB ordered a croque monsieur. Now, this dish is traditionally made with ham and cheese. However, our awesome server picked up on the fact we were vegetarians and instead of just omitting the ham and leaving it as a cheese sandwich, they put tomato in it. So cool!
As vegetarians, it’s actually pretty hard to eat in France. In a country known for its beef, hams and duck con fit, it was really hard to find something to eat on the menu aside from eggs, goat cheese salads or pasta. So we took it upon ourselves to see if we could find any vegetarian restaurants in the city.
We were able to find one that was vegetarian and also had a handful of dishes that were vegan, so we decided to check it out. It’s called Le Grenier de Notre Dame located in the Latin Quarter. It was a tiny restaurant on a side street off the main avenue.
REB ordered this delicious chocolate pistachio milkshake. It seemed like an odd combination, but it was actually pretty refreshing and tasty!
Their menu was interesting. It actually had a lot of Asian and Indian flavors tied into a lot of the dishes. So for an appetizer, we ordered the spicy goat cheese, which came with vegetables and raita. It was a pretty good dish since it was served warm and the yogurt was nice and cool!
For our entree, REB and I split the casoulet. I’ll be honest. It was just OK. It was filled with lots of beans, tomatoes and other vegetables, but it wasn’t very flavorful. It could have used some kind of spice, herb or even just salt! But, it was filled with protein, and it was filling, so I guess that was good.
So there you have it! Our adventures in Parisian eating! It wasn’t super unique food or anything, but we had our share of foods we don’t normally eat. I hope you all enjoyed and maybe if you ever go to Paris, you’ll use these tips and/or restaurant recommendations and check them out for yourself!
And if not, then pull up a chair and have a glass of wine with us.