Saturday, February 28, 2009

Angelina - Paris

The Macaron Test
Puffin landed in Paris yesterday and was so macaron-deprived that she ordered them while we were at Angelina, against better judgment. Angelina is an old-school cafe across from the Tuileries that's famous for its hot chocolate and pastries. She ordered four mini-macarons: white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate-caramel and pistachio.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Du Pain et des Idées - Paris

My "Local" Boulangerie
Ok, so it's not really local - I live in the 3rd and it's in the 10th. Yes, I have to walk like 25 minutes, but let me worry about that, ok? If they're willing to get up at 2am and bake all night for me then the least I can do is hoof it a bit, right? Like La Bourse ou La Vie, this is another example of someone changing careers mid-stream, as explained here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

La Bourse Ou La Vie - Paris

Old-School Steak-Frites in a Whimsical Setting
I simply love this place, where do I begin? The name, roughly translated, means "Your Money or Your Life." My French colleagues explained that the word "bourse" can mean stock market, purse and balls (yes, the sensitive type.) So, the name is a play on its location (it's a block away from the stock market here in Paris) and perhaps the owner's change of vocation from architect to restaurateur. He changed careers to focus on one thing: making steak-frites the way they're supposed to be made.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arnaud Delmontel - Paris

Checking Out the Award Winner
After a long walk I took one look at the line coming out of Rose Bakery and decided to move on. Not far - just across the street to Arnaud Delmontel - the winner of the the "patisserie of the year" in 2006 and the 2007 "best baguette." Why didn't I simply start here in the first place? Yes, there was a line, but at least it was moving quickly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

La Perla - Paris

Mexican in the City of Light
I know, I hear you - who goes to Paris to eat Mexican food? Thing is, I've been here for months eating French food 2-3 meals a day. Why not try something a little different? Besides, maybe I can speak a bit of Spanish, a language I'm considerably better at than French, scary as that is since my Spanish is far from good.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Les Pâtes Vivantes - Paris

More Hand-Pulled Noodles
There's a reason they spin the noodles in the window - it's designed to catch your attention. And so it does - the name "Les Pâtes Vivantes" means "The Live Noodles", roughly translated. In November, Puff snapped this shot as she bicycled around the 9th. In my mind I can imagine her screeching to a halt and almost crashing to get this photo. Auntie Duan is an expert - she looks so relaxed but from what I'm told, this is hard work!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet Tooth Winter Mashup - Paris

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow, Top Shelf
Imagine taking a marshmallow from Pain de Sucre and dropping it into a creamy, dark hot chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat. I did just that. From the window of Pain de Sucre, I calculated that pink and brown would make the best colors for the photo. I was less sure how the flavors would mix.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baoguette - Manhattan

Banh Mi Pushes into Curry Hill
The Vietnamese sandwich newcomer with the cute name is scrambling to keep up with the crush of patrons and the learning curve.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Au Petit Fer à Cheval - Paris

Breakfast at an Institution
This place, whose name means "little horseshoe", is something of a hip spot according to what I read on the internet. Apparently, a lot of celebs hang there, or used to. I know it as a local place to get a good breakfast and hear good jazz.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bagel Tom - Paris

Bagels in the Heart of Paris
I didn't plan to look for bagels in Paris - that doesn't make too much sense. I'm more than happy with the breads and cakes in any of the 66,000 patisseries here. I stumbled into Bagel Tom because it's 25 feet from my front door. I walk right by it on my way to the metro.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Poilâne - Paris

Old-World Bread Meets Upstart American
When I walked by Poilâne the first time, I thought it was an art gallery. The sculptures propped up in the window looked just like bread.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Le Bac a Glaces - Paris

Chocolate Ice Cream Freedom Celebration
I spent the afternoon at Le Bon Marche, looking for a Valentine Day gift for Ping Ping. I made up a "get out of work" excuse just to go there. I was in that shopping-hell-maze for hours. Ok, those 20 minutes just FELT like hours. When the salesguards weren't looking I made a dash for the wall, hopped it, and ran down the street, giggling at the brashness of my escape. I ran smack into Le Bac a Glaces, on rue du Bac, just a few blocks away.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Nouilles - Paris

Local Hand-Pulled Noodles
I recently moved into a new apartment in Paris and was happy to stumble into a Chinese noodle shop close by. The chef was spinning noodles in the front window, pulling me into the shop like a magnet.

Bread & Roses - Paris

Oh The Choices One Must Make...
No silly, not between bread and roses - that's the name of the place. Imagine you gotta choose amongst the killer cake line-up, below. Put yourself in my shoes: in Paris, wobbly French skills, seated ten feet from the counter where these babies peer out at you. The waitress arrives and boom, you're on - "Avez-vous choisi, Monsieur?" Me? I point like a dummy in their general direction, until the waitress asks an unknown question to which I answer "Oui." Phew, that wasn't as hard as I thought. Just like a native.