Everyone kept telling me how delicious the food in Paris was. They were correct.
But, being a vegetarian, I found it a bit difficult to easily walk into any place and find something. I learned really quickly how to spot what I thought was meat in a dish, and explain that I was a vegetarian.
My first experience with Paris food was pasta and bread, two things that normally bother me, but oddly didn’t there. I quickly learned that small pâtisseries were my friend. I could get a various breads, and then later on I found crepes, that were delicious. I would pair a baguette with a small glass of wine and a little Spanish olive oil from the local supermarket to make a quick late-night snack.
Cafe Louise was an excellent recommendation by my hotel. It was well-priced, and they took out the ham in the gnocchi for me. I had never had gnocchi like this before. It was almost like a mac n’ cheese, but not heavy and with lightly melted cheese on the top, which by the way was picture perfect.
And, the creme brûlée! Not something I usually eat, but it was Paris and I had to try it. So delicious.
One thing I noticed about this meal, and many of the ones I had there, was that although they sounded very rich, they weren’t over the top. All of the sauces, cheeses, chocolates and desserts were rich in taste, but weren’t heavy. My guess is because all real ingredients are used.
Unable to find anything vegetarian again, I turned to what I thought I was going to have to end up eating the whole trip — another gnocchi dish. I swear I have never eaten so much gnocchi in my life.
This time it was while sitting at cute outdoor cafe called Le Bonaparte. This pesto gnocchi came with freshly shredded cheese on the side. Another thing I loved about Paris, the cold was tolerable, so despite it being the middle of February, I was still able to eat outside on a heated patio.
Most likely the most impressive meal I had was at Cafe Le Petit Point on Valentine’s Day. It was literally “on fire.” Again, another pasta dish, which this time, was just OK, but the champagne served with a sparkler and the creme brûlée served the same way more than made up for it.
The last night I was in Paris, i finally found a vegan dish that was fantastic. It was in the Latin Quarter at Le Saint Severin. The gentleman at the door convinced me to come into the restaurant, and I am glad I did. A pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, olives and onions, along with a glass of local red wine, was the perfect way to end my trip.
There were several Paris food bucket list I wanted to do while I was there.
Drink a glass of relatively expensive real champagne at a place I normally wouldn’t frequent. I accomplished this at the Shangri-La Hotel. Beautiful atmosphere filled with a variety of people.
Eat a fresh made crepe near the Eiffel Tower. (more on this soon, because this place deserves its own post!)
A real croissant. Accomplished this, well, pretty much everywhere, including at my hotel, the first day I got there for breakfast and the one spread with the best chocolate sauce ever at what translates into the cate cafe. This was also seriously the croissant I had the whole time there. (More on that soon!)
And, of course macaroons, which will be getting their own post soon, but in the mean time, look at these! How yummy do they look?
BONUS! Everyone talks about wine when they go to France, but I stumbled upon a local microbrewery, Frog Beer at Frog Pubs, while on an open-top bus tour. I am sure the bartender was a little weirded out after I kept expressing my surprise at finding the place, but he was nice enough to let me have a little sample of a few beers. I finally narrowed it down to one, and enjoy that with a side of mozzarella sticks. So not a typical French meal, but I was starving and it totally hit the spot.