Monday, 16 August 2010

Paris in food

Ah, lovely Paris. I hadn't been since I was very young (and quite frankly I was far more excited about going to Euro Disney at the time!) so it was nice to see everything with fresh eyes. Don't expect any restaurant reviews or anything high-brow! I eat supermarket food in hotel rooms and eat in places I'll be left alone! But I eat well.

Found a really great food court underneath the Louvre - Le Carrousel Du Louvre. It's apparently the biggest food court on the continent, not sure about the size but it's certainly the best choice of food I've ever seen in a fast food setting. Different outlets with similar meal deal, ie. a drink, main dish and a dessert for about 14 euros. There is Moroccan, Labanese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Italian then a sandwich place, an ice cream outlet and the obligatory McDonalds (more on that later).

We decided to go for French as the ham looked completely edible. Got massive wedges as the girl behind the counter admitted she wasn't very good at carving! The french beans were gorgeous, cooked with garlic and mushrooms and the ratatouille reminded me that I should eat it way more often.

For later on I visited the Italian counter and bought myself a cannoli. I've always wanted to try one of these having seen them in loads of New York Italian delis, except last year when I was ready to buy one and couldn't see one anywhere! I was very glad to finally try one. The pastry was really crispy and the filling was really creamy, almost mousse-like in texture and the candied orange peel cut through everything. Lovely, and one to seek out again though not sure if I'd bother to make some myself. Will check out a recipe to see how much of a faff it is!

As it was August rather a lot of bakeries were unfortunately closed for the month so I didn't come across as many cakes as I'd have liked. We glanced longingly at fine creations in Laduree and Fauchon but the prices were just stupid and I'd have felt guilty about every mouthful! I think I'd rather have clothes anyway. Things did look beautiful though and I'll go back when I win the lottery!! (I can dream)

I did however take a photo of the Fauchon window - oooo, pretty but about 20 euros for just one of those cakes - eek!

We did buy a bit of bread from there though, seemed reasonable! Nice parmesan, tomato and black olive mini bread. I've had things just as nice from other places though.

Looking in the side streets near our hotel we found a gorgeous bakery which was closing for the summer a couple of days later. They were selling equally pretty eclairs as Fauchon and for a third of the price. I couldn't resist the rose eclair and my mum chose the pistachio. Oh yum, the rose eclair tasted like turkish delight. I would have gone back for one everyday if they weren't closing. Oh well, it saved me a few calories!

Pretty and delicious.

Had some lovely steak hache from Galeries Lafayette in their 6th floor casual restaurant and some lovely steak hache from Casino Cafeteria - notice a trend?! I love steak hache and always had it growing up, either with chips or with half rice and half buttery rice. It always had to be cooked through thoroughly but now I'm a grown up I'm having it 'au point', still maybe a little bit raw in the middle but at least you get served quicker! No pics but I'm sure you can imagine a plate of beef and chips!

One major suprise was McDonalds in Paris - have you ever seen a McDonalds in Britain that looks like this?!:

They have created McCafes, don't know if they exist everywhere in France but there were loads in Paris. They looked gorgeous! And they sell macarons! There was apparently a lot of controversy about this as it was seen as cheapening the art of pastry making. But it was a useful place for breakfast, the coffee was made properly and the croissants were completely fresh and crisp - and most importantly they were open in August! I wish we had them over here.

And I have to admit that we did eat a couple of times in McDonalds but with very good reason, you got these little ceramic cups free with a meal and a coffee:

So cute! They did exist in some gorgeous colours but we didn't find ourselves there on the right day. Boo, I really wanted a blue or purple one. They are made by Revol, a famous brand in France and I found these cups in a department store for 8 euros so a great bargain in McDo. And actually, hamburgers are rather delicious aren't they?!

And holidays don't stop - off to London this week for more restaurant avoidance, cupcake eating and plenty of theatre going. So excited to be seeing Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act! Woo!


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