Woke up Tuesday morning hungry and disoriented, quickly realizing that I’m not in my bed. I’m in a small bed at a Comfort Inn in the middle of Paris. Stomach was growling after 10 hrs of sleep so I made my way to Bistro 77, same place as the night before. Isabelle had said that they serve breakfast so there I was.
I had my first real breakfast in Paris. A nice big baguette, which came to my table with butter spread across, followed by ham and cheese omelet. So simple and yet so good. I just love that in Paris, butter is not on the side. It’s spread across the bread, where it’s supposed to be. Pure heaven. While I was having my breakfast, Isabelle asked one of the patrons if he spoke English. Turns out that the guy was a Lebanese lawyer in Paris, spoke English, and even a few words in Armenian. When he found out that I was in town by myself, he ever-so-kindly offered to be my lover and tour guide for a week. I nicely turned him down. Mr. Short Fatty didn’t stand a chance.
After the ridiculously good breakfast decided to take a walk. Didn’t know where I was going but somehow ended up right in front of the Pantheon, a burial place for the very famous French but only those that have made important cultural contributions to France (and the world). The likes of Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and my favorite… Alexander Dumas. Seeing Dumas was emotional since he’s one of my favorites and I’ve read The Count of Monte Cristo in three different languages, several times.
Kept walking aimlessly, still lost, and found myself standing in front of the Notre Dame.
After all that walking I was getting really hungry, and passed by a little crepe stand on the street. Of course I had to try a crepe in Paris and my choice was crepe nutella just before meeting my friend Brendan’s friend Guillaume for coffee. Guillaume was very nice, and cute, and after coffee he wanted to show me the best crepe place in Paris. He’s French, and he’s lived in Paris for 11 years, so he knows everything! And he told me that I had to try crepe chocolat (French spelling). So of course I had to try crepe chocolat, even if I had just had crepe nutella about an hour before. This was already late afternoon and Guillaume told me that I might not be hungry for dinner if I ate a crepe chocolat so late in the day. He obviously didn’t know who he was talking to. So, I got my crepe chocolat, and started eating and walking down the street headed to the hotel with chocolate stains all over the face. I got bunch of “bon appetit” comments from cute French men. I think they were flirting. Or they really did just want to wish me bon appetit. In the battle of crepe chocolat vs. crepe Nutella, the winner is… crepe chocolat!
While I was walking and devouring crepe chocolat, I was trying to figure out my plans for dinner. Not an easy thing in a place like Paris. It was only my second day in the city, I was traveling alone, there are way too many choices and I had no idea where to go. But I wasn’t going to let things like my lack of French, traveling solo and no sense of direction keep me away from French food. Fortunately, there’s good food on every block and there was one right near my hotel… La Mouzak.
So with my French food vocabulary limited to foie gras and vin rouge sil vous plais, I decided to ask the waitress for a recommendation for the main course.
First course foie gras salad. A giant chunk of foie gras, with a little bit of salad on the side. I could care less about the greens. But the half a pound of foie gras was just what I needed.
Then it was followed by the mystery recommendation, which turned out to be … if you guessed lamb, my favorite type of meat, then you’re right
And for dessert, it was pears poached in red wine and side of orange flavored ice cream…
And the perfect end to a perfect day.
More to follow…