Thursday, 2 August 2012
I'm not sure what I was expecting in Paris, but the food didn't quite hit the mark. There were a few highlights, but I was disappointed a little more often than I would have liked. I know other people will have different opinions and I'm sure there are fantastic places to eat in Paris, especially if you have the dosh. But on my budget, with my limited local knowledge, this is how it turned out for me...
This meal didn't fail us, but we never really ate breakfast out. We just grabbed a pain au chocolat from an artisan boulanger near our apartment in Montmartre every morning. Turn off Avenue de Clichy at Rue de Dames and in less than 100m you can find delicious pastries and bread. Yum!
We also had breakfast at Fauchon one morning, near Palace Madeleine. The madeleines were very nice, but the rest of the food wasn't particularly outstanding. And it certainly wasn't worth double the price of our local bakery.
If you're after macarons (not macaroons as MasterChef has lead us to believe)... the macarons at Fauchon and Laduree are delightful. They have such a huge range and some really fascinating flavours.
I honestly don't remember having one very good lunch experience in Paris. There were ok lunches, such as a pesto chicken salad from a restaurant in Jardin de Tuileries. There were pretty average lunches, such as a tuna panini near Musee d´Orsay. I guess after having some amazing baguettes in Indochine (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), I thought Paris would be just as good if not better. How wrong I was.
Creperies offered a somewhat decent and cheap lunch alternative. But there are only so many galettes/crepes one girl can eat.
And for a little treat, often between lunch and dinner, we indulged in a little cheese and ice cream.
We had some varied dinner experiences. Chez Marie wasn't amazing, but was suitable and relatively good value for money. Cafe de Zebra was also a decent option for a late night feed. Both cafes had menus in English, which can help ease you in when you first arrive.
Cafe de la Butte was by far our favourite restaurant. The quality of the food was outstanding, the ambience was charming and the prices reasonable. It was also very French, but our waitress spoke English and easily helped us to choose a delicious wine.
Most of the places we dined were near or in the Montmartre region. We looked for alternative places to eat but found the number of options and the lack of knowledge slightly overwhelming, and there seemed to be enough decent options right at our door step. But I assure you I will more adventurous in any future visits to Paris - I have no doubt that I will return.