Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Byte of Paris pt 1

Today was a little better than expected. It did not begin with a baguette like I had hoped, instead I found comfort in a chocolat eclair from Boullanger Patisserie across from my hotel. It was my first fully-French dialog, which of course I messed up by mumbling. Oh well! 2 Euro later I was happily traipsing down the street on a mission to take the metro to Saint-Germaine De Pres. I'll admit, I wasn't sure about when it would be acceptable to eat the eclair because so many people have different customs. I had not seen anyone in Paris eating on the street, so for all I knew it was offensive or something. Finally I caught a glimpse of a monsieur munching on a bagel, and took it as a sign that I was A-okay.

You know how sometimes you get eclairs at the grocery store and sometimes their rock solid, and other times they are just soaked with the cream from inside? Well, this eclair was right in the middle. It was light without having a rock-hard shell to keep it that way. And! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the cream inside was chocolate...not only that, but I didn't have an allergic reaction! I decided that it was a chance to celebrate (do I really need a reason? I'm in Paris, that's reason enough!) at Les Deux Magots. My cousin was in Paris last month and told me I MUST visit there, so sure enough I did. When I got to the cafe I had no idea what to do, so I just watched others as they approached. They seemed to be just sitting outside, so I did the mimicked them...hopefully not in a completely obvious way.

(Les Deux Magots)
I was soon greeted in French by a waiter and I tried my best to respond. I already knew what I was there for, but I took a menu anyways. My waiter returned and asked if I wanted a beverage (again, en francais), and I just maintained a blank stare; not because I didn't understand, but because although I know that water is "l'eau" I had no idea if glass was actually "glass." So, being flustered, I just made a random squeal (something I do far too often), and blurted "Gahh, I'm trying to think," and asked for a moment. As I expected, I was then greeted with a new waiter, for I am a terrifying individual, and when he asked if I wanted a beverage I said "Foie gras, s'il vous plais." Awesome. Go, Kelly. Thankfully he did not bring the Foie Gras in a mug with a straw, but instead brought out one of the most amazing dishes I have ever eaten.

(Duck Foie Gras)
Centered was a piece of foie gras (it was either Pate or Trochon, I'm not positive), with a savory gelee to one side, a cold fruit compote opposite, and a thick drizzle of the thickest, sweetest balsamic vinegar I have ever had parallel to the foie. This was served with three pieces of wheat toast. The pate was not at all what I expected. It was as smooth as butter, and it tasted absolutely brilliant. The birds knew it too, because I had one sitting on the chair across from me the entire time, ready to swoop in for a spare crumb. The lunch came to 25Euro, and I quickly went on my way pretending that I didn't appear to be a moron on the French front. My greatest frustration is that I can write French quite well. (J'ecrite Francais bien!), and most of the time I understand it, I just don't know how to respond and it kills me.

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