Tag Archives: French food
Summer finally arrived in Paris at the end of June. After freezing for more months than I care to remember and drowning in more months of rain, I emerged to notice the signs that tell me Paris and summer have again met. From arrondissement to arrondissement, from person to person, these signs will differ. I see my Paris as I do. It's not always pretty. It's definitely not perfect. It has to be seen with some amusement and sometimes you just have to think *'C'est la vie'. (more…)
Parisians and Paris never fail to give me something to write about. I find humour, quirkiness and curious
disbelievement wonderment in practically every encounter, person and situation I come across. I walk past tiny shops and enter. I breathe in the history of those who were there before me and bought what I buy, decades before.
And then I open my mouth and shatter the illusion.(more…)
The other day at a cafe I decided to ask the chap sitting beside me to have a conversation. In French of course. He probably thought I was annoying but I don't like talking to myself in public ... That would be more annoying I'm sure. Anyway he was eating alone. I found out that he was a building works manager and had a lot of paperwork that slowed down his projects. Very French. He didn't live in Paris but travelled in to manage projects. When he left he shook my hand and said something positive and smiley to me. I didn't quite understand. Oh well. (more…)
The man in front of me admires my boots as I wander up to a restaurant in the 9th Arrondissement, high up in the streets near the Sacre Coeur. They are solid, low heeled, black and plain, except for a chunky gold zip on each side. He asks me where I bought them and how much they cost, leading me into slightly murky French language waters but he gets the drift. No waiter having come out to greet me (it was not yet 12 noon), I ask Boot Man to move a chair away from a table. He leaps up somewhat apologetically. The French do that often. They are usually extremely courteous. Very well mannered from birth judging by the behaviour of French children I come across. More people arrive, sit and wait. An extremely cute waiter eventually comes out. He looks slightly confused by the number of people now sitting there looking at him rather expectantly. I'm briefly reminded of dogs waiting for their owner. He puts forks on each table. Goes back inside. Comes out and puts knives on each tables. Goes back inside. Comes out and puts a glass on each table. I mention to him that perhaps putting it all in a basket and bringing it out at once would be helpful. He genuinely looks surprised at the suggestion. I realise I sound exactly like my Mum. This is not a bad thing. He brings the specials board over so I can see it (see - cute and thoughtful!). I ask, "C'est tout?" (Is that the only menu?). He looks a little embarrassed as if he was channeling the chef who'd whispered in the kitchen, "Only show them the specials so the customers don't order a variety of meals". I'm having none of that though! This is the missing restaurant from this previous adventure. Damn it all, I want the full menu and I want it now! Let them eat frogs legs! I smile sweetly and flirt. I like cute waiters. They are like good food. He brings out the full menu. I cockily order a wine that turns out to be too sweet. Serves me right for flirting and being a smarty pants rather than asking his advice. Oh well, after two glasses it will have affected my brain so I probably won't notice the difference. Boot Man lights up. Smoke drifts over. As I'm an ex smoker, I'm all for people's rights to smoke. Normally though I don't like the smell. French cigarettes don't smell bad though, they are rather pleasant. I order my food. Onion soup, and duck with sauce, spuds and baby veg. Finally too, some bread arrives on my table. Bread taking so long to arrive in Paris is like an Australian not liking football. Which I don't. Hmmm. I eat half the bread. Forty five minutes later I'm still so hungry that I feel like doing a footy tackle on Boot Man who has his meal. To be fair, he was here before me. Whatever. I'm freaking starving. Finally my entree arrives. I gobble it with glee, eating the cheesy bread on top and poking more bread into the soup. I have a soup dunking/eating system set up in no time. Boot Man has gone off on his motorbike. I see now why he liked my boots! Two Parisians sit down beside me creating a perfect opportunity for me to eavesdrop and practice my French listening skills. A vicious Pekinese walking with its mistress starts snarling and tries to launch its violent teeth on an elderly lady pushing her trolley up the street. Random entertainment for me. Probably not so much fun for the elderly lady. The woman next to me comments to her friend how peaceful it is without the tourists in this little corner of Montmartre. I smile as I understood both what she said and what she meant. My duck arrives. I had asked the waiter to cut up my duck in the kitchen. He now thinks the potato are too big and asks if he should cut them too. Of course I say yes. He's terribly cute. My only regret as I leave an hour later is that I didn't lick the plate. Cute waiters are easy to find in Paris. A good jus is not.