Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paris

Hmm...where to begin. Paris was overall really wonderful. It would seem our timing couldn't have been more perfect. Thursday, the day we arrived, the strikes ended. On Sunday, the day we departed, a collision between two teenagers and a police car occurred which sparked riots that were ongoing at least through Tuesday. I'd say we got in and got out just in the nick of time. We did manage one free ride on the metro Thursday since you apparently don't have to pay when there is a strike.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and started exploring right away. I had found a walking tour podcast that we used to guide us through the streets and give us a good intro to the city. It took us through Notre Dame and by Saint Chapelle, the Conciergerie, Palais de Justice and through the Latin Quarter. We stopped at a cafe just across from Notre Dame for a drink and waited for the sun to set. How's this for a view...

Then we headed off for a brasserie that our hotel had recommended. I didn't really know what a brasserie was and I don't know if this was representative of all brasseries but we were packed in like a bunch of cattle. Our waiter actually had to pull the table out so Steve could get to his seat, then pushed the table in front of him and then I was seated across from him. The tables on either side of us were about an inch away from our's. So basically, Steve had to limit his beverage intake because there was no getting up unless it was for good! We both started this three course meal with a bowl of french onion soup which was....A M A Z I N G.....I can't even tell you how good this soup was. I could have eaten this all weekend...seriously....and in some ways wish I had. That was pretty much the peak of our dining experiences in Paris - and it went straight downhill - fast. After five months in Germany, we have gotten pretty comfortable with trying new things, even ordering off the menu completely blind to what we're getting. Generally, we're not disappointed. I took this sense of adventure with me to Paris and ordered Beef Tartare for my main course. Do you know what beef tartare is? If you do, you're probably laughing and thinking how uncultured I am right now. This is what it is...


Yes, my friends, that is what basically amounts to a raw hamburger patty fancily dressed with capers and onions on a pretty white plate. I could not believe my eyes. So much so that I actually took a bite because I could not fathom that I had actually just been served a 100% raw piece of meat. I know sushi is wildly popular....not a huge fan myself, but I know there are millions of people all over the world eating deliciously raw fish every day. I did not know that there were people out there eating raw beef (or horse, but I won't even go there). Don't they know how good this stuff can be after a few minutes on the grill??? Seriously people.

There was a Dutch couple on one side of us and a Japanese girl on the other, all of which were looking and whispering so we finally acknowledged out loud that yes, the American girl had ordered raw beef for dinner and no, she would not be eating it. Luckily, I was so in love with my onion soup that I had eaten every last drop and then wondered how I was going to have room for my entree. Well, problem solved...

Steve had ordered his steak medium-well because we had read that the French tend to under-cook their meat by American standards (that's the understatement of the year). It looked as though it had been seared on either side long enough for the chef to blink his eyes, but hey, at least his was brown on the outside.

We gobbled up our creme brulee for dessert and got the heck out of there. More on Paris later...

2 comments:

The Binkley Family said...

yum...raw meat...

well, at least it is definitely an adventure!

sarah said...

i agree..paris food is scary. generally skip the meat all together, a bit too questionable for me.