A Crepe, An Eclair, Ice Cream, and LeChartier: More Food From My Adventures In Paris

11 Jul

Home-cooked meals and macaron tastings aside, I spent most of my days in Paris out and about meandering through the city streets, seeing the sights and eating many a delight! Below are just some of my many memorable food finds…

1. A damn good crepe. Square shaped (actually, it looks very much like a sting ray). Stuffed with champignons (mushrooms), tomatoes, and cheese. The actual crepe dough was bubbling deliciousness, so savory so perfect.


I ate my crepe at a restaurant called “Le Menhir,” a little fondu place in Paris’s Latin Quarter, a district known as the student area where young people flock to the many bistros, cafes, and funky shops.


2. An eclair. A coffee eclair. An eclair filled with coffee pastry cream and smeared on top with a coffee glaze. Uh, so good. Eclairs can be found at pretty much any patisserie or boulangerie anywhere in France, and let me tell you, I walked into every patisserie and boulangerie that I saw. Chocolate or coffee eclairs are the standard, but vanilla and pistachio can be found in some places as well.


3. Ice cream. Oh, ice cream. Glaces as they say in French. Ok, the best ice cream I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a LOT of ice cream in my life, was from Berthillon, a famous shop in Pont Marie area of Paris. The flavor: Caramel-Buerre-Sale. A tiny scoop on a cone. That was all I needed (and usually I don’t say that, I usually want more and more and more until I burst). That one little scoop was pure bliss; I savored every lick. The ice cream really tastes like what it says. Its really is the perfect scoop, even David Lebovitz agrees. Unfortunately I was too busy enjoying my tasty treat to snap a photo. I just could not break away from that wonderful moment.

BUT…I did have more ice cream outside the Luxembourg Gardens. The Luxembourg Gardens are also in the Latin Quarter of Paris and on a nice sunny day, everyone basks in the sunshine with a book or a picnic blanket in these darling gardens.

I absolutely adore this little girl’s hat!

This reminded me of San Francisco’s Dolores Park on a sunny day!

So back to ice cream. A friend of mine recommended this little stand outside the entrance to the gardens on Rue Saint Michel. She specifically told me to go to the stand with the yellow awning (there are 2 stands right next to each other…competition!). She also told me that I should try the lavender flavor.


Yes, it was purple, well…lavender purple. And yes, it tasted like I was eating a lavender plant. Very good, something different. But man oh man there were so many other flavors to choose from. Oh the choices!

4. LeChartier. A famous restaurant in the Montmarte area that is now a historic monument. Opened in 1896, this place is well known and thus extremely crowded. My friend Margot (she lives in Paris now but is originally from Nancy, France) took me there. It was so crowded, the two of us shared a table with another couple and were squashed and surrounded on all sides by more tables. The food is simple and cheap. The menu follows brasserie-style traditions– boiled veal’s head, tripe, tongue, sweetbreads, lamb’s brains, chitterling sausages — as well as some old-time tempters like boeuf bourguignon (braised beef in red-wine sauce). Let’s just say it was definitely an experience to eat at LeChartier.
Bonjour Margot!
This was our dessert from LeChartier. Profiteroles drowning in chocolate sauce. Intense.
And here is just a lovely little painting to send you off…
Le Petit Pâtissier by Chaïm Soutine (from Paris’s l’Orangerie museum)

 

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One Response to “A Crepe, An Eclair, Ice Cream, and LeChartier: More Food From My Adventures In Paris”

  1. humming*bird July 18, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    >Yay! So glad you made it to the yellow-awning ice cream stand on blvd saint michel! i dream about that lavender icecream all the time! ahh im so happy you enjoyed paris, c'est vraiment un endroit apart! (it really is an exceptional place)

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