I was hoping to write about all the great restaurants that I ate at in Paris. Unfortunately, each place only really did well in some areas and failed in others. So instead, I am going to tell you what food I did and didn’t like.
First off they seem to do smoked salmon really well. Not that I had ever had it before! It never looked appealing to me. However, I accidentally ordered it on my first night in Paris at my hotel. The picture above is what I got and it was amazing! If it hadn’t been so expensive, I would have ordered another! This was on a bed of some kind of soft bread with a chive cream cheese spread between. It literally melted in my mouth. I am now hooked on smoked salmon.
Meat! They love it! I hardly saw chicken on the menu. While I enjoy meat, I don’t like to eat it very often. I found this to be a huge challenge. One night, I sat down and ordered the plat du jour, which is usually the chef’s choice. Little did I know I was getting veal! I usually don’t eat veal. However, it was too late. It was okay. The best part about it was the bed of cous cous it was sitting on and the olives. As you can see it looked great!
Another night of meat! Although it was started off with another round of smoked salmon on top of a cabbage salad. I was on a tour for a part of my trip and the menu was set at this place, otherwise I wouldn’t have ordered meat. Since there was no menu, I don’t know much about this except that it is marinated for hours in wine. Might have been beef bourguignon. This was better than the veal. The meat was really tender. I did not enjoy the fact that the meat was served with all the fat still attached. I kept having to eat around it. Overall, I enjoyed this meal!
Of course, wine! The French are known for their wine. This one pictured, Tradition by Les Vignerons de Buzet, was really great and not too expensive. It was suggested by our tour guide and was only 14€. It was smooth and not too strong of a red. We didn’t know it at the time, but the winery uses no chemical fertilizers on their vines. All the French wine I tried was great. I really got to like Cotes du Rhone region wine the best. Even the cheap bottles were good!
This was by far the best thing I ate, although it wasn’t in Paris. It was in Giverny. The restaurant called it a Summer Freshness in Feta Cheese Salad. One layer was tomatoes, spices and sauce and the next layer was feta cheese with chives. I am really not sure what the pink stuff was on top and it didn’t have much flavor. May have just been for looks. The taste was indescribable, but exactly as described as it was light and refreshing! I wanted them to bring me more, but I knew I had two more courses coming.
Fish is what I kept ordering in place of meat. I was disappointed twice and stopped ordering it. The fish was usually flavorless and the sides were also plain. The fish above looked so good, but had no taste and was really expensive! The night I had the Summer Freshness salad, I had ordered salmon and it was also very plain. I would say cooked fish is not something they do well in France. Stick to the smoked salmon!
One afternoon I passed by a Mexican food restaurant and I thought, as a Texan, it is my duty to try it. Had to be better than what we have in Doha. The menu had very authentic things on it like enchiladas and tacos. There were a few people inside, so it couldn’t be that bad. They brought chips and salsa which was a good sign. The salsa tasted homemade. I ordered the pork taco. Instead of several small tacos, I got one large taco. The pork was almost bbq pork, but it tasted really good. However, the taco was too big to pick up and eat. The star of the dish was the peach “salsa” they served on the side. It was more like a salad though. It was peaches, jalapenos, cilantro and spices mixed together. Another thing I wanted more of, in fact, I saved it to finish after the taco.
Sometimes after over a week of rich food, you just want something normal to you to eat. I googled my way to a cheeseburger. While it wasn’t bad, it was served on an English muffin! The fries were actually pretty good too. I had also decided I didn’t want to pay 20€ for a burger, so I found my way to a chain that was decked out American Diner style with pink and blue chairs and booths with oldies playing in the background. It didn’t matter cause it hit the spot.
A few tips about eating out in Paris. Ask for tap water or a carafe or they might bring you expensive bottled water. Coffee is cheaper ordered at the bar of a restaurant and drunk standing up. You will have to ask for the check, as the French are never rushed to eat a meal! Bon appetit!
I also found that a carafe of wine was cheaper than a diet coke in most restaurants and the carafe gave me two glasses and made me leave the restaurant feeling very happy! I’m a huge fan of the Cote du Rhone red wines. You can buy them at the booze shop here and they are not badly priced.
Yes excellent tip! I did that several times once my family left and I knew I couldn’t drink a whole bottle by myself.
Yum! Thanks for letting me revisit Paris through my tastebuds 🙂
You’re welcome! Glad you could “visit” it again.
Lebanese is a good way to go in Paris, usually fabulous although you probably get that in Doha. Vietnamese restaurants are also very good and reasonable. When I lived in Paris there were only four Mexican restaurants. One in St. Germain which was pretty bad. One in the 17th which was decent but ordinary. One in the garment district which was not great but the tables were in a courtyard surrounded by dance studios, so the visuals were interesting. Then one on Bvd de Sebastopol that served New Mexico Mexican that was actually quite good. But there wasn’t a tortilla chip to be found in any of them and that’s what I missed. Strangely never missed hamburgers. There is a tiny Italian pizzeria in St Germain that served genuine Italian food, not expensive and very good. And there are several crèperies near the Sorbonne that have wonderful savory crèpes. Then there are all the great restaurants, although a steady diet of those can become overwhelming … and fattening. I love French food, particularly peasant cooking, but you can get pretty bad French food, too.
From your photos, it looks like you ate very well. And yes, the French eat tacos and hamburgers with a knife and fork. Although they eat asparagus with their fingers.
Yes, I get lots of Lebanese food in Doha. I was very surprised by the Mexican food place. I did eat well! I will never be able to eat a taco or hamburger with a fork, just feels weird.
Well I did have to learn to eat hamburgers, sandwiches and tacos with knife and fork to avoid looking like a savage. Funny, they taste different that way. And it defeats the purpose of sandwiches/tacos in the first place. Only place I could eat a hamburger with my hands was at the underground Burger King on the Champs Elysées. It was a sort of incognito place, cheapest meal in Paris, but oddly enough I sometimes saw people from my social set sneaking in for a hamburger and trying to use their hands without dropping the whole thing.
Wow, my mouth is watering as I read this!!
I think about that smoked salmon all the time!
Argh! I shouldn’t’ve opened this page when I’m hungry!! Oops!
Haha! Maybe there should be a warning!!
Ooooh, that was a tasty treat! That beef sounds gorgeous! 🙂
I’m glad you liked it. Thanks!
Great post and love the title and tips. Love smoked salmon too. Jill x
Thanks! It is now one of my favorite things!