French food is amazing. As you dip into yet another runny wheel of baked camembert goodness, reaching for the honey to drizzle over it and then spreading it all on a fresh baguette, you marvel at how these people can still be alive, let alone smoke like chimneys, drink like sailors and eat massive amounts of cream-covered cheese on top of ham, grilled and served on a plate with sausage garnish.
Oh yes, I said sausage garnish – down here in Montpel, tartiflette is all the rage in winter. It is comprised of wine-soaked potatoes sprinkled with lardons, covered with cheese and then baked – and comes with a charming side dish of SAUSAGE. Oh! The Humanity.
Sure, salads are a popular side dish, and frequently a main course – but have you ever actually ordered one? The lettuce, although fresh and crisp, serves merely as a bed on which rest the most outlandishly decadent treats – sliced duck, lightly fried eggs, lardons, cheese, 150 crevettes, a side of smoked salmon, or any number of items that pass for an acceptable salad topping. I’ve actually eaten a salad containing ALL those things. Burp.
Sometimes, even the foodiest of foodies needs a break. So, without further ado, let us see what else the City of Lights has to offer the wayward tourist who’s tired of popping Tums all day long.
SUSHI. It’s the perfect antidote to heavy creams and cheeses, and as I said in an earlier post, sushi in Paris is constantly a joy – fresh and not ridiculously expensive.
ITALIAN. The French have a bizarre idea of what Italian food should taste like (no, carbonara is not alfredo with a raw egg on top, but thanks anyway), so I’m not gong to recommend any old place. There’s a chain of Italian restaurants called Fuxia – yes, Fuxia; no, I don’t know why – that has the best I’ve found. A map detailing all their locations can be found here.
AMERICAN. Step away from the McDonald’s! Breakfast in America should be your only stop for when you’re craving a burger or a breakfast that doesn’t consist of pastry. BIA is also great for when you want to just order something without getting exhausted by the hand gestures and mispronunciations – it’s like stepping back into America for an hour, in the best possible sense.
KEBAB. I’m not sure how to explain the popularity of kebab here in France. It’s a kind of fast food; it’s cheap and quick, and you can eat it while walking; it’s a drinker’s salvation in the middle of the night. It’s equivalent of a slice in New York. And kebab places are everywhere. You’ll find them most in student areas and neighborhoods that offer a lot of ethnic foods, like the 5th arr. Kebabs are absolutely delicious and a welcome change for your palette.
INDIAN. I have yet to find a good Indian place, but I’ll admit I haven’t searched that hard. If anyone knows of one, please let me know!