Over the last few years, as I've been losing weight and watching what I ate, I've gotten more particular about my food. Not picky (that's S's job), but more cognizant, more aware. I pay more attention to what I go into my body, trying to ensure that it's healthy, fresh, and tasty. Combining my new dining cognizance with a return to what many to be the gastronomic capital of the world, I was anxious to see how I'd respond to the food.
We've only been in Paris less than 24 hours, and we've only had two meals, but here are some thoughts:
Yesterday, for lunch with J, we went to a restaurant and all had Croque Madame sandwiches. The Croque Madame is a ham sandwich, served open face, topped with cheese. The whole thing is stuck in a broiler to melt the cheese and give it a nice crispness. Then, the whole sandwich is topped with a fried egg. S, J, and I all ordered these, as J said they were quite good and S and I thought it sounded yummy. Both of us were, ultimately, a little disappointed in the sandwich. The bread was tough, the cheese had been allowed to cool slightly, and though I enjoyed the egg (I ALWAYS enjoy the egg), I couldn't help thinking that the egg was the only thing special about an otherwise boring sandwich. Still, it fortified us for the rest of the day, and we had a lovely conversation with J (about cultural imperialism, immigration ethics, and Michelle Bachman).
For dinner, S and I intended to find a bakery, a fromagerie, and a fruit stand to buy some food for a meal in the apartment. The fromageries were closed (holiday?), so we had to punt. We bought brown bread at a bakery and then fruit, packaged cheese, cookies, and wine at a fruit stand/corner shop. Dinner was the brown bread, the mild Edam cheese, and sliced apples and nectarines (with wine and fig cookies also for me). This meal, more peasant-like than our lunch, was delicious. The bread had great flavor (even S remarked on how the bold flavor of the bread worked so well with the mild cheese), the apple was terrific (sweet and slightly foamy), and the nectarine was so sweet I thought it might have been candied! Even the fig cookies, which were crisp (unlike the soft Newtons, which I do enjoy), were a tasty surprise. All in all, I think our dinner trumped our lunch.
It's almost 8am here on Tuesday, and it's raining in Paris. We've got a few hours to kill before J comes over with our loaner phone, and I think that our plans to wander in the morning have been thwarted by the rain. Ah, alas.