Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Le Printemps des Rues @ Canal Saint-Martin

Last weekend the Canal Saint-Martin got all jazzed up thanks to the annual spring festival, Le Printemps des Rues. There were all sorts of performances and activities for the kiddies, as well as an installation by Constance Arizzoli et Marie-Caroline de Baecque along the canal. The theme was "insTemps Bleus" and while the website explains in detail the reasons for choosing the color blue as a theme, I couldn't help but notice that the installation - blue cloth hanging in the bordering trees - made the polluted water in the Canal seem even greener and dingier.
Still, the Canal area was livelier than usual, especially given the psychotic weather - sunny & warm to chilly & cloudy, all in the space of a few minutes. And today, the 31st of May, it is consistently freezing. What is UP with this Parisian weather? I feel sorry for any tourists who had planned a lovely spring vacation in Paris, only to be met with winter weather upon arrival. I hope it warms back up soon. Wearing a winter coat in June is just unnatural! (This is coming from a girl raised in the South, used to only two seasons - spring and summer - who will next year be far far away in the North will there will be only one season - winter. I better get used to wearing my "winter" clothes in May!)


Friday, May 26, 2006

Chez Stella

I mentioned Chez Stella on my list of cheap restaurants, promising a post soon enough, and returned to this small restaurant in the 1st this week. Surrounded by Japanese restaurants, Chez Stella stands out, offering traditional French cooking for bargain prices. There is the 3-course 12€ menu, the 2-course 11€ menu, or a big salad + dessert for 10€ (click to enlarge):
The choices are simple but satisfying. Entrées include classics like a slice of pâté, a hardboiled egg, or an assiette de crudités - grated carrots, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and their take on potato salad (it has green peas). The main dishes include the inevitable steak haché (ground beef patty), the family dinner-friendly rôti de porc (roasted pork), a fully loaded omelette, turkey, and some additional specials that require supplements as well as the plate of the day. You choose your side - rice, french fries, green beans, baked potatoes - and either Stella or her obliging husband/cook will bring it out to you soon enough.

The desserts are Chez Stella's strong point, where the options go far beyond simple renderings of classics: as you walk in you can't help but notice the table on the left, overflowing with all sorts of cakes, pies, puddings, and creams. If Stella likes you she'll even let you choose two! I've had the fromage blanc cake before, which is like a heavier angel food cake, and the crème caramel, but this time the chocolate cake looked so good I couldn't resist. It was a chocoholic's dream, covered in a rich frosting, even though it was unfortunately drowned in crème anglaise (the husband asked "with a little bit of crème?" and I replied "Yes, just a little bit on the side", but I guess we have different understandings of un petit peu).

When you walk into the restaurant you enter Stella's kingdom. Stella is coquette - always perfectly made up, with jewelry and a dress, she presides over the restaurant like the queen that she is. Just because she's queen doesn't mean she forgets about the little people, and you will be well taken care of here. Stopping by to ask you how it is, she'll crack a joke or two if she deems you worthy. Last time I went there was a large dinner party of gay men, and since Stella and her husband were enjoying the home videos that this table was passing around (oh yes, that kind of home video), the entire restaurant got to see them, as Stella made the tour with the man's digital camera, cracking the same jokes at each table and making suggestive (seductive?) faces & gestures to her husband. At the time I thought to myself "Don't bring the parents here!", but this week, both Stella and the clientele seemed to be more serious, and we didn't get to see any dirty videos nor hear any dirty jokes. Her husband was soo friendly as usual, describing our table with flourish as he sat us. Even though we were crammed in the back corner, he tried to be nice about it, "Here you will have a bit of room, it is more calm," and was always smiling and cheerful.

Since it is small, with friendly service and rock-bottom prices, it is always packed and reservations are necessary. I can't recommend it highly enough - this is the best 12€ meal you can have in Paris. Entirely non-smoking.

Chez Stella
3, rue Thérèse
75001 Paris
01 42 96 22 15
M: Pyramides
Closed Saturday & Sunday


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chez Léon

Last night I ventured out of my usual 'hood to try Chez Léon, a "bib gourmand" restaurant in the Michelin guide (no, no, no, I'm not talking about the mussels chain, Léon de Bruxelles). A block away from the bustling market street, Rue de Lévis, Chez Léon is mentioned in the famous police novels by Georges Simenon. We were even seated at Table 5, above which a plaque is mounted, reading that this is the seat of the Commissaire (Inspector) Jules Maigret, "hôte gourmand de la maison."

There is a set 3-course menu at 26€, and à la carte you'd pay a bit more (click to enlarge):At first glance I knew exactly what I'd order for all three courses, and I think my boyfriend, R., felt the same way. He ordered the foie gras, which came with toast, and I started with canteloupe and jambon de bayonne. Unfortunately the melon wasn't ripe - it was still hard and had little sweetness or flavor, so it was disappointing. We also raised our eyebrows at the garnishings - we both had a sliver of tomato and a wilted speck of parsley atop our appetizers, which inexplicably topped our main dishes as well. I got the filet de lieu jaune avec légumes de printemps. I feel like no matter what the name is in French, when I try to translate it to English I end up with pollack, as is the case here. The fish was delicious, crispy on the top, with a light sauce that flavored the bed of carrots, snow peas, and green peas (which were hard and crunchy - yuck). R. had the Joue de boeuf braisée avec pommes boulangère, which came out piping hot, in a cast iron casserole. This was also great, the beef steaming away in a thick gravy, with sliced potatoes and onions underneath.

The desserts were wonderful. I know, I almost always say that, but I can't help it if it's true (or if I've got an enormous sweet tooth). Pictured on the left is an île flottante, one of my favorite desserts, sitting in a pool of crème anglaise. The last time I had one was exactly one year ago at Aux Lyonnais, so this was long overdue. The île flottante was heavenly: light and fluffy, it melted in my mouth. I didn't sprinkle it with the powdered pralines that came on the side that came with it because it was so good just plain. I had counseled R. against what was described as Framboises fraîches, crème marscapone (Fresh raspberries & marscapone) because he hates cheese cake or any heavy dairy products. The description did not do justice to the dessert, however, which was beautiful and delicious: topped with a swirly pattern of mango and raspberry sauce, the cream was lighter than I expected, with fresh raspberries hiding at the bottom. The tartness of the mango sauce and the fresh raspberries were excellent with the cream.

We had gotten a bottle of Bourgogne Aligoté for 21€, and most of the wines were in that price range. The food was solid, the waiter was hilarious, and we both felt like 26€ was about right for what we got, but I honestly expected more than just "solid" from a bib gourmand. All the other ones we have been to have been excellent and inventive - L'ami Jean, Aux Lyonnais, Le Buisson Ardent, Le Gallopin, to name a few. These restaurants might have had their own setbacks, but the food and the presentation were always beautiful and sometimes surprising (like the Carambar tart I had at L'epi Dupin). The dining room itself was also kind of shabby, with dirty walls and worn upholstry, so I didn't agree with the two "utensils" that Chez Léon received in the Michelin guide. This rates the building, the decor, the location, and the facilities, with two indicating "comfortable", but I would not put Chez Léon in the same category as Le Pamphlet and Le Gallopin, also two-utensiled. While I obviously contest the Michelin ratings Chez Léon has received, it was still decent overall, and again, the waiter was really nice. Not a bad choice if you are nearby, and perhaps even a must if you're a big fan of Inspector Maigret.

Chez Léon
32, rue Legendre
75017 Paris
01 42 27 06 82
M: Villiers
Closed Saturday & Sunday


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mind the Gap

OK, I'll admit it. I'm clumsy. My thighs often show colorful evidence of unfortunate collisions with tables, chairs, doorknobs, railings, and anything else that gets in the way of my journey from Point A to Point B. Recently I further "distressed" my already distressed Diesel jeans by tumbling down a few steps; that hole in the right knee is authentic, thank you very much. I have never broken any bones or twisted any joints, however, and have only a few stiches to show for childhood horseplay with cousins and siblings. Up until today I have never had any serious accidents. Sure, I was stuck overnight at Gatwick when there was a crazy with a grenade, and one time a drunk driver barely missed the restaurant terrace where we were dining and plowed into the boutique next door instead, but no bodily harm, or even serious threat, ever resulted.

But even clumsiness alone can't explain what happened to me today in the metro. I was coming down the stairs and I saw my train arriving. I hurried up and hopped in as soon as all the descending passengers exited. My right foot made it...but where is my left foot and leg? What is happening to me? I hear the door alarm ringing, and the doors begin to shut on me as my left leg is caught between the train and the platform. I feel myself being pulled up by the other passengers, just before the doors shut behind us. Everyone asks me how I feel, I say fine. My left leg hurts and I don't understand what happened. I think about it all the way to my destination, and hours later I am still ruminating on what happened and what a serious accident I just avoided. Somehow when I stepped onto the train my right foot must have slid and my left foot didn't quite make it. The platform was curved, and I was at the end of the train, which made the gap between the train and the platform even wider than normal.

When I replay the accident in my mind, it feels like only my foot was caught. I was still standing, I didn't fall and my hands didn't touch the ground, so it couldn't have been more than my calf that was dangling. When I came home to take a hot bath and calm down, I discovered that I was wrong. Starting with a lovely apple-sized bruise on my calf, I have another smaller one on my knee and then a scattering of purple from my knee to my upper thigh. What the fuck happened to me. I wish I could say that I am very old and feeble, or that I was drunk or high, or that I was wearing 4-inch heels, or that I was running breathlessly after the train to catch it, or any combination of the above. But I wasn't! Young, perfectly sober, in very sensible flats (open-backed, by the way - how did they not fall off?!), neither running nor sprinting, only the usual rush. A colleague tried to reassure me, "Don't worry, that happens all the time, especially with the little ones." But this just reminded me of my ineptitude, putting my skills at using public transportation on par with those of a toddler. I was a bit leery of the metro when I rode it back home, and I still feel embarrassed for today's catastrophe. Mind the gap, indeed.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Palais Royal Smartcar

While this doesn't have quite the same appeal as the Brice de Nice mobile (I posted about that one here), this Palais Royal Smartcar is still eye-catching. Incidentally, the film is pretty funny, and Catherine Deneuve is divine in it.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Just a little green

Where is all this green coming from? Am I in one of those famous Parisian gardens, like Parc Monceau or the Jardin du Luxembourg? Or maybe at a market, like the famous flower market on Ile de la Cité, just in front of the Préfecture de Police?

Think again, my friends:The steps in front of La Madeleine are now home to these patriotic planters (notice the French flag stickers scattered throughout). Will flowers soon be in bloom? I don't know; I could only recognize sage. The green is a lovely addition to the steps, which are already a great place to soak up direct sunlight, all too rare in Paris. Ah, springtime in Paris.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Barcelona 2 - Arsenal 1

Yes, the tears have been shed. Not only for Arsenal's immediate loss (sob), but also for the very strong possibility of an even more important loss - my love, Thierry Henry, who might no longer be at Highbury next season. I'm not even going to talk about the bad calls of the match (Henry's yellow card, or the Barcelona's supposed off-side goal), the high points (Sol Campbell!), the low points (Lehmann's red card, poor Pirès)...

But on a less depressing note, I thought it was really cute the way Barcelona's Ludovic Giuly hoisted his toddler son on his shoulders after the game, making the rounds of both Arsenal and Barcelona players.I couldn't find the photo of Henry kissing the kid's forehead, but it was adorable. And at least at the end you felt like the teams were friendly and it was a (relatively) honest, clean game - good sportsmanship on both sides, barring Henry & Wenger's frustrated accusations minutes after the game ended.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I <3 Thierry

As you may or may not know, tomorrow ARSENAL plays in the final of the Champions League!!!!!! As a Gooner (a fan of the Gunners), I am ecstatic. So I just wanna give a shout out to my main man, the love of my live, the guy who can surely lead the Gunners to victory, Thierry Henry. A few photos for those of you who have yet to realize how gorgeous this striker is.
Cheesin' it up:
On the muppets?! Or, Theirry Henry, future rock star
Aww don't you love that smile?
A moment of reflection (pensive Thierry)
Fashionista Thierry (call me)
Yet another adorable photo (take that, Chelsea!) . Can't you just imagine him saying "Aww, shucks" in this one?
I will lead the Gunners to victory tommorow in the finals! You can count on me! °1 4-eva!
And I can't leave out the coach, Arsène, aka Mr. Burns with hair:
I will be glued to the screen tomorrow evening...I wish I was back in London, cuz I know it will be madness! Needless to say, if they lose, I will definitely shed a tear or two...but I know they can overcome those Barcelona scum.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Le Verre Volé

Le Verre Volé was my fallback restaurant last year. It was where I brought my American friends when I wanted to show off how kewl and French and hip I was, and it is the place to accomplish this and feel typically Parisian. This tiny wine store and bar in the 10th is filled with stereotypical hipsters and bobos, rolling their own cigarettes and filtering in from the area shops or the Canal Saint-Martin, which is just around the corner.

Le Verre Volé has wine bottles from floor to ceiling, some of which are organic or come from small vineyards that you wouldn't find elsewhere. The retail prices are very reasonable, and the prices for bottles when you eat or drink there even more so - you only tack on 5€ to the sticker price! This is a deal considering the hefty markups at most restaurants. They also have a decent selection of wines by the glass starting at 3€.

You can go there to buy a bottle of wine to bring to a friend's dinner; just to have a glass of wine (or more); before dinner for the apéritif; or even for the entire meal. They do not actually prepare any food besides warming it up - they get it all from traîteurs. This means that the menu is 1° limited and 2° doesn't change (with the expection of seasonal additions). It focuses mainly on all the organ-heavy foods that Americans shy away from - pâté, fois gras, andouillette, saucisses - although they now appear to have salmon on their menu. (click to enlarge)The prices are reasonable, with entrées from 5-7€ and main dishes from 10-12€. I used to always get the stuffed quail, which came with the usual garnishings and salad, and my boyfriend loved the andouillette (tripe sausage - gag). I have never tried the desserts there, because the crème brûlées in tin foil reminded me too much of the neighborhood bakery and I didn't feel like paying restaurant prices for such. The wine is the reason to go, but you might end up staying for the food. And what American wouldn't like to feel oh-so-Parisian, even if only for one evening.

Reservations necessary on the weekend (they have a a cute post-it system to reserve the tables)

Le Verre Volé
67, rue de Lancry
75010 Paris
01 48 03 17 34
M: Jacques Bonsergent/Louis Blanc/Gare de l'est


Saturday, May 13, 2006


Today I passed by Artazart, a bookstore on Canal Saint-Martin. This independent bookstore focuses mostly on design and photography, and has a wide kids selection as well as interesting stationary and paper supplies. I would definitely drop by if you're in the area. Half of it is a gallery, with monthly exhibitions that usually provide eye-catching displays - I remember one time they had two electric fans blowing around confetti. Today, however, I was sad when I saw their windows: I guess they had a problem with their big orange shutters that normally protect the windows, and vandals couldn't resist the virgin surface. The entire storefront is covered with this ugly Sharpie marker graffiti. In spite of this, the management retains a good sense of humor, simply explaining the situation as "Unwanted temporary decorations."

83, quai de valmy
75010 Paris
01 40 40 24 00
mon>fri 10h30 - 20h30
sat>sun 14h - 20h

tags: ,

Friday, May 12, 2006

Operation Get A Damn Flight Home Already

I am extremely frustrated right now, so just to save anyone else all the nonsense I am going through right now, let me warn you:
Frequent flier programs are NOT worth it!

Thanks to generous family members who have oodles of miles, I've been able to fly to Europe quite a few times paying only the taxes and fuel surcharges, about $50 - 75 per trip. In the process I've also managed to rack up my own miles, and for my recent ticket back home I've booked with the SkyTeam. But alas, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. While frequent flier miles might seem ideal - who doesn't like cheap cheap cheap tickets?! - there are several key restraints to keep in mind:

1° You must book a few centuries in advance in order to get the date and itinerary you desire.

I exaggerate, but seriously you must call roughly 330 days before your trip. This is the farthest ahead an airline can book you, and since they only reserve about 0.0001% of their available seats for you, the loyal customer, if you call even a few days after this, the seats are already gone and the waitlist is already full. You wanna a cookie?

2° You must be open to interesting and seemingly-exciting itineraries that make you seem well-traveled until you mention that you can only comment on/show pictures of the airport facilities.

There are no direct flights from Paris to my hometown, but it is quite easy to find connections so that it should be a 2-flight trip. I, however, have experienced the joy of 24-hour+ 4-leg trips including the following:
Home-St. Louis-Newark-Zurich-Paris (this one takes the cake - leaving at 6:50 am east coast time and arriving at 2 pm Paris time the next day!)

Add looooong layovers and a dog into the mix and you've got all the perfect ingredients for a truly hellish voyage!

Let's say that 1° doesn't apply and 2° doesn't appeal. This brings me to
°3: You must enjoy on-hold Muzak and have countless of hours to waste calling the airlines.

I am currently on °3. When I orginally booked my ticket last summer, I wanted to come home in July but since they could only book 330 days ahead I had to settle for mid-June, knowing that I could change my itinerary at any time for only $50. I called to try when I was home for Christmas, but no seats were open at the time. It completely slipped my mind until March, and I didn't get around to calling until April, and now here I am with bi-weekly conversations pencilled in with the lovely operators at Delta. Here is a typical conversation:

Delta: Hi welcome blah blah blah what can I do for you?
Me: Hi I'd like to make a change to an existing itinerary.
D: Yes?
M: I'd like to change my current return date to anything in July or August.
D: Exqueeze me?
M: Yeah, I've been calling every week and nothing is available in July or August. Beggars can't be choosers, and I'm pretty flexible, so I'd take anything in the month of July and even early August.
D: Well I need a date to enter in the computer
- blah blah blah they have to search DAY by FREAKING DAY by FREAKING AIRLINE (Delta, NWA, KLM, AirFrance, Continental), so the average phonecall lasts ONE HOUR. Thank god for speaker phone and freebox (unlimited calls to the US HOLLA - here the reservations hotline is like 30 cents a minute, plus I'd have to deal with bitchy French people). -
D: Hmm, could you make it to Frankfurt somehow? I can get you from Frankfurt to the US, but I can't get you into Frankfurt from Paris.
M: [ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME] uhhh, I don't think that would be possible...
D: Well, that's all I've got available for now. I'd keep calling back in case someone else cancels their reservation, but don't be too optimistic. (this is said with sadistic glee at denying my request)
M: OK well thanks anyways, I appreciate it.
D: Thank you for calling Delta blah blah blah

One operator told me I'd have the best chances if I called right after midnight, which is when reservations that are held but not paid for automatically cancel out. I could never bear to wake up at 6 am to call an airline, so I'd usually just do it around 9 or 10 am. This is the wee bits of morning back home, and Delta changes to its foreign call centers at this hour, making the conversations even more surreal due to the constant stream of "sorry, what was that you said?" and "come again?" on my part - this is no longer part of my "get a flight home" strategy.

Well, enough of this rant. I must admit that there are some advantages to frequent flier programs:
1° You only pay for taxes and fuel surcharges - $58 on this trip ain't too shabby.
2° They're pretty flexible with changes. American used to allow free, unlimited changes in dates AND destination - oh, those were the days, remember the 70 lb, 3 bag limit (*tear*)? - but even now the fees are pretty reasonable ($50 with Delta, $100 with AA) in comparison to the fees you pay on a regular ticket ($100 minimum) .
3° If you're not flying in peak periods you should be OK. September, October, certain weeks in November and December (read: NOT anywhere near Thanksgiving or Xmas), February, and March seem to be pretty open. Otherwise, you're toast.

Until I am actually able to change my ticket, however, I must declare that frequent flier programs in general, and Delta's in particular, officially suck and I hate them. This guy's obviously with me.

tags: , ,

Monday, May 08, 2006

La Souris Verte

Just around the corner from Zen Zoo, on a quiet street in the 2nd, La Souris Verte is a cosy restaurant that looks like it's straight out of Strasbourg due to the faux half-timbered construction on the outside of the building. True to its name, this restaurant is full of green mice, big and small, stuffed in every nook and cranny!

I had been meaning to try their 15€ 3 course set menu for a while:but when I finally went I wasn't really that hungry and copped out and got one of their enormous salads instead. At 11€ you choose your own combination of four ingredients, listed here (on the left side of the top page): I picked goat cheese, lardons, eggs, and tomatoes, and I was not disappointed. Served in a massive mixing bowl on a bed of green salad, the goat cheese was melting perfectly over the tomatoes, and the lardons were hot out of the frying pan (by the way, they were the biggest lardons I have ever seen). This lasted through the entrée and main dish courses of my friends!

My friends opted for the 23€ menu, which offers a wider selection than the 15€ one, and includes an aperitif. Ultimately, though, for this price it would be better to go elsewhere since the food was just eh. My friends started with a pâté and a stuffed, grilled tomato with salad, and for their main courses had a steak and leg of lamb, served with green beans and roasted potatoes. The steak was good, but the lamb was disappointing since the meat was not of the greatest quality or freshness. They ordered a great bottle of red wine to go with it at 16€, and afterwards they agreed that this was the best part of the meal when considering the quality & price. For dessert they both got the lemon-lime sorbet, which was impeccable. Refreshing, with little bits of zest throughout, this was the perfect choice on a warm spring night.

I would go to the Souris Verte if you are in the mood for a good fresh salad, or even if you can limit yourself to the 15€ menu which isn't such a bad deal. But once you get to the 23€ price point, you're paying a bit too much for what you're getting - I'd opt for the Gallopin 2-course menu instead, at the same price. However, it remains a decent choice: cosy and intimate, with sufficient choices and service, and if you're on a budget it could work. Their website is very informative (and up-to-date!), so I would check it out if you're thinking about going there.

Afterwards we swung by Zen Zoo where I got a bubble tea as my dessert, and they had actually set up sidewalk seating since it was so nice out, which is something to keep in mind.

Restaurant La Souris Verte
52, Rue Sainte Anne
75002 Paris
01 40 20 03 70


Wednesday, May 03, 2006


On my recent list of seriously cheap restaurants in Paris, I left out one biggie - Flam's! Whoever thought that all-you-can-eat gluttony didn't exist in France hasn't been to this chain. A warning: Flam's is not to be frequented in warm weather, and if you are lactose intolerant you shouldn't bother. The first time, I went with a lactose-intolerant Jewish boy and needless to say, he did not have a pleasant experience. Why? The menu consists only of variations of the Alsacian speciality, tarte flambée (also known as Flammekueche - hence the name of the restaurant), the main components being cheese and lardons (chopped bacon). This is like a super-thin crust pizza, with a base of either sour cream or grated swiss cheese or both, plus additional toppings like bacon, onions, mushrooms, or other weekly specials. They are soooo good, especially when it's chilly out.

A photo of a "gratinée" on their website, although sadly the ones in the restaurants do not come with a side of wheat, flour, and shallots :(
The basic menu is about 12€ for a salad and unlimited tarte flambées, though they also have more extensive menus including dessert. I have never gone beyond the basic menu, however, because I always feel stuffed to the gills when I leave, and I can't imagine having something sweet on top of it! The tartes are served on the wooden tray used to cook them, and at Flam's, you can get between 4 and 6 slices per tarte depending upon how big the table is and how hungry you are. Traditionally you are supposed to start with the "lighter" ones, like just plain cheese, and move your way up to the heavier ones - with bacon, with mushrooms, with bacon and mushrooms. Nobody uses forks & knives to eat the slices - you roll em or fold em the way you like, and gobble them up while the cheese is still melting.

My main issue with Flam's is that I always feel so sick when I'm leaving. I'll usually quit well ahead of the rest of the table, but when I stand up to go I'll realize I've overdone it (yet again). But it's so hard to stop! They're crispy and crunchy, yet warm & melty! Hence my warning to avoid it in warm weather. In cold weather I can walk it off, so that by the time I'm home I feel much better. But in warm weather, like right now, it would be too heavy and awful. Also, the service is usually horrendous, which means that you will have a slower paced meal than you might like. This poses a problem if you are with a group of hungry frat boys who want to maximize their intake, or even if you just expect minimal basics like forks with your salads or napkins. It's the perfect place for groups, but I wouldn't bother if you're on your own or only 2 (unless you are a hungry frat boy or are going with a hungry frat boy). Reservations definitely required on the weekends.

There are locations all over France, though I have only been to the one at Les Halles:
62 rue des Lombards
75001 Paris
01 42 21 10 30


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Baby got back

Does this ad for the SciFi channel freak anyone else out?I know there are quite a few jokes to be made here...but it just creeps me out.


Monday, May 01, 2006


And some more linkhappiness:

When I read this article in the NYTimes, I was astonished. Are they kidding? The title is "Affordable Europe", and for their choice of a cheap restaurant they choose one with a 30€ set menu. Since when is 30€ cheap?! If you really wanna do Paris on a budget, you can eat well under that. Just a few seriously cheap restaurants off the top of my head:
Au Pied de Fouet
Chez Stella, 3 rue Thérèse, 75001 Paris, 01 42 96 22 15 (13€ 12€ set menu)
Chez Maurice Le Bourgogne, 26 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris, 01 46 07 07 91 (13€ set menu)
Refuge des Fondues, 17 rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, 01 42 55 22 65 (15€ set fondue menu INCLUDING wine!)
Plus, any old creperie.
Now you won't have any culinary masterpieces at these places, but you'll eat hearty French food for well under 30€ TOTAL.

Don't even ask me how I came across this site. A nifty guide to parking lots in Haywards Heath, England, the author has come up with a unique "Paintwork Damage Quotient" rubric as part of the rating system. Someone should do the same for Paris! In addition to the quantifiable rating system, the site provides great commentary, praising one lot that has a "gilt-edged roll call of features"and providing the common names in addition to the official ones, ie "That little know" or "Is that for Robert Dyas too?"

This blog breaks my heart. There is a kill shelter in Georgia that only gives the animals 7 DAYS to be adopted or claimed before putting them down. If I lived anywhere near Spaulding County, Ga, I would definitely want to adopt a few of these babies.

This site is such a great idea! You can buy gift certificates at restaurants here, for more than 50% off the retail value! It has national listings, and a pretty darn good selection as well - not just chains or franchises, and the whole gamut from fast food to nice places. Again, if only they had this in France (sigh).

And finally, the food timeline is really interesting. Not only does it give the dates of when foods or recipes were invented (cupcakes - 1740; rice krispies treats - 1941), it also has old menus on it.

tags: ,