Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Paris Food Trip: Eating on a Budget in Paris (I Love Paris Series 16)

Paris Food Trip 
Eating on a Budget in Paris
I Love Paris Series 16 

Paris is considered as the culinary capital in the world.
French Cuisine is a revered art, top notch French Chefs
are world class and treated like rock stars, and formally
dressing- up for a luxurious leisure dining is a norm.       



But for impoverished tourists from a third world
country traveling on a limited budget like my family,
the popular and sophisticated French restaurants
could be too expensive and elegantly intimidating.

 

We had a taste of basic French Cuisine
in A l'Ombre de Notre Dame, a  budget
resataurant near the Notre Dame Cathedral.

 

The place served good affordable French food, 
had a comfortable, non- intimidating ambiance.


The service was excellent as it is manned
 by a majority of friendly Asian staff.


We also got to try Mira Cuisine Espagnole
 a Spanish restaurant at the Café du Monde,

 

….that provided a delicious Spanish Cuisine prelude for my family as 
we were scheduled to visit Spain on the last leg of this European tour.


We were lucky for having a Chinese restaurant
next door neighbor at the Hotel Bresil Opera,


…as their delicious rice- based dishes kept my family
well fed and the staff’s hospitality made us feel at home,


…that we ate there almost everyday.

                                                                                             
Still, scrimping and saving doesn’t mean starving
yourself to death as there are ways of enjoying  
                   delicious French food without hurting your wallet.                   



Below are some of the must try dishes when in Paris.

1. Crêpes
When in Paris it is an indefensible crime
not to sample the traditionally sweet Crêpe


 It is delicious and affordable,


…and we got ours, a delicious
melt in the mouth Nutella Crêpe


…at the Torcadero’s conventional food stall.

2. Macarons
While were we strolling the Parisian landscape, we were always on a 
hunt for the sweet, colorful Macarons, the most coveted  cookies in Paris 
and found them at the La Petit Musee du  Chocolat, in the Mortmantre


We also got to try the Macarons  at
the upscale Angelina’s in Versailles.

 

The macaron is available in variety of flavors:
almond, lemon, salted caramel, chocolate,
fruits, honey and believe it or not - rose!.


These famous colorful bunch. wherever they came from-
either from  upscale patisserie or a lowly  roadside stall,
they are a must eat and a must try goodies when in Paris.

3. Éclairs
Éclair comes from French word
that means ‘flash of lightning’. 

 

It was apparently named so because it is very delicious and
irresistibly tempting that it disappears quickly when served.
It is soft and mouthwatering and devoured ‘fast in a flash’


The Éclair from Angelina’s was served with a mini- spoon,
Ditch the decorum, devour the it like there is no tomorrow. 

 

That’s exactly what we did. It was very delicious; it melts 
in the mouth, and the éclair was gone in seconds.

4. Madeleines
Madeleine is a traditional cake that tends to dissolve 
in your mouth and leaves a sweet, pure buttery taste.


We were lucky that HotelBresil Opera provided us
with a daily supply of this delicious cake in our minibar.


What can be more thoughtful than having several pieces
of Madeleine upon arriving in your hotel room everyday?

5. Baguettes

Of course, one should not miss the Baguettes. Generically 
referred as French Bread all over the world and deserves
 to be called so,  as it is essential in every French meal, as 
it is as staple as rice for Asians, and specially for Filipinos.

 

It is everywhere and could be enjoyed as it is,

 

…or as delicious yet affordable gourmet sandwiches.

 

All these are available everywhere from upscale restaurants,

 

…and even on street stalls,

 

Fortunately all of these goodies could be ordered to go,

 

…and enjoyed anywhere from park benches,


…or even just in any cozy corner,


…sans the unnerving fine dining formalities.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Louvre Museum: Monaliza Up-close (I Love Paris Series 15)


Louvre Museum 
Mona Lisa Up-close
I Love Paris Series 15

We arrived at the Louvre Museum very
late in the afternoon as we were trapped by
a heavy downpour on our last day in Paris.



The museum was already
closing in less than an hour,





…so we had to hurry and run our way
to Louvre’s most popular exhibit- 

 

… Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. 



It was a photo- finish.



The exhibit closed just as we arrived
and there were very few people around,



…so we were able to appreciate
the famed Mona Lisa up- close.





The Louvre  Museum or  Musée du Louvre, was
originally  built as a fortress in the late 12th century





…and was converted to the Louvre Palace in 1546
that served as residence of  the French royalties
and the seat of power by the French monarchies.





Louis XIV moved his residence to
the Palace of Versailles  in 1682,

 

 

…leaving  the Louvre primarily as a museum
to display the massive royal treasure collection.




We first visited the museum in 2003
when may daughter was very young,


^^^2003 Photo

…and we initially wanted to have our pictures
taken at the iconic I.M. Pei’s  glass pyramid,


…but it rained heavily,



…that we settled for
a photo taken inside,



… at the base, with the camera looking up.