Great Breakfast Spots in Paris

5 January 2014

I feel very strongly about breakfast. So much so, in fact, it pains me that the French, despite their many culinary talents, are such poor stewards of the morning meal. Before you cry out in support of France’s many morning gifts – pastries and bread especially – let me elaborate. I enjoy a flaky buttery croissant like the rest of you but it will never constitute a complete meal. They retain their joy-inducing properties when consumed infrequently (I reserve them for moments when we have guests in town) and are even better when accompanied by something savory and rich in protein. Omelets, my favorite, are inherently versatile but hardly merit an early wake up call when they’re prepared from powdered eggs – what most local brasseries use to make them (and that’s saying nothing of the ingredients inside the omelet…).  And while I’ve spoken at length about how quality coffee is proliferating, you’ll need to be in proximity or willing to travel to one of the specialty shops offering it – take your espresso at an identity-free corner joint at your own risk. But a few individuals – namely a German, an Australian, an American and three French food entrepreneurs […]…

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Getting My Egg On at Eggs&Co

26 July 2010

New signage for Eggs&Co coming soon! Ever since I was a little kid, eggs, in all its forms, have been a staple of my diet. My gastronomical fussiness growing up meant coercing my parents to prepare separate meals for me when I didn’t like what was being served and this often included scrambled eggs and toast. Although incorrigible and finicky, I was content with this arrangement. During my high school years, my father and I would go out to breakfast almost every Sunday to overly simplistic retro diners with waitresses in unflattering hip-hugging dresses and bottomless coffee, you know the type. Yet what these places lacked in originality and aesthetics they made up for in quality. Quality pancakes, waffles and scrambled eggs that I never seemed to be able to recreate properly at home.  What I’ve always loved about eggs is their versatility – one of the few foods that can acceptably be prepared for breakfast, lunch or dinner in any one of its forms. A deli outside one of my undergraduate university buildings provided my (almost) daily mid-morning snack of egg and melted cheese on a whole grain bagel. Hard-boiled eggs were regulars in my lunchtime salads, and scrambled […]…

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Bastille Day Breakfast

14 July 2010

For the first time since I’ve lived in France, I entered a Ladurée. More than that, I dined. I’ve had their macaroons and think they’re delightful but to be honest, it’s one of the most frequented tourist spots in Paris after the Eiffel Tower and I try to avoid such places at all costs. Not because I think I’m too good for them but because I start to get anxious around big crowds and the pushing, shoving and loudness of most tourists. Yes, I’m a real parisienne. I prefer to uncover the more unknown, niche restaurants and cafés in the city since they are so plentiful. But when my friend Elena suggested we go for a belated birthday breakfast upon her return from Italy I thought, why not? My interest was piqued after she raved about the interior of the Ladurée on rue Bonaparte (versus rue Saint Honoré) and how surprisingly affordable the à la carte menu was.  When I left the house this morning, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, just a light, refreshing breeze to start Bastille Day off right. As we flipped eagerly through the hefty menu, the rain came, dropping like mini hammers on the […]…

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Yummies of the week!

10 October 2009

Interesting article associated with above image My mother likes to say that I’ve become so domestic since I’ve developed an interest in cooking and baking. Perhaps I can attribute this newfound hobby to living in France, or to being with a man that actually enjoys cooking and has taught me how, but I wouldn’t say I’m domestic because to me that implies a whole series of characteristics and responsibilities that I’m both not ready to assume nor should I have to. Implicit in this ideal of domesticity is the nuclear family and traditional roles of women as submissive kitchen slaves whose only pleasure comes from brainless women’s publications and soap operas. Extreme? Maybe, but I don’t like the implicit connection between enjoying to cook and bake and stereotypical female roles that involve children… please, no children! Getting back on topic…. My most recent dinner involved the quiche you see above and it was absolutely delicious. Easy and quick to make, with natural ingredients and full of flavor. I made Clotilde’s olive oil whole wheat pie crust (same as what I used for the Herbed Ricotta Tart I made), with mushrooms, onions, garlic, herbs, and goat cheese. Nothing I love more than […]…

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Nostalgia

24 July 2009

This may seem futile and ridiculous, but I feel intense and profound longing for certain commodities (or luxuries, so to speak) from the U.S. The mere mention of certain brands and products sends my heart atwitter and makes me realize to what extent the French still have a lot to learn. Let’s begin with breakfast. The French are supposedly among the most frequent ‘breakfasters’ in Europe but not by my standards. Take a look at an example of a French cereal aisle.   Note the overwhelming presence of chocolate and sugar : wheat choco, muesli croustillant chocolat, Frosties, Nestlé Crunch, Coco chocolate coma, All bran with high fructose corn syrup, and the list goes on. These are my choices. If I go to an all organic supermarket, my options are 500g of good tasting crunchy muesli for virtually 7 euro. ABsurd. Perhaps it’s just my American sensibilities that are damaged or MAYBE the French just don’t know how to do breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I like to mix things up, some days there will be scrambled eggs, yogurt and fruit, but cereal is a staple that I cannot survive without. So you’re damn right I miss:   How could […]…

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