Some Paris Food Myths That Need to Die

23 January 2014

Last April, a food article by Rome-based writer/blogger Katie Parla went viral and for good reason – it addressed several myths about the local food culture that needed to be put to rest. It was a fun and extremely helpful read which got me thinking: what if I tackled some of the many food myths about Paris that drive locals bananas? Katie gave her tweet of approval and I sat down with my pal Bryan Pirolli to compile a non-exhaustive list of what we agreed to be some of the most grating exaggerations.    French cafés should be avoided. Are you a coffee snob? That’s fine, we can work with that in Paris. But if you think for a minute that a New York style coffee shop in Paris has the same charm as a traditional café, we daresay you’re mistaken. Many trendy, high quality coffee shops don’t even offer Wi-Fi because they don’t want their patrons lounging in the precious few seats that they have. Cafés, on the other hand, don’t care if you sit with your laptop and a few espressos for hours on end (though be sure to buy something). The café is an extension of the Parisian home, an office […]…

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Eating Non-French Food in Paris

18 October 2012

North African and Middle Eastern cuisine notwithstanding, Paris isn’t exactly known for its ethnic fare. The prevalence of tacos, burgers, sushi and dim-sum is a relatively recent phenomenon but one which has completely reinvigorated an erstwhile lagging food scene. Slowly (and this is key because the French are historically resistant to change), Parisians are beginning to appreciate the variety and influence of foreign styles and tastes and expats are, well, ecstatic. I frequently field questions from readers about dining out in Paris, specifically for non-French fare. In addition to listing a few of my own favorites, I’ve enlisted the help of a few of my hedonist writer friends – Ann Mah, David Lebovitz, Amy Thomas, Erica Berman, Barbra Austin and Bryan Pirolli – for a varied list you can consult on your next trip should the idea of steak frites and French onion soup seem underwhelming. {MY PICKS} CandelariaA boon to taco-starved expats when it opened over a year ago, this taqueria-meets-cocktail lounge has been consistently good since day one.  Tuck into tacos, tostadas, and deliciously chunky guacamole in the narrow taqueria then head past the unmarked door at the back of the kitchen for prohibition-style cocktails and great music. El […]…

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Franco File Friday: Bryan Pirolli (aka Where Is Bryan?)

21 October 2011

Bryan and I instantly hit it off when we met at a costume party two years ago. It could have been our Philadelphia connection or perhaps our mutual appreciation for Paris beyond the glitz and glitter (we’re right bankers, after all). Whatever it was, we’ve since spent countless afternoons nursing coffee, people watching and waxing nostalgic about American pop culture, among other pre-France memories. But who is Bryan, the man everyone seems to know around town? Master’s student at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, journalist, skilled tour guide and overall renaissance man, Bryan made Paris his permanent home three years ago. When he’s not in class or schmoozing with the butcher on his weekly (daily?) chicken-run, he’s the Paris correspondent for SmartPlanet.com and the U.S. Community Manager for Colunching. He knows the peculiarities of the French university system and what not to miss on your next trip. More below…Describe what you love about the French in three words. I live here. What is the most striking difference between American and French universities? Which do you prefer? The French university costs as much as books do for one semester in an American university, to give you an idea. But you get what you pay for in […]…

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