October 1, 2006
Gelato, curry, pizza, and more gelato: the focal point of my diet is apparently gelato
"Miss, come here...hey, don't leave!"
The man hawking bracelets near the Sacré Coeur grabbed my arm as though that action would suddenly make me realize that I needed colorful accessories to feel like a complete human being. Instead it made me think, "What the fuck?" I suddenly felt very relieved that Alex had come with me to the Sacré Coeur because it's about a bagillion times more worthwhile than going alone and he was better than I was at shooing away random people unsuccessfully trying to sell me stuff. Going by myself was my original plan before Anna suggested that we, two of her friends who did not know each other and happened to be studying in the same European city (and were both freakin' awesome...well, Alex at least), should do stuff. Thanks to Anna I can bring you another photograph and food filled entry even though I should probably be going to sleep soon.
- I think I found it
The outside of the Sacré Coeur looks cooler from far away. When it sits on its little mound in the distance, it just seems so out of place. And domey. (I don't know anything about architecture, so let's not go there.) Of course, it's still nice when you get up front (and more impressive when you go inside), but the experience comes with a few distractions. Hoards of tourists. The odd placement of seemingly untouched collectable coin vending machines inside the church's worn interior. Excessive souvenir shops carrying tacky t-shirts.
- Get it? Hoho! Ho. Please don't buy this. Unless you intend to burn it.
It reminded me of the wares you find at the Jersey Boardwalk, but in French.
We walked around in search of gelato, or rather, I insisted on getting gelato and wouldn't stop until I found it. I knew it was somewhere.
- We found it!
Assuming that there was only one gelato shop in the area, we went into La Butte Glacée and stared at their 30+ metal tubs filled with moutainous piles of soft, rippled gelato for an excessively long time. Too many flavors make Robyn's brain confuzzled.
- Cup o frozen stuff
I eventually went with cookies and mint despite the voice in my head (one of many that are constantly duking out the best way to drive me insane) that told me I wouldn't like the mint. Why? Because it was green. I've rarely found ice cream made of real mint, but when I have it's always been mainly white (or to make things easier, labeled "REAL MINT"). Ice cream made of real mint leaves and mint extract are galaxies away from each other and sadly, it's not easy to come across the real stuff. The cookies flavor (vanilla based with cookie chunks mooshed in, I assume) was satisfying, but I knew the mint flavor was doomed due to my prior mint eating experience. Oooops.
- Mm, more gelato
Alex enjoyed his peach and lime. I should probably try a combination of fruit and fruit someday instead of always going for the creamy flavors like the dairy hungry pig I am.
For a quite relaxing ice cream eating spot, go to the small garden (which I would describe in more detail if I knew any garden-speak and could thus give a better description than "pretty plant-filled canopy thinger) behind the Sacré Coeur. Try not to eat too much of it on your way there. ;)
- Don't be as stupid as this rabbit
After escaping the deathly squeeze of tourism, we headed to the 2nd to scope out the Japanese food area. The bunny mascot in the "don't put your hand in the door unless you want to lose it" warning continues to confuse me. Why a bunny? Why pink? Why wearing yellow pajamas/corrections facility uniform? Bunnies don't even have hands. More like...paws. But maybe there is a funny story behind the pink bunny that all the Parisians know and foreigners do not. Or maybe they just all pretend to know...
- I CAN SEE THROUGH IT
Oh, and could someone fill me on this barrier between the train and the platform? It seems unecessary considering most subways do pretty well without it. The unecessary-ness really shined through when at the next stop when we were ready to get off and step through the open train doors, we couldn't because the platform doors were broken. Of course we were too slow to get to a open door by the time we figured out that most of the platform actually did open and we were just unlucky. Life is hilarious! Hahahahahaha I laugh so much my organs bruise.
- curry, noodles
But it's cool. We eventually reached Kioko, a Japanese supermarket I had randomly heard of online. The two-level shop neatly stocks your basic Japanese foodstuffs (low on the candy though, in case you're a Japanese snack addict like meself): ginormous bottles of soy sauce, other types of dipping sauce, a gazillion types of noodles (soba, udon, ramen), dumplings, fish cakes, tofu, daifuku, curry mixes, various sauce mixes, bags of rice, tea, alcohol and Japanese kitchen ware. If I had taken notes I could tell you more, but if you have any need for Japanese foodstuffs in Paris you may as well just visit. I'm definitely going back. I need noods, dammit.
- YOGEN FRUZ!
I was immediately distracted while walking in one of the metro stations (Pyramides maybe?) due to the glowing presence of YOGEN FRUZ. How many Yogen Fruzs are there in Paris? I hadn't seen one since I went to Canada in 2001 and before than I had only eaten (lots of) it in Taipei. For those who don't know (because it doesn't seem to exist in NYC), Yogen Fruz is a frozen yogurt purveyor that takes blocks of plain frozen yogurt and smooshes them with chopped frozen fruit (pineapple was one of my favorites) in a special Smooshing Machine&trade to result in delicious tangy, chunky, soft frozen yum-ness that I would gladly shove in my mouth with a trowel. It's like those soft serve ice cream things that swirl in toppings, except tastier in my opinion (and probably not as unheathy for you).
- Stupid weather forecast
We returned to Alex's homestay with our purchase from Kioko consisting of curry mix and beer. (The beer was for Alex. I'm not sure what curry would taste like with beer.) After buying more vegetables from the nearby Franprix and a baguette from the boulangerie across the street, we started washing, chopping, peeling and surprisingly not destroying anything despite not having a clear idea of what to do. This was the first time I had really prepared food in more than a month.
"You can cut the onions. They always make me cry when I cut them," insisted Alex.
"Really? I never cry when I cut onions." My nose might sting, but my eyes stay bone dry.
"Well. ...Maybe you're not human."
That would explain a lot.
After realizing that we cut a few more potatoes than were necessary unless we wanted to make "potat chunks accompanied by curry sauce" and I had put too much water into the pot, the state of our curry (which Alex had never tried before, thus making me more nervous that it would be disasterous) looked grim. And by grim, I mean watery. We dumped out some liquid, added the last bits of the curry mix, turned up the heat and let that sucker bubble in a not so appetizingly bloppy manner that sounded like a boiling swamp.
- The taste of victory is brown
Thankfully it all turned out good in the end. We replaced the traditional rice accompaniment with the baguette to French-ify our Japanese curry made by two Americans (although at least I've eaten enough curry in my life to know what it should roughly look and taste like) and after ladling the result of our efforts out of a communal pot into large white bowls, chomped into our sodium-icious and thick curry filled with potato, carrot, onion, and green pepper that semi-coagulated by the end of the meal as it cooled off. It wasn't perfect, but it was far from bad and cost around 3 euros for each of us. Dammit, we made something! And we ate it! WE'RE AWESOME!
We each topped off our meal with a giant palmier that could've used more butter. But whatever. We were happily stuffed.
another day of cultural activity and face stuffage
- Going up
Alex wasn't sick of me yet, so the next day with my housemate Valerie in tow we met up with Alex at the Centre Pompidou for free museum (first Sunday of each month) browsing.
- Look, there's my house
Although the Pompidou is tall, it didn't really occur to me that going to the top would allow you to look very far over the uniforly un-tall city. See, the Sacré Coeur looks pretty awesome when it's just sitting there apart from everything else and looking all like, "Yeah...I'm tall." (If the building had a brain, it would probably think something else. We'll never know.)
- Oh god, giant shoe
I didn't understand what this installation was about, but it seemed like something that could relate to my gender and psych class. IT'S PINK. IT HAS A GIANT SHOE. AND GIANT RING THINGERS. AND WEIRD AMBIENT MUSIC. I liked it. Of course, the giant pink room was only a small part of everything else in the museum, but it was the thing that stuck out most in my head.
After leaving the museum and seeing that someone had died on the ground near the front entrance (not sure how, but when we took a step too far in view of the scene while still inside the building, we saw a blood splat near the covered body and collectively thought "...Okay, that was one step too far, I'll go the other way now"), we went in search of food.
(That wasn't a very good transition. But neither was it fun to speculate whether someone had jumped off the building and commited suicide as we wandered around looking for a restaurant.)
- It glows
Alex brought us to a Pizza Sant'Antonio since he had been there before and knew it was good and inexpensive. We were a little weary of the lack of customers, but most people don't usually eat as early as 6 PM in Paris. Our stomachs aren't French yet.
- Mm, pizzas
My 9€ Neptune pizza that included anchovies, capers, sweet peppers, tuna, egg and olive, was heavier on the toppings and cheese than I would've preferred, but was otherwise very good, especially for the price. The portion is huge and the thin, slightly charred crust is surprisingly substantial as far as holding up the load of cheese goes. It's better than average (and tastier than more expensive pizzas I've eaten) and worth going to if you're in the area. Maybe you can ask them to use less cheese.
- Other pizzas
Alex's cheese pizza (7.50€) was like a dought plate filled with a cheesy pool. Holy crap. Valerie's mushroom pizza (8.50€) was less scary. Toppings downplay the "bottomless cheese pool" quality the pizza may appear to have.
After dinner we went to the Amorino across from the Pompidou to top off our already stuffed bellies of cheese and bread with creamy flavored substances. I had never ordered three flavors in one cup before and now I know why; I have no idea how to combine three flavors. Who the hell gets creme caramel, passion fruit and marron glace (chestnut)? DUMBASSES, THAT IS WHO! It wasn't horrible, it just wasn't right either. I know that passion fruit is tangy to the max, yet I didn't predict how that would cancel out the other flavors. It wasn't just that the passion fruit was so tangy though; the other flavors didn't seem that strong overall (which is what I thought the first time I tried Amorino). Hell, I'd still go back, I'd just get different flavors. It'd be safer if I combined, say, two flavors based in chocolate. After I finished my ice cream one of the first things that popped into my head was, "Oh my god, I want chocolate! Chocolate was not part of my meal! Horrors upon horrors!" God, I'm weird.
I'd say I had a very productive weekend. Next weekend I can try to burn off the calories.
addresses and stuff
La Butte Glacée
14, rue Norvins, 18th
Metro: Abbesses (12), Anvers (2), or you can take that furnicular thing, which is kind of pointless unless you can't walk
46, rue des Petits Champs, 2nd
Metro: Pyramides (7, 14)
16, r St Martin, 4th (the map looks wrong; the restaurant is very close to the Pompidou)
Metro: Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet (1)
119/121, rue Saint Martin, 4th (okay, I think this map hates me)
Metro: Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet (1)
Welcome, handful of Parisist readers who may be reading my site for the first time. If you have any suggestions on where I should go next, leave me a comment or write me an email. Also, if anyone out there wants to practice their English, I need a French study buddy...although if you're reading this, you probably don't need help. Dammit.
Posted by roboppy at 9:07 PM
Haha, people sell tacky shirts everywhere. Think I remember seeing that exact print in Las Vegas. :)
Glad your curry didn't go bad, and that you seem to have found some new friends (and new food too).
Your adventures continue to be charming, as are your friends. I look forward to accompanying you (virtually) on your search for noods. That is the one item I have always thought I'd miss in Paris; maybe you can disabuse me of this unfortunate concern. By the way, is the exchange rate dreadful (my daughter warns that it is, and I am harboring hopes of joining her in Paris in April)? I agree that you had a very productive weekend.
Why are there barriers between the train and the platform you ask? Well, it's because there are alot of suicidal people in Paris!!!! Believe or not, we often hear on loudspeakers in the metro that a train has been stopped for some reason, and sometimes it's because someone jumped when the train was arriving at the station!! Freaky!!
Hey, I see you like crepes....Hmm, you should try the crepes resto (forgot the name!) in rue de la Huchette, Quartier Latin. They've got a great salted crepes topped with hamburger and egg!! Don't worry, they also have sweet crepes!
Try it out and let me know!!
Wish I could be there and take you places....
Great japan shop, i keep this adress for the next times.
Lovely pics as always! I'm glad you embarked on your adventures with a mate, always more fun that way :) I'm quite jealous of your gelato snarfing because I'm a gelato addict myself!
love your blog, love your spirit.
listen, this has been driving me crazy since i visited paris back in late 1999: what the heck is it with a fried egg sitting in the middle of a pizza? i remember seeing all those pizza carts down near the latin quarter/left bank (pardon my inexactitude, it's been a while and i can't find my travel journals) and all of the pizzas had an egg in the middle.
maybe it's good, maybe i don't know what i'm missing, but i don't recall seeing any traditional italian pizzas with egg on them. and while i was all over europe i saw all kinds of pizza and nowhere else did i see an egg in the center.
any chance you can explain that?
btw, i had some great tibetan food when i was in paris in some funky out of the way place. i love telling people i ate tibetan in paris. it never fails to get that dog-heard-a-funny-noise look.
Egg on pizza.. now that's interesting. I've heard of egg on hamburger (ie. Loco Moco or Fat Burger), but I've never heard of egg on pizza.. heh.
Daisy: People sell tacky shirts everywhere cos...American tourists want em? AHH!
Marsha: The search for noods! YES, JOIN ME ON THIS CULINARY ADVENTURE. Not quite climbing Mt. Everest, but eh.
I haven't checked the exchange rate in a while, but I figure it's not too horrible. xe.com says 1.27 ish euros per dollar. Not too bad.
Dollars to poiunds kinda sucks though.
Vanessa: But anyone who's really suicidal can just go to, I dunno, any other metro station and jump? :P Or find another way to kill themselves? I mean..I guess if someone is like "I WANNA DIE!" and then sees the barrier and changes their mind, that's good. But. Kinda. Weird. Yes. They'd have to put barriers in all the metro stations to make more of a difference, I'd think.
Thanks for the crepe rec! So far I've only gotten em from those corner stands.
It seems like everyone who is knowledgable about Paris eats aren't actually here to guide me. Is that bad timing on my part? ;)
astridcmoi: I hope you like it!
Maria: WHO DOESN'T LIKE GELATO?! I embrace all ice creamy things.
dlz: Thanks for reading!
As for the fried egg thing, I actually haven't seen this around Paris. A flickr friend from Italy commented that it's common there, so maybe that gives you some sort of answer. Or not, since you didn't see any. :O
Mm, I want tibetan food! Nothing wrong with eating Tibetan in Paris.
Wei: I hadn't heard of egg on pizza until yesterday. :O I'm not sure it works too well..maybe if it were splodged in the middle of a slice, as it got kinda messy/runny in the center of the pizza.
I never had a pizza in Japan that DIDN'T have an egg on it! If I suggested no egg (or mayo or corn or potato...) my Japanese co-workers' faces would fall.
But actually, it's kind of good--after a few times anyway. (Same with natto!)
Uuuuugh, the egg-on-pizza phenom was alive and well when I lived in Slovakia, along with copious amounts of canned corn. Made me gag, I swear, and I quickly learned that plain cheese pizza was the only way to go.
R--I've really loved your Paris posts and hope that you grow to love the city as much as I do.
Those pizzas looked perfect, they reminded me off Italy! Here's a three combo mix: Nocciola, Chocolate and Coffee....nothing would get in the way and they all have a similar, binding flavor.
I WANT ME SOME PARIS NOW! I loved the pizza there - and the crepes. OH THE CREPES!
So you want Tibetan food? Ok, brace yourself for a unique experience of salty tea and sweet peas...
The most famous one is called Tashi Delek on:
4, rue des Fosses St Bernard, Metro: Luxembourg (not far from the Pantheon)
If you're into new experiences, you have to try the "shisha", which is like smoking but you're actually just inhaling flavourfull smoke (no tobacco)!! There are a couple of "shisha" places in Rue Mouffetard (not far from the Pantheon either)....Rue Mouffetard has lots of nice restos and cafes, including a gelato place!!!
Hope to see a review of the Tibetan resto soon!
Brenda: Ohh, egg-corn-mayo, how my mouth waters...
(Well, I'd try that at least once.)
I don't want to eat natto a few times to acclimate to its taste, hehe.
Marianne: "EGG ON PIZZA PHENOMENOM"! That sounds like a horrible name for band. Or...awesome.
Plain cheese is quite safe, yes. Unless it's more like..block of cheese with some dough on it.
Glad you're enjoying the posts!
ungourmetgal: I don't like coffeee, waarh! But I'll take the other two.
Michelle: I don't know if there's actually a huge difference, but I like crepes here more than at home. I WILL EAT MOOORE.
MrGreenMonkey: I use statcounter, which is pretty good (and free). Probably have another other stat thingies somewhere though.
Thanks for the clustrmap suggestion!
Vanessa: Thanks for the rec! As for smoking non-tabacco-fied stuff, I think I'll stay away since I have asthma, haha. The only good smoke is NO SMOOOKE.
We have to be related! Your journal entries remind me of my own. I'm used to my mother complaining that all I ever talk about is food! So, I have to say, this blog is the coolest blog I have ever seen. Ever. I will be checking every day from now on!
I am currently living in Japan and enjoying the food a lot. :3 My favorites are: eel, sushi, sashimi, melon pan (all ten thousand varieties! It is my mission in life to find all of them!), cream pan, an pan, Mister Donut (all hail!), crepe (Japanese style), parfait (Japanese style!), chirashi, kitsune udon, okonomiyaki, tako-yaki, yaki-tori, salmon shioyaki. The list goes on.
The crepes in Paris should be magnificant, by the way, because crepe is a French food to begin with. Please go, eat some, and take pictures! On a side note of the trains, I find it funny (why? I don't know) that Parisians also commit suicide as much as Japanese do, since you find those same glass partitions in the subways in Japan due to people throwing themselves in front of the trains and making a mess. In the subways, there is no one driving so they can't slow down or stop, thus the glass. This is why you don't have this glass on the regular lines because there are real drivers. Oh, the things you learn!
Hi, actually that is the newest train line in Paris and the barrier is meant as an extra measure of security because there are no drivers - seriously weird to watch the first car carefully as it comes into a station - but it's also much faster than the others though it's a pretty short line altogether compared to some.
Vermont Curry? At first I was thinking it was just called Vermont as a French brand name...you know, Green Mountain Curry, sounds nice. But considering the apples and honey--do they mean the American state? Or am I just completely bewildered and ruining the concept?
Miki: Oh, YOU'RE my long lost twin! Cool! I was wondering where you were. The only way to reunite is by sharing a giant...cake.
Coolest food blog ever? Good god, there are lots more!...see all those links to the right? Good stuff! For the most part! ;)
Oh man, melon pan is awesome. Sadly, I've rarely eaten it. It can be good, it can eh...like baguettes I guess. I'VE NEVER HAD MISTER DONUT! Oh, how I would love to try it. Someday.
Ahh yes, I was told about the no-driver thing, which we don't have in NYC/NJ. I have no idea how many people commit suicide on the NYC transit system, but it's not something I hear much about. Hm. I heard that in Japanese subways they put up mirrors (or tried putting up mirrors) so that people can see themselve about to jump and would think twice about it?
Maybe we'd be happier if we ate more...MACARONS!
Martha: Thanks for the info! It makes more sense to have barriers if it's automated. We haven't gotten the automated thing down yet in NYC (they tried it with one line and from what I know, it didn't work well).
Rhi: I think they do mean the American state, hehe. Vermont = curry! Duurh!..uh...urm. (Actually, I don't know the history of it. Oooh, I smell a research paper!)
I think you can never have too much gelato and frozen yogurt! I love the Sacre Couer, I remember last time I visited I sat staring at it for like 2 hours. Just kind of gawking.
I wish I knew about the Pompidou and the view from there. Next time!
I'm so glad I found this blog! Living vicariously is awesome. I lived in paris for my entire junior year, it changed my life and my palate forever. One of the best places I ate was in the 5th, at a place called Le Godjo or Godjo or something like that. It's Ethiopian and I've never tried so many new things at one meal. They brought food for the table in a big wicker basket which everyone eats with their hands via these little pancakes called injera. The coffee there after dinner was the best...it's not dark roasted like columbian coffee, it smelled like flowers.
hey robin, i have been reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time but have never commented. i love reading about your NY fooding adventures! I am originally from MA but am currently living in Edinburgh, and just wanted to tell you if you desire to come to Scotland you are very welcome to come and sleep on my sofa bed. I must say the food is nothing compared to NY or Paris, but there are some hidden gems and it's a beautiful city. I'm not a freak or anything, I promise! Anyway, email me if you are interested, and keep on supplying us with the breathtaking food porn!
"...instead of always going for the creamy flavors like the dairy hungry pig I am."
Man, I am totally the same way! I always feel bad when I go with friends and they order the light fruity sorbets, and I'm like, uh...mocha...and the dark chocolate! We must stay dairy hungry pigs (parners in crime :) - icy fruit just doesn't cut it some/most of the times!
PS I just made the same Vermont Curry last week - lots of potatoes and carrots! :)
This is totally unrelated to your post but I just have to say how relieved I am to find someone who inhales whole loaves of bread in one day (and loves Greek yogurt). I too find that sushi can make me hungrier and, well, actually, yogurt can do that too. I also love bread & baked goods. I just found your blog and enjoyed it so much I bookmarked it. Great blog. That's probably more info than you want to know so I'll end here.
P.S. Just so you know, this is the first time I've been motivated enough to place a comment on any blog.
Mona: Straight from Vermont's curry trees!
Christine: 2 hours?! Whoaa. I didn't spend that much time there. Maybe if it had been less crowded? :| I loved the garden behind it.
Yup, check out the Pompidou. On the first Sunday of the month. :)
Micah: Thanks for the recommendation; I love Ethiopian food! I'll check it out if I get a hankering for it (only eaten it twice before). I can eat craploads of injera, bwahah.
Sarah: Thanks for commenting! I hadn't thought about visiting Edinburgh, not that I don't want to, just that...er, I haven't gone anywhere out of Paris yet, but knowing that I'd have a place to stay + local knowledge would be awesome. :) I've never had Scottish food! I WANNIT! Seriously!
Kathy: ...Man, we're like TWINS.
Hui Wen: You have the same name as my mum! Is that a common name?
Anyhoo, glad to be the first comment-worthy blog. :)
I ate a whole baguette yesterday and bought another one today. May as well live it up (cheapest way possible!) while I'm here. ;) Yogurt tends to make my tummy happy, but thank god it comes in little cups or else I could eat a tub of it. The downside is that I have a gazillion clay yogurt cups on my desk (I don't know why they come in clay cups, as I think it would taste just as good in plastic...but whatever, more cups for me).
Hey Robyn -- I finally came across the card from the other restaurant in Paris I was telling you about (the one with ile flottante). It's called La Rotisserie du Beaujolais, 19 Quai de la Tournelle, tel 01 43 54 17 47. The reason we ended up there was that it was one of the few restaurants in Paris open on Sunday evening. But it happened to be a really great meal. The food was a little more old-school French than Chez Janou, but not stuffy or uptight. We sat next to another American couple who had spent a lot of time in France and they kept coming back. The wife ordered ile flottante and told me it was one of the best ones she had had, so I had to get it. At least it's a change from gelato!
Thank you so very much for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog, but if I may ask, what's with the dude thing?...it's been a long time out of the US loop for me, 20 years in Paris and so therefore, 20 since I've not lived in the States...
Has this now become a normal form of address between two women? Please enlighten me...and I do like your blog...well written, entertaining, and I really hope you'll let me know when your book comes out because I'm going to buy it!
Also, and of course only if you agree I would like to post a link to you in my "sites I like - France" section. This is really going to wind up being my "Americans in France" section but for the moment I'm still reorganizing.
Supposedly Gelato is made with milk and not as fatty as reg ice cream, so not really "creamy" and you can therefore eat more of it YAY!
Please keep showing us these delicious cups of gelato. Though I should not come here BEFORE breakfast :(
Just wanted to say your entries are better than ever. Loving you Paris pics and thoughts.
PS I've had Vermont Curry -- got it at Mitsua (sp?).
Tasty but think MSG made my heart race.
Have fun! A bientot!
Yup, Hui Wen is a very common name. When I was in primary/grade school (in Singapore), I knew 3 other people with the same name. One of them was even a guy.
About the platform thingy.
it is to prevent people from pushing others/throwing themselves down the metro rail. aka. sucide, murder.
they have those in some mrt stops in taiwan cuz too many ppl was hurt/injured for similar reasons.
same in hon kong too. that's why mothers always warn the kids not to get too close to the line that keeps you away from the on coming trian.. so you won't fall in and get hit.
=) i hope that answered your question!
POZZETTO VS. AMORINO 14-0
you are right, amorino used to lead, now it is almost hagendagzish!!.
Pozzetto is fresh and healthy.
A bit slow but very nice truly Italians serving and incredible COFFEE (CAFFE') and sexy marocino with hazelnut chocolat.
look for the white shop not far from the Pompidou in rue du roi du sicile.
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