October 14, 2006

Vegetarian food, macarons, chocolate, undulating pastries, etc.

feet
I have all my original toes.

I wish every day could be carefree and involve thinking of ways to prevent my shoes from falling into the Seine. (Obviously, you take them off. This ain't rocket science.) If you sit by the Seine at night you too can gawk at the Bateaux Mouches as their crowds of onlookers gawk back at you. And it's easy for them to spot you because the Bateaux Mouches are (usually) outfitted with rows of lights on both sides that channel the luminescent power of a nuclear explosion. I haven't been on one of those boats yet, but I think I'd prefer to sit with one or two friends near the edge of the river than ride on it with hoards of other people while listening to a tour guide point out one of a gazillion Parisian landmarks every 2 seconds. Hell, I can do that.

oo pretty
Park

"Look, really cool park."

Seine
Water

"Look, another boat."

Don't worry; I won't become a tour guide.

Le Potager du Marais
Le Potager du Marais

Upon Alex's suggestion and vegetarianism, we went to Le Potager du Marais for dinner on Wednesday night. Why else would I go to a vegetarian restaurant? HAR HAR HAR. (On a side note, most of the food I eat is technically vegetarian, if I may include dairy and eggs. And for all those people who wonder if I eat vegetables, yes, yes I do. Most of my lunches at least include some kind of leafy green and there's usually some other raw or cooked vegetable for dinner. Frankly, that stuff is boring, hence why I don't talk about it.)

interior
interior

The restaurant consists of one narrow room lined with two-person tables that have about 1 inch of space in between them, making us wonder how people could get to the other side. That's probably why the only other customers were seated at the end of the row (and us at the opposite end); these tables were the most easily accessible. We were a bit early at 7:30 PM; the restaurant filled up later on in the night.

After staring at the menu for too long (which is usually how I stare at a menu), I decided to go for the gold and order the 20 € entree/main/dessert menu. Alex went with one entree. Yes, I'm a pig.

caviar d'aubergines gratin aux poires Beignets de legumes au tofu et aux noix de cajou, sauce Raifort
caviar d'aubergines, gratin aux poires, and beignets de legumes au tofu et aux noix de cajou, sauce Raifort

I ate it all. Disturbingly, I don't know what I ate. Seriously. It didn't really hit me until I left that even though nothing tasting unpalatable, nothing had much taste either. Salt is your friend. Sugar is your friend. Let's use these friends to better enrich our lives with sodium and carbohydrates. It was more about texture than flavor; the eggplant stuff was like...you know, mushed eggplant, the fried vegetable stuff reminded me of Korean pajun without whatever it is that makes pajun addictive, and the dessert was mushier than what I would've preferred. My favorite part was actually the cous cous QUINOA, I KNOW IT'S QUINOA WHAT THE SHIZZ, which tastes good on its own.

...But as I said before, I did eat it all. It's not like anything was inedible. It was just...odd. Also, most of the reviews are good. Did I just pick the worst choices on the menu?

chili sin carne
vegetarian chili

Alex's vegetarian chili seemed good, cylindrical rice and all. He said he was expecting it to be spicier, but it must've had more flavor than my dishes. The name does have chili in it. Otherwise it would be some kind of plain bean stew.

I'm not sure what kind of recommendation to make. How about I recommend that you don't order what I did? The restaurant is cozy, the waitresses are friendly, and if you're vegetarian then that makes it all the more worthwhile for you.

macarons and other baked things

macarons!!! little cakes mm, things
Jean-Paul Hevin, oh yeah

Curse me for going to school so close to Jean-Paul Hevin. I went on Wednesday morning after a disasterous history test (history is one of my worst subjects) and emerged with puck-sized macarons and a chocolate bar to mend my ego stomped on by my failure to recall ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian facts.

macaron innards
pistachio macaron

3.10 € will get you this beautiful subject of chocolate macaron-ness. Like the other JPH macarons I had, the seconday flavor was extremely subdued. I think the more JPH macarons I eat [ahem], the more I'll appreciate this subtlety. I didn't taste pistachio as much as feel its presence through its nutty scent and texture, as though it were a regular chocolate macaron simultaneously inhabited by the ghost of a pistachio macaron. You know in movies when a ghost passes through a human and the human is like, "Whoa, that felt weird,"? (That isn't what they say, but that's what I would say. Maybe.) It's kinda like that. But with macarons instead of humans.

...If you nod your head, this will make the blog entry go faster. [pat pat]

box of 8 bitten
Lenotre macarons

On the less satisfying side, Lenotre's macarons are good, but they don't feel worth the price of 9.20 € for a box of 8 (or 1.20 € individually). I was expecting more "wow" in flavor or...overall macaron-ness (which I feel like I should make a numerical scale for). With all the macaron choices in Paris, I'd go somewhere else. Their other patisserie items and stores in general are fun to look at though, so you may as well visit one. Worth trying, just not a "must eat".

caramel chocolate thingy
caramel chocolate bar

I was also slightly disappointed by JPH's caramel milk chocolate bar. That I bought it on Wednesday and it's still sitting in the cupboard on Saturday is not a good sign; I should've eaten it in a day or two in regular piggish-Robyn fashion. Of course, it doesn't taste bad (hello, it's chocolate), but I found it overly sweet. On the upside, it has the delicious, unique salty undertone of fleur de sel that goes well with caramel, as opposed to flat out throat-clogging sweetness. Maybe I'd enjoy one of JPH's dark chocolate bars more.

interior cakes n stuff cookies n stuff
Auvray Bakery

I went to Auvray Bakery, one of the gazillion bakeries in the vicinity of AUP, on Tuesday with nothing in paticular that I wanted to try. Rows of miniature cakes, cookies, and simple breakfast goods (because you really should eat pain au chocolat for breakfast every morning) attacked me from all sides within the bakery's golden interior. Just so you know, most bakeries in Paris visibly radiate with the love of baked carbs.

macarons! moelleux chocolat
macarons and molleux au chocolat

I left with a large lemon macaron and a molleux au chocolat (better known in English as chocolate fondant cake). The food pyramid weeps for me.

side view
side view

Yes, I sure love my ginormous macarons.

innards
chompy

This macaron was unfortunately just okay. It was a smidge too dry (displayed though over-crispiness and chewiness) and the lemon flavor was very faint. I did like the cream though, of which there was a substantial amount (too little filling makes me sad; thankfully I've rarely seen it). On the whole, it was an enjoyable macaron eating experience...just not one I'd go through again.

chomp
a slightly staged shot

Just so you can see something different, here's an aerial macaron shot. Har har. God, I must be bored.

blop
blop saves the day

I've never encountered a substandard molleux au chocolat. Admittedly, I haven't eaten many of them, but this dessert doesn't lend itself to as much experimentation as the multi-flavored macaron since it only comes in one flavor: chocolate lava explosion heaven. After popping it in the microwave for a few seconds to better liquefy its chocolate-filled belly, the top cracked slightly by the force of its melted innards. Light spoon poke-age slowly released the rest of the thick, chocolate goo. Oh jesus....so damn tasty. It's certainly not a light dessert, but it's not as heavy or rich as you may think it is. Or maybe it is and my stomach just can't tell. Probably the latter.

innards palmier
yeah, I went back

On Friday I went back to Auvray (you have to visit a place multiple times to get the right feel for it, you know) and bought a baguette and a palmier. The baguette was, again, just okay. Crust was too soft, innards were pretty fluffy...actually, maybe most baguettes are like this. It's just my preference anyhoo; surely not bad (I embrace all my baguette-like friends), just not one I'd eat again. The palmier was roughly the size of a satellite dish, which attracted me at first until I realized that any cookie-like thing the size of a satellite dish is just too damn big.

5 bagillion layers
5 bagillion layers

It sure is beautiful though, eh? A sea of undulating, crispy, layered dough. I've never seen a palmier quite like this before. And now comes the sad part: it wasn't very good. The layers were too crispy and reminded me of those flat fried noodle snacks you sometimes get at Chinese restaurants with a side of sweet and sour sauce. Know what I'm talking about? This palmier had about the same crispiness level. Crispiness is fine as long as ease of chewability is also high, which wasn't the case in this palmier. [sigh] I hate saying bad things about beautiful food. It didn't look like it was over-baked, but it tasted too dry. Maybe it just needed another stick of butter evenly slathered between every layer. Ooh yes. [goes into a daze]

baclawa other cookie things honey thing almond paste thing
colorful sugary things

Rather than go into detail, I'm just gonna shove a bunch of photos in your face. THERE. [SHOVE SHOVE] I wandered over to Patisserie du Sud Tunisien with my housemate, Valerie, after we took the metro to St. Michel to visit a store that ended up being closed. Not wanting to go straight back home, we wandered around the food-filled streets around rue de la Huchette.

rue de La Huchette
rue de La Huchette

You can't miss it; it's got lots of people, lots of bright signs, and lots of juicy, compressed meat stacks for makin' gyros.

Valerie chomp
Valerie chomps

Yes, Valerie is adorable and photogenic proof that I actually interact with other humans. She got a piece of baklava that I think she really liked until she realized she needed to buy a bottle of water to wash it down.

thingy
tasty thingy

I bought a tasty cigar-shaped thingy made of rolled up phyllo dough filled with chopped up nut stuff and sweet syrup that dripped out like leaky pipe. Hey, what's that on my foot?...oh, syrup! Crap! Yummy, but beware of its messiness. I also got a green pistachio cookie that didn't taste as good as I thought it would. It tasted of...texture. Yet another dessert that would benefit from an additional stick of butter. [sigh]

La Grande Epicerie

Dear Whoever Makes the Rules at La Grande Epicerie:

macarons
baby macs

I know you told me not to, but I took a photo anyway. BITE ME.

...justkiddingIloveyou.

La Grand Epicerie (Le Bon Marche)
La Grande Epicerie

Maybe it's not the worst thing in the world that I was scolded by a woman at La Grande Epicerie for taking a photo of their bounteous macaron display. (I wasn't as lucky as Tita, sigh!) Otherwise, I would've felt compelled to take dozens of photos, which would've taken up a lot of my precious "staring at photoshop and editing all my photos for a long enough time so that my butt molds to this chair" time. It's a cool store. Alas, all you get is that outside shot. Looks nice, eh?

yogurt
I like my 'gurt
stuff I bought
And don't forget the chocs

I made the completely non-nutritionally balanced purchase of yogurty delights and chocolate bars. Yogurt was damn tasty (Vanilla La Fermière is my favorite) and the Weiss milk chocolate hazelnut bar was one of the tastiest milk chocolate bars I've ever eaten. It was crisp, light, clean, smooth and milky without just being sweet. If you've ever eaten milk chocolate that required a bucket of water to wash down the sugary goo-like mass in your esophagus, this bar is nothing like that. I think there may be many people who like chocolate, but see milk chocolate as some kind of lesser relative to dark chocolate that taints the holy name of "chocolate". Milk chocolate may not provide all those little little nuances in flavor or whatever it is that people are looking for, but it can be damn good. APPRECIATE THE MILK CHOCOLATE FOR WHAT IT IS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

La Grande Epicerie also sells Fluff. I know that's what you crave in Paris; don't you dare lie to me. They also sell Ocean Spray cranberry jelly, which will be nice for when I get a hankering for a log of fruity gelatin that makes a pleasing ffwwshkp sound upon de-suctioning itself out of its semi-bacteria free cell. That is the definition of yums.

And they have a lot of other things, but I don't quite recall everything without the photographic references.

addresses

Le Potager du Marais
22 rue Rambuteau, 4th
Metro: Rambuteau (11)

Jean-Paul Hévin
23 bis, ave de la Motte-Picquet, 7th
Metro: Ecole Militaire (8)

Lenôtre
36, ave de la Motte-Picquet, 7th
Metro: Ecole Militaire (8)

Auvray Bakery
45 rue Cler, 7th
Metro: La Tour Maubourg (8)

Patisserie du Sud Tunisien
17, rue de la Harpe, 5th
Metro: St Michel-Notre Dame (4, B, C)

La Grand Epicerie
38, rue de Sèvres, 7th
Metro: Sevres-Babylone (10, 12)

NYC macaron list

Apparently an NYC macaron location list is sorely needed. Here's mine in no particular order plus pictoral evidence:

pistachio macaron
Financier
Fauchon
Fauchon (I don't think they allowed photos inside..hohum)
maracons
Bouchon Bakery
macarons
La Maison du Chocolat
ginormous macarons ginormous macaroon
Bouley Market

Update (10/20): It turns out that Bouley doesn't make macarons anymore! BUMMER! Otherwise the bakery is pretty awesome from what I've had. They sell the same stuff I've seen here. Check out Tina's post about the best macarons in NYC. Awesome.

There are more places that make them, but those are the main ones. Financier's are probably the least expensive and Bouley's or Fauchon's are most expensive. Bouley has certainly made the largest macaron I've ever seen (it's a cake for god's sake). Bouchon's is surprisingly inexpensive. Outside of NYC in the tri-state area, you may find macarons at Wegmans, an insanely awesome supermarket chain. It was the first place I ever tried macarons (which they call nicolettes for some reason) and even though I haven't had it in a long time, I'd still say it's one of the best I've had.

So to all you New Yorkers, fulfil your macaron cravings! It's not that hard. If you find a particularly good one at a place I haven't mentioned, let me know. I can think of three other places that have them if not all the time then at least...some of the time—Something Sweet bakery in the East Village, Cha-An teahouse in the East Village, that Italian bakery in Chelsea Market—but I don't know if they're worth trying.

And to answer someone who's probably thinking this, no, I haven't been to Pierre Herme yet. Yes, I will go at some point.

for no reason...

blue fountain
blue fountain

A bunch of people liked that photo, so I thought I'd share it for those of you who don't look at my flickr account. The fountains at Place de la Concorde were lit with blue lights last Saturday for Nuit Blanche, which I semi-attended until I realized that being alone while wandering around high human-dense areas sucks ass. I touched upon that in my last entry. Woo.

...And this Saturday wasn't very different. Being alone gives me more reason to think about why the Earth would be better without me. But at least I can contribute a macaron list. Har har. Seriously, who spends their Saturday night writing a blog entry and doing homework? At least I'm listening to good music. And that I'm not suicidal, or else I would've had many oppotunities to throw myself into a metro track today.

Hahaha...ugh.

I'd talk about what I do in school, but I don't want to share the pain of higher education with you right now. I did horribly on my first computer science quiz (it didn't have many questions and I made really stupid mistakes), pretty horribly on my first psychology assignment that I obviously spent too much time on (but have the opportunity to revise and get a better grade on), spend hours in frustation while doing my computational environment homework (even with the help of my dedicated teacher, who checks his email even while in the French countryside), and have less aptitude at ancient history than plankton. How strange that out of all my classes, French, which I've barely absorbed, is the most carefree for me. But hey, I can screw that up too.

Also, I might need a root canal, but I wouldn't know until I visit the dentist, and I can't do that until Monday when the dentist is actually open.

Alright, I should work on that psychology assignment.

(I hate being uncessarily depressing, but that's the way I am. It might just be the core of my being, aside from the crazy randomness and happy bakery dancing I sometimes display. Thus why I shouldn't have friends. It's a crappy cycle though, as having less friends makes me more depressed, leading to the feeling of not wanting any friends. And I don't mean for this to look like a call for friends. Most of my readers are so insanely nice, I feel the need to warn you that if you really knew me, you probably wouldn't like me. ...I could explain that, but it would take too long.)

Posted by roboppy at 6:57 PM

Tags: Alex, France, Paris

Comments

hi...glad you wrote another entry...really, i think that you're ok :) you have a wonderful sense of humor and your pictures/entries are awesome...anyone i show this site to raves about how talented you are...so at least you can know that upon graduation you're going to have amazing job offers lined up! im a little worried abt studying abroad as well...i want to, but am worried abt not being able to take advantage of the foreign country if i stay inside my shell...thank you for showing me that you can still have a beautiful experience by yourself :)

Posted by: jane at October 14, 2006 7:35 PM [#]

Are you listening to the new Beck album? Also, a macaron looks like the head of Mayor McCheese.

Posted by: Marvo at October 14, 2006 8:01 PM [#]

I just discovered you and listed you as one of my new and noteworthy discoveries on my own blog ~ so all three of my readers can also discover you and then probably leave me for your much more entertaining and visually stimulating posts.

I think anyone that moves to a new place on their own feels the same kind of isolation you are feeling (unless they are freakishly extroverted or something) - you'll make friends, don't worry. In the meantime your faithful readers reap the reward of your evenings in.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Posted by: Andrea at October 14, 2006 8:05 PM [#]

Ah this was such an amazing post- I'm so glad I've discovered your brilliant site. I sympathize about what you say, I graduated college 6 years ago, and am in grad. school right now, and I feel like I've never come out of my shell- wasn't that supposed to happen already? But rest assured that more people share your feelings than not.
And thanks so much for your review of the vegetarian restaurant. I haven't been to Paris since giving up meat, so it was really nice to see what there is, even though you found their stuff so-so.
Thanks for the really informative blog!

Posted by: bazu at October 14, 2006 8:29 PM [#]

Somehow, some of the macaroons look radioactive. Especially the pink and green ones. Mountains of radioactive yummy stuff.

Posted by: Michelle at October 14, 2006 8:46 PM [#]

There was a story in the Times about a month ago about eating veg in Paris - the consensus was, you're better off in the regular restaurants than in the veg ones.

Am I the only one slightly put off by the pastel macarons? Those colors usually come on poisonous frogs.

Posted by: piccola at October 14, 2006 8:53 PM [#]

Hi Robyn! Listen, I found your blog last year when I was living in Brazil doing study abroad, and let me say...it can be really hard living overseas. But I'm glad you're able to vent in writing, which always helps, and if it makes you feel any better, you made my experience in Brazil full of fun food photos (whee alliteration!). Even if I knew you in person, I'd still like you, because at least you serve your melancholy with a side of humor. =)

Posted by: Miranda at October 14, 2006 11:28 PM [#]

it is quiona,not cous cous, ; ) love your blog

Posted by: leigh at October 15, 2006 12:42 AM [#]

OK, so I totally just ate a whole damn lot then came on over here. After reading this entry, I'm starving again! I think you're a drug that makes me perpetually hungry.

Annnnyway, back on the farm... I love those damn chocolate cakes, but I can rarely eat a whole one because I get so overwhelmed by the absolute CHOCOLATEYNESS of one. After a while my body starts telling me, "Ok, enough chocolate I can't handle anymore," which I'm really glad it does or otherwise I'd die in a sea of chocolate.

I love your entries.

Posted by: Ilana at October 15, 2006 2:50 AM [#]

Huzzah for guerrilla photos and the adorable Valerie! Not so huzzah that you've been feeling down. As a recent grad living back at home when all my friends are elsewhere...I feel ya. Definitely.

Posted by: Rhi at October 15, 2006 2:53 AM [#]

hey robyn, fantastic post as always. i don't think a post goes by that when i'm not drooling over those damn macaroons. and i've never had a damn macaroon. and just think, things could always be worse - you could be like me and and have to work from 11pm to 7am everynight and sleep through all sunlight only to wake up and get ready for work while your one friend gets to have fun :-P at least you've got paris and all those delightful damned macaroons :-) cheers!

Posted by: amanda at October 15, 2006 4:58 AM [#]

Yay, you posted another entry!

Nice photos and commentary as usual. :D Macarons upon macarons upon macarons.

Anyway, I hope you do better in school. Maybe you're just adjusting, yeah? I always botch up the first few exams and assignments the first month of every semester myself.

And I don't think you're an unlikeable person. We all like you. :D Take care of yourself over there.

Posted by: Daisy at October 15, 2006 5:47 AM [#]

Jane: I may be okay but MY TOOTH IS NOT OKAY, god dammit...(wonders if my tooth nerve has died or something...no, if it died it wouldn't hurt, nevermind).

Job offers! God, how I can dream! Thanks for believing in me. ;)

If I didn't like bakeries so much, I don't think I'd go out at all. So thank god for that obsession. I guess.

Marvo: Hell yeah!...well, I don't have the CD yet but a nice friend gave me mp3s. And I WILL buy the cd so I can stickerify the cover or whatever. I mainly like the first half of the album so far. And then it goes [ploop] in the second half. Maybe I have to listen to it more.

Yeah, that does look like..Mayor McCheese. OH OH man, wouldn't it be great if macarons had faces? Okay, maybe not.

Andrea: Thanks for linking me!

I think most people are more extroverted than I am and probably...less...self critical. Like when someone says, "Oh, you'll make a lot of friends," I know it's not really true. Even after living in NYC for two years I only have a handful of friends at school (like less than 5), while I have a bunch of friends who just happen to live in NYC or around there. Which isn't the same in paris. Oops. Of course, I could be much worse off; at least my family cares about me. If I didn't have a family I'd really be screwed.

Bazu: There are a lot of things I feel like should've happened by now...oh well, I'll give myself another decade and if things don't go better, I'll worry some more.

Oh god another decade.

I hope to find a better vegetarian restaurant!

Michelle: Yeah, sometimes the coloring is kinda scary. I wanna see what they look like uncolored.

piccola: I saw that story! I think. And I didn't think it was true. Hm. I'd still look for more vegetarian eats cos there has to be a good one, yes?..yess...maybe.

I like the pastel! I mean, not the radioactive ones. Once that are just lightly colored.

Miranda: I could vent so much more in writing, but then this would become one of those annoying..."the girl who complains all the time" blogs. Dooh. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode with all the shouting I do. Seriously..its not very good...but I guess I don't have a serious mental problem. Um. YAY.

Living overseas can be a poot, but at least there's good food everywhere. Except maybe London, but at least they speak English...um..hm.

Leigh: AHHH I was waiting for someone to spot that! OH MY GOD, I MIX UP ROUND THINGS. If I had a baby I probably wouldn't be able to distinguish it from the other small humans.

Ilana: Oops...I suppose you should read this before you eat. Reading food blogs doesn't usually make me hungry! Is that just me? I feel really hungry after taking naps though. Daaangerous.

No way, you can totally eat a whole one. :D :D :D I ate 3/4ths of that cake and gave the last quarter to my homestate mum, but I could've eaten the whole thing if I didn't feel like sharing the joy of chocolate. My body doesn't have that "stop eating chocolate" mechanism, it seems...unless it's a lot of dark chocolate, in which case my body gets shaky and gives me headaches. :(

Rhi: I probably feel down a few times every week. I have to admit, school kinda keeps my mind off of things...although school also depresses me, so it's not the best way to feel undepressed. Mraaah.

Amanda: 11 PM to 7 AM?! Ahh!...pain!...good god!

You cook well, perhaps you can make your own macarons. :) I haven't attempted it yet since I know they'd come out horrible.

Daisy: I don't usually botch up this much crap. Okay, history...I knew that wouldn't go well, but the other stuff was just be being a dipshit. If I did poorly because the teacher didn't teach well, that'd be different; instead I did poorly just because I'm stupid, which makes me feel really bad.

MAYBE I AM BIPOLAR AND THE OTHER PART OF ME IS ..EVIL. HOW WOULD YOU KNOOOOW?

Posted by: roboppy at October 15, 2006 6:01 AM [#]

It is official. If I went to Paris, I would die in a day from bakery overload.

Today is official gift day over at the bakery at the train station, and so of course I had to go and buy the required amount of goods to get my gift. It wasn't open before work but I rushed in as soon as I got back to the station right after. By then, of course, a lot of the good things were gone, but there was still a mountain of melon pan...and then I was stuck with a dilemma! What else to buy!

I ended up with curry pan (everyone's favorite!), really thick toast with custard cream in the middle, a butter roll to beat most butter rolls, melon pan (of course)...and one other thing, butI forget what. Argh! I'm sure it was delicious.

I need to figure out what cake I'm going to get myself for my birthday. I might give in to the delicious cakes they sell over in the Ueno station. It is a fairly good sized cake and very delicious. It comes in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. A little over 500 yen each. I also want to get some cookies from the Ikebukuro station because everytime I pass by the smell is so tantilizing. And there are new crepes on Takeshitadoori in Harajuku for Halloween!

And in between all this, there's an eel restaurant in town which I still need to try, as well as an Anna something-something restaurant in Shingawa and I need to visit Ginza for their melon pan.

I was googling aorund to try and find a picture of the cake and instead came across a most marvelous thing: cake tabehodai! All you can eat dessert! Is this some sort of a heaven? It looks like there are two still available at decent prices for all you can cake delicious desserts: one is about 13 dollars and the other is a little under 20. This needs to be explored...

Posted by: Miki at October 15, 2006 9:07 AM [#]

Robyn-
Once again, great blog. Love the macaron pics; I'm still drooling for some.

My god, that chocolate fondant cake looks divine! I need to bake soon or I need to get me some of that cake in NYC. I would die happily once I found a great one.

On your comment of you being "evil" is probably you playing with my emotions whenever I see your food pics. That's evil. lol. :)

Posted by: Tina at October 15, 2006 9:59 AM [#]

Wow, I'm really not over the prettiness of that lemon macaron. Or the splodginess of the chocolate fondant (my god I have eaten SO many of those in my life) . . also don't worry about school, it sucks for everyone. =(

Don't feel lonely! I'm sure Paris is a really easy place for that to happen, but realize that you have tons of readers (myself included) that click on this site daily (or ::ahem:: hourly) to check to see if you've posted becuase of how funny and enjoyable your writing is. And if you weren't in Paris, I most definitely would be dying to meet you (I am anyway).

Honestly. You're the coolest person I've never met.

Posted by: susannah at October 15, 2006 10:46 AM [#]

I cant decide which I enjoy reading.. your posts or your responses to the replies. hehehe.

Posted by: Lea at October 15, 2006 11:57 AM [#]

Point taken. :D But I still get to think that you're not an ax murderer.

Posted by: Daisy at October 15, 2006 12:14 PM [#]

Beautiful pix as usual! You make me want to go to Paris!!! Btw, how's the weather there?

Posted by: maria~ at October 15, 2006 1:31 PM [#]

I will share my angst with you also! I did a degree and never really fit in, but I always thought that was because I was old for my age. I do NOT want to drink and vomit on the pavement, no siree.

So I have started a postgrad at the age of 24, and things are just as bad. I feel like I don't fit. When I walk in in the morning, groups of people are sitting and conversing and I can't help but walk past them. But I want to BE one of them. At lunchtime, I find myself wandering around alone. I get on with everyone, and I know more people than most because I flit around so much, but I'm not FRIENDS with everyone.

Does anyone else experience this? Please say yes!

And then I come home and I go online and I feel like I fit, like I'm home.

I find it hard to identify with people because most people don't appreciate the splendiforous internet. I asked if I could add a few of my acquaintances to my MSN messenger list the other day and the only response I got was "whats msn messenger?", and an awkward silence and some uncomfortable shuffling. It's as if it still isn't "done" for people to go online, and talk to people online.

Where are all the netsters, where do they hide??

ANYWAY on a more positive note, It's nice to see that you are having fun in Paris! It is hard to get the perfect french bread. I'm from Jersey (an island by france) and we could only get it from one bakery. It's hard to get decent crunchy fresh bread in the states (from my experience), so enjoy it while you're in paris!

Posted by: Hannah at October 15, 2006 1:48 PM [#]

First of all, it sucks that you're feeling so lonely and sad. :( I hate that feeling. But I completely emphathize too. When I studied abroad I had almost exactly the same experience; in fact, I keep being amazed by how familiar it all sounds when you write about it. I, too, lived with a host family and only really spent time with them, in class, or wandering the city by myself. I did go out with friends every now and then, but mostly it was too much for me to even think about and I preferred to be alone. But then felt like a loser for being alone.

In retrospect, I realize that there was no way I could have prepared myself for the impact of living and studying in a foreign country. Even if you are taking normal classes and surrounded by other Americans, it is SO hard to live in a place where everything around you is in a different language and the entire culture is different. It is such a subconscious added pressure to schoolwork, meeting people, etc.

*Whew*. Anyway, just had to ramble that to you. It sucks, but I think it's a completely normal reaction.

On a side note, I am so happy that you are in Paris. I was there for just five days and was in bakery, sugary HEAVEN. AND now that I have just moved to NYC I can use your macaron guide to find French stuff here! Yessssssss.

By the way, I also love those Dannon yogurts that come in the little ceramic cups. You can use the cups to grow plants! Or hold pencils! Or...more yogurt! You should now look for the tasty Petit Dejeuner (that's the brand name) cookie/biscuit things. I miss those so much.

Posted by: Molly at October 15, 2006 2:47 PM [#]

You remind me a lot of myself sometimes. It's almost scary. I've spent many a night homeworking and blogging. And us internet people are just as cool as "real" people, we're just further away.

Anyway, I'm enjoying all your macaron eating and rating. Your facebook picture is the best! I really need to eat more macarons.

Posted by: Natalia at October 15, 2006 5:39 PM [#]

oh b4 anyone goes, something sweet bakery is not so great. it's very hit or miss. i got a bunch of macarons once of every flavor (i was excited 2 see them, u can't blame me) and all of them were crunchy as hell except the plain vanilla. pretty disappointing. i also got a b&w cookie and it was also crunchy. i ate everything anyway but i was very angry as i did.

Posted by: bionicgrrl at October 15, 2006 9:26 PM [#]

very lovely blue fountain =D

Posted by: ana at October 15, 2006 10:51 PM [#]

Haha, I should have mentioned I generally only eat dark chocolate (milk chocolate is too sweet, I get headaches way too fast but I WANT CHOCOLATE!!)

I get those same headaches, though, when I eat too much chocolate, which I've labelled my body's warning mechanism.

Posted by: Ilana at October 15, 2006 11:34 PM [#]

Love your blog! Thanks for the comments!

Posted by: Jamie at October 16, 2006 12:32 AM [#]

After reading this delightful post, I was all set to feel sorry for the poor girl, all alone in the world, no one to appreciate her... And then I see the bounty of comments you got on this and the previous entry! Clearly you have your fair share of fans. :)

That said, I don't know many people in this town either, so if you ever want someone to join you for moelleux au chocolat, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Oh, and I really don't understand the fuss vegetarians make in Paris. There's a ton of perfectly lovely, perfectly vegetarian food available, if you know what to look for: vegetable quiches, tartes aux champignons, omelette fromage... There's no reason to eat tasteless slop. (Vegans, of course, are a different problem.)

Posted by: amy at October 16, 2006 7:49 AM [#]

Holy crap, Wegmans sells macarons??!! I'll have to look next time I go. I've never had a macaron and you keep convincing me that I should try one(damn, pretty pictures >.

Don't feel that you HAVE to go out Saturday nights because society (or whatever) tells you that's what young, hip people do. I almost never "go out" on Saturday nights because the kind of people that are out then annoy the crap out of me. Be happy with who you are. If you're not a "people person" with a regular Saturday night entourage, then so be it. :)

Posted by: Cathy at October 16, 2006 10:15 AM [#]

i whole-heartedly respect your love of macaroons, however, i'm utterly saddened by the fact that you passed up those GOREGEOUS checkerboard cookies in the Auvray Bakery. you simply must go back and eat some of them for those of us whose local bakeries have stopped making them (i.e., me). a checkerboard cookie is like a dozen mini chocolate and vanilla cookies mushed together that you can seperate and eat alone or gobble as a bunch. it's not to be missed!

Posted by: mger at October 16, 2006 10:33 AM [#]

Oh my god. I have never been to BYC, or Paris and I have never had a macaroon. I'm the one who should throw themselves into the subway tracks. ^_- I feel lik ei'm in your pocket when I read your blog. Tagging along on your adventures and your eating macaroons in the name of science. I hated college. I had no friends for the 5 years I was there. I have never been more miserable in my life. I sucked myself into my own world, read books, stopped even trying to speak to other students, it was all so pointless and miserable. But I got through it. It ended and I was thrilled on graduation day when I could get the hell out of San Francisco where I was studying.
I can relate to how you feel, and I wish I could change it for you or offer good advice as to how I overcame my expereince, but I didn't. I just waited it out. *sigh*
Anyway, to give you at least a bit of comfort- I look forward to your post and your "voice" and envy the expereince you are having living abroad!! You ar every fortuante to be there, dispite the massive suackage that is being a long on saturday night. You will always have your faithful readers! We love you!

Posted by: The Wine Makers Wife at October 16, 2006 12:58 PM [#]

Holy shizz, thanks for all your comments! Now I shall reply to as many as I can without passing out.

Tina: Ooh you're right, that is definitely my evil part. That's not as bad as like, stomping on kittens, right? ...I have no idea why I come up with that as "most horrible thing ever." Stomping on babies! Bad! Yes! Okay! It's too early, my brain hurts.

susannah: I shall eat more of these chocolat fondant cakes. Yessssm.

Daily? OH MY GAWD WOMAN, this must be stopped! Weekly is alright, any more than that means you must distance yourself from the blog. :) But I'm honored to be worth checking hourly.

Coolest person you've never met...I don't think I've heard that one before! Thanks. :D NOW I CAN'T MEET YOU BECAUSE I WILL DESTROY YOUR EXPECTATIONS, oh lord.

Lea: Oh my god, PEOPLE READ THESE THINGS?

WHY DO I KEEP TYPING IN CAAPS.

Daisy: Okay. [hides axe]

maria: Weather is nice! It's usually in the 60F temp range. Not much rain lately, which is surprising.

Natalia: Oh god, I remind you of...you? No no, you must be more sane. I know it.

INTERNET PEOPLE ARE DA COOLEST!

I ate another macaron today. And I ate two yesterday. No shame, I tell ya. It's like my daily cup of coffee, but better.

bionicgrrl: Aw, you had the crunchy experience too! I did try their macaron once and ...yes, it was crunchy. But I only tried one and thought, "Eh, maybe the other ones are good." Not that I was dying to try them for $1.50 each. How disappointing! (And I too ate everything anyway, har har.)

ana: Thanks! It'd be cool if it were always blue. Or...IF IT CHANGED COLORS. Or maybe that'd be tacky.

Ilana: Whoa whoa, I do not get sugar headaches. If I did then I would have...many more headaches than I do now, which is pretty much none, because I don't have enough brain cells. :D :D :D

The coma I get from overeating dark chocolate almost feels like death. Gotta stick to my milkies. Mm.

Jamie: Thanks for reading!

Cathy: I don't know if all the Wegmans have patisseries, but if you live near one that does then they should have macarons! Mm mm. Good price too. I like the passion fruit.

I shake my fist at society! Rawwr! Young whipper snappers annoy me too. I'll ignore that I'm also young. ...Seriously, I don't feel that comfortable around people my own age. It just makes me feel like more of an outcast. :\

mger: I've never had a checkerboard cookie, but I will eat one just for you. :) And if it's not awesome, I will blame it on you. BWAHAHA!

TWMW: No no, only I am allowed to participate in self subway track throwage!..or something.

My pocket! Are you a tiny fairy? Cos that'd be cool. And then I really could carry you in my pocket.

Sorry about your sucky 5 years of college. :( (I hope you learned...something...from all the classes!) I'd say mine are neutral; not sucky, not the best time of my life. But I have to admit that I was never that excited about going to college...rather silly since many people would love to go. It's just..eh, I had to go, no question about it. I definitely don't want to stay longer than 4 years. :\

Thanks for the love! I can almost feel it!...wait, that's my retinas burning from the glow of my monitor. Oops.

Posted by: roboppy at October 16, 2006 6:04 PM [#]

did you take those pictures with the kit lens? and did you use a tripod? those night shots came out great.

Posted by: ed at October 16, 2006 7:29 PM [#]

mmm technicolor macarons! im just wondering with the shot you took of the Lenotre macarons did you bite into one and then bite into the others to mix the flavours...

Posted by: chocolatesuze at October 17, 2006 2:31 AM [#]

Ed: Yup, all the photos are taken with the kit lens. If I ever get a new one I'll mention it, haha...(I don't predict getting a new one soon, wah). I don't have a tripod; I just rested my camera on the ledge of the bridge.

Suze: Oh, I didn't mix the flavors! That would've been interesting. I just chomped one after the other...how uncreative.

Posted by: roboppy at October 17, 2006 5:25 AM [#]

Hello,
First off, may I confess I found your blog through the really cool jeff yang, who says you're a cousin? your blog is in a list of links in his newsletter. You have wonderful pictures, and I do like the way you write about food!
You have a fan in Manila! Am a baker and a fiction/food writer, and don't have a blog--yet, nevermind why, there are many people in Manila who blog, but I haven't decided to give up the remaining shreds of my anonymity yet.
Peace and more macaroons,

Weena

Posted by: weena at October 17, 2006 11:57 AM [#]

Shibby pics darlin.

Posted by: Garrett at October 17, 2006 1:52 PM [#]

i love how the rice is shaped like a ramekin... or one of those turkish hats.. or maybe even a thimble. did i spell that right? anyway, lovely entry like always, and i love how you started w/ your feetS!!

Posted by: mona at October 17, 2006 2:14 PM [#]

LORDIE Well I just wolfed down a very non-descript hunk of bread slathered with similar jam because of this post. Grrrrrrr..Of course next week this time I'll be there, but delayed gratification has never been my strong points :( That sweet little J-P Hévin cake with the raspberry on top is the very same I painted - remembrances of things past etc..I also left it alone on a weekend and to spite me, it grew very moldy. Are we going on a pastry jaunt or what?

Posted by: ParisBreakfasts at October 17, 2006 2:34 PM [#]

{quote} Dear Whoever Makes The Rules at La Grande Epicerie: I know you told me not to, but I took a photo anyway. BITE ME.{/quote}

Robyn, I emailed La Grand Epicerie and made them aware of your blatant disregard for French rules and your haughty challenge for them to place their mandibles upon your person. You may want to bathe and leave sufficient epidermis exposed should they accept. :-P

rED

Posted by: redrhino at October 17, 2006 3:12 PM [#]

Those macarons are beautiful! i want one in every colour. Ive only had macaroons, which while good, dont seem as good. You should give your macaron picture to wikipedia, theirs is ugly.

I failed a food science midterm today so consoled myself with some delicious food also. cheap toffee chocolate cookies and feta stuffed pepppers. im glad im not the only one who does this :)

keep up the amazing blogging and eating, it seems as if you are enjoying yourself more now.

Posted by: whitney at October 17, 2006 5:14 PM [#]

Mona: Liek a GIANT THIMBLE! Which would kinda defeat the purpose of a thimble. Unless it's for a giant.

Good thing you can't see my feet up close; it ain't pretty.

redrhino: I don't need to bathe; I'm SELF CLEANING.

...no wait that's the oven.

Whitney: I contributed a macaron photo to wikipedia! Yeah, they needed another one. Thanks for the suggestion!

Oh no, failed a food science midterm? I'm sorry. LET'S HAVE A ..POST STUDY SESSION! Or eat those cookies. Mmm, cookies...

Posted by: roboppy at October 18, 2006 3:29 PM [#]

I could read about macarons aaaalllll daaaaayyyy loooong, and I love your photography. And ooh la la, the moelleux chocolat looks divine. Would you mind if I used the image and put up a post about it on my blog? I won't take the credit, of course!

Re: mixing macaron flavours - my favourite combo is Laduree framboise followed by Laduree chocolat, although I am relatively under-educated in the this department and have much of the macaron sphere to explore.

Great blog, I have added to you to my links.

Posted by: embrouillamini at October 20, 2006 7:33 AM [#]

Robyn! Look what I found for you!! Only available in Japan...but still...you should have one of these. :)
http://gramme.jp/parlor/index.html

Smile :)

Posted by: Jessica at October 20, 2006 10:51 AM [#]

hey robyn, i'm not even a foodblogger, just some guy from singapore insanely in love with edibles of all description, and i've been reading your blog ever since ever since. just wanted to say hi, and tell you that hitting the site is always highlight of the day - as is seeing all kinds of calorific matter and their innards. keep it up! and have fun in paris.

Posted by: chen seong at October 23, 2006 11:03 AM [#]

pretty sure l'epicerie is the greatest place on earth, or atleast close, even if they don't allow photos. It's like a fat-kid's disneyland.

Posted by: Cookie at October 25, 2006 4:54 PM [#]

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