The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

I ate a lot last week (part 2 of 2)

If you were in Trocadero around 9 PM on Monday night and your peaceful viewing of the obscenely twinkly Eiffel Tower was punctuated by heavy klunk klunk klunks, you just happened to be hearing Mare and me transport her life's possessions from our home stay (or her former home stay) across the river to her new digs as a house sitter.

"Thanks so much for helping me; I owe you one."

"No prob! I'm helping you because I LUURVE YEWWW."

...Wait, I don't sound that insane. [scratches head]

Okay, maybe I do.

I was sad to see Mare go, even if she's only a 20 minute walk away (well, 20 minutes if you happen to be dragging around luggage). She's a particularly special human being; anyone who met her would agree. Unless they are stupid. You can't help but be captivated by her random slips into comedic characters and her trademark purring sound that is eerily close to the vocalizations of Furby/Gizmo/Pikachu. The woman that was sitting in front of us on the bus last Sunday en route to Jardin des Plantes had to turn her head upon hearing the odd undulating gll-ll-ll-ll sound coming from behind her. Because she was CAPTIVATED!

...Or weirded out. But what can you do? [shrugs]

Happy Mare

Mare is also special because she will playfully hide under a low, leafy tree that she is unintentionally color coordinated to and let me take a photo of her. (Yes, she does look like Feist, or Liz Phair, or both.)

Being silly is important to me, but I can't act as extremely silly as much as I'd like to. I mean, I could...but many things have to fall into place to make for a perfect silly situation. Mare is one of the few people (and I mean very very few, like 0.276) that I feel comfortable enough around to allow myself to embody the brain of a 4-year-old brain and babble in random sounds and act uninhibited because I know that she can join in on da funs and that she's comfortable being around my weirdness. I don't know how to explain why these things are so so so important to me. Maybe it's evidence of my naivety and reluctance to grow up and enter the real world and become an adult and be an average cog in everyday society consisting of the going-ons of normal human beings and blah blah blah, blah BLAH blah, blah blah, etc.

Perhaps I'd be better off dying before I have to reach that point where I have to actually care about things and be independent. My last moments can be spent hugging my new stuffed sheepie pal from Lee Anne and listening to Oh Mandy until my head explodes with mumbly lilting singing and wondering whether I should go to sleep or continue typing this entry. Typing is so tempting. Sleep is equally tempting.

Methinks I'll go to bed. If you're still here when I come back, I shall talk about food.


fueled by the power of cous cous

Chez Omar
Chez Omar

Last Saturday I met up with Malaysian/Singaporean food blogger Umami, her husband (they're moving to Paris and needed to scope out apartments) and her sister at Chez Omar [recommended to me by fellow blog reader Shane] for a night of way too many meats accompanied by way too much cous cous. Of course, it was memorably chaotic and stomach-stretchingly awesome.


The restaurant sits on the semi-deserted looking rue de Bretagne, but as soon as you step inside you're hit with the energy of a sea of people drinking at the bar, filling up every square foot of the dining floor or waiting to replace people who are finished at either the bar or the dining floor. Even though it's packed, it's welcoming at the same time. I felt like anyone could come here and fit in.

big pot o vegetables
big pot o veg

This photo doesn't at all show you how huge this pot of vegetable soup is. You could wash a baby in there (assuming you dumped out the vegetables and soupy matter and filled it with water). While you probably wouldn't go to Chez Omar for uber chunky vegetable soup, it's a necessity if you want to keep your palate moist. The already delicious cous cous acts as a vegetable broth sponge, resulting in UBER AWESOME COUS COUS...STUFFS...YES, the granular semolina sponge pleases you. [That wasn't a real sentence. Sorry.]

steak frites
steak and frites

We also got steak (or as I like to call it, "juicy bovine slab") that came drenched in some tasty golden sauce whose ingredients I certainly couldn't tell you, but they probably didn't include gold. The sauce tasted of magic. The frites on the side were just alright. Perhaps they could've used magic sauce.

things of animal origins

Oh yes, more meats! Lamb skewers were kind of overcooked, but that merguez sausage stole my otherwise sausage-hating heart and stuffed it with spiced meats. (As for what it was spiced with, of course I don't know. Helpful food blogger I am!) Sorry for the disturbing imagery. Get the sausage; it is tasty.

cous cous in the distance!
cous cous

And there is our cous cous in the distance, a fluffy ivory mountain of weenie semolina pearls piled onto a gleaming silver platter. As delicious as it was, the four of us couldn't finish off the plate. Hell, I don't know if we finished off any of our dishes. The steak perhaps? It was just too much food.

choosing dessert

Not that too much food ever stopped me from getting dessert. No, we did not order this entire plate of desserts. [rolls eyes] ...Evenifwewantedto.

some desserts
what we actually ate

The four of us shared two phyllodough-nutchunk-glucose-tastic pastries, although by "shared" I mean that most of the remains were relegated to my stomach. While I can't tell you the names of the desserts or what was in them exactly (boy oh boy this entry keeps on getting better), I'll assure you that the square nest-like thing in the front tastes better than the rolled up thingy in the back. However, they were both good, even the lesser, cylindrical one.

table scene

I wanted a photo that would portray the crowded-ness of the restaurant. ...And the above photo isn't it. But it gives some sense of the table orientation, in that they were packed so close together that your elbow would be in your neighbors chicken leg, which is really useful (being packed together, not contaminating other people's food with your body parts) if the heater goes out and you need to rely on collective human warmth for comfort. The atmosphere of Chez Omar reminded me of Soho French brasserie Balthazar more than any other place, except that it was actually in France, didn't specialize in French food and the waiters were exceptionally friendly and boisterous. Otherwise, they simillar. Yes.

Thank you, Umami and family members, for a memorable night of endless meat, cous cous and vegetable soup. And sweating. I'd do it again!

earlier that day...

Tan Lido
Tan Lido

I almost forgot that I ate out on Friday morning also. Don't worry, my meal wasn't laden with meat and wheat. Annie accompanied me on a Chinatown jaunt (about 40 minutes away from me via the metro) to fulfil my craving for Vietnamese food. I didn't do much research to find a good restaurant but chose Tan Lido just because I had passed it the first time I went to Chinatown in September and though it looked cute.

rice vermicelli with spring roll and roasted pork?
oh moma, bowl of yum

My bowl of rice vermicelli, grilled pork, lettuce, crushed peanuts, chopped cabbage-or-something, some sauce I can't identify and spring roll halves was so, so, so so so satisfying and delicious. The kicker for me was the lemongrass hidden somewhere in the belly of the bowl. It imparts lemon flavor without the mouth puckering sensation, almost more like a scent than a taste. SO GOOD. NEED MORE. I also really liked the spring rolls, which were crispified to the max, and the thin, sweet pork chunks. My only objection was the small size of the bowl, which would've been perfect...if I didn't have to churn the ingredients together (I actually didn't know about that until a waiter pointed it out to me. Welllll, I won't make that mistake again). Trying to evenly distribute everything in the bowl while preventing my eating space from looking like the aftermath of trying to feed a 3 year old who refuses to let any food enter his mouth was a bit difficult.

roasted chicken

Annie got what I think was roasted chicken. It had many annoying little bones (better to remind you that you're eating the cut up remains of one of God's creatures), but the meat was otherwise deliciously moist and tender with a hint of sweetness.

This store, is it big?

After lunch we went to Big Store Supermarket. Like its name promises, it is big. Somewhat. It's not as big as Tang Freres (which had a steady stream of cars chugging into its parking lot), but we liked that aspect of the store. It ended up being larger that it looked from the outside.

ahh the colooors
ahh, fishies!

They have a large produce section where most of the items are wrapped in plastic for whatever reason, and...I forgot what else. Most Asian foods.

mmm rice flourcoconut ball thingies
mm smooshy rice balls

Out of everything I could possibly buy, I impulsively bought two cans of coconut juice, a pack of coconut rice balls (which I forgot to eat right away and subsequently turned into two fuzzy balls of mold over the past week), a bag of persimmons and a tiny carton of black sesame flavor soy milk. A normal person would probably buy stuff that you could make an actual meal out of instead of my random mélange of snack items.

I was so thirsty while waiting for the metro that I chugged my soy milk (it's so tasty, but comes in ridiculously tiny containers...which is probably why it costs 0.69€) and semi-chugged a can of coconut milk. Since it's rare that I crave liquids, I figured it was a reaction to my lunch. [cough] I'd still eat it again though.

random night of Indian food

Man, this entry is so not in any kind of order that makes any sense. But you're still with me, right?

I don't know if this is funny or not
haha, fluffy animals!

Let's go back to last Sunday, which I briefly mentioned in the opening of this entry. Mare and I went to the Jardin des Plantes, mainly to visit the menagerie since Mare had to observe animal behavior for her acting class. It was kind of sad, especially on a cloudy afternoon. My favorite part (and by that I mean "funny when it probably shouldn't be") was the petting zoo-ish part (without the petting) that was partially littered with bread rolls, carrot sticks and apples for fat blobby guinea pigs and bunnies. My god, they looked so cute and peaceful while munching on their...bread? WTF?

We didn't stay there for too long. Mare had other things to do and I was dead tired to the point that when I got back home I had no other desire besides flopping onto my bed and switching my brain into napping mode. (And by "switching" I mean "turning off".)

Later that night I went near Montmartre to meet up Alex and Mare for vegetarian feasting...which would've been great if the restaurant we were planning to go to didn't close early on Sundays. (Another note: don't use the Abbesses station as a meeting spot; it's CLOSED.) We roamed around the narrow, steep streets to find something that would satisfy both a vegetarian (Alex) and someone who is gluten and lactose intolerant (Mare...well, obviously it ain't me). Our hopes sank when the Vietnamese restaurant with vegetarian options that we randomly came across had no available seats. We walked back to the initial street we had walked up, rue Houdon, hoping one of the Asian restaurants would fulfill our dietary requirements.

yay, we made it

While most restaurants on the block were empty due to the early dining hour, Shenaz Indien had a few people inside. Human activity is a good sign! We shuffled inside the narrow restaurant and were warmly greeted by the owner/waiter (I assumed he was also the owner) who set us in a cozy table at the corner farthest from the door and treated us with complementary neon-pink alcoholic drinks. It was sweet enough so that I could swallow it without protest, although I have no idea where the pinkness came from. I won't think about it.

riiip my bread
mm, gluten

Alex's poofy cheese paratha had a thin layer of cheese on the inside of the bread pocket. My plain two-layered paratha held no coating of cheesy innards, but I'm perfectly happy with unadorned wheat products, especially those of the chewy, freshly fried variety. Mare took no part in our bread eating since doing so would've resulted in intestinal turmoil.

chicken stuff eggplant stuff chicken stuff and rice

Like usual, I forgot to take notes about what we actually ordered. It went a little somethin' like this: I got chicken in some kind of cashew and almond-adorned sauce, Mare got something else that may have been chicken based but in a different sauce with a side of rice and Alex stuck with a non-meaty eggplant dish. I don't know how to describe the food (trust me, I'm more disappointed than anyone else by my inability to describe ANYTHING I EAT) besides that it was good...although nowhere near "O-M-G awesome" good. Would it be easier to say that it wasn't bad? Flavors were lacking a bit, but nothing was tasteless. Methinks I would've liked something spicier.


What do you do with a dessert menu that somewhat resembles an axe? YOU PRETEND TO CHOP OFF MARE'S HEAD! Obviously.

smile kiddies

When the owner saw me busting out the camera, he insisted on a group photo. ALRIGHTEE! Here's me in my quintessential "no eyeball" mode, Mare in the complete opposite mode and our rather tired looking host.


Alex and I ordered khulfi, defined on the menu as "special creamy ice cream of the sub-continent with pistachio, cadammon and soaked in rose flavored syrup." I can't out-do that description. It tasted of sub-continent, baby.

Shortly before we left our host bestowed Mare and me with bindis. Maybe he does that for everyone. Or maybe he thought we were particularly awesome. We felt the power of adhesive jewelery surge through the center of our foreheads. Feels pretty damn good.

this pretty much sums up the night
this pretty much sums up the night

It was a highly awesome night. The food is kind of pricey for what you get, but it's a relief to just feel satisfied and not explodingly full after finishing a meal. I can't just eat out for the food alone; the people I eat with make a huge impact. Even higher than food, my relationships with people are probably what I think about the most. Yeah, it might be surprising considering how few relationships I have and how obviously gleeful I become around food. Tasty food is third on my list of deep thoughts, the second one being, "How can I stop eating so much?"

I kinda gloss over the second one.


Chez Omar
47 Rue de Bretagne, 3rd
Metro: Arts et Metiers (3, 11)

Tan Lido
86, ave d'Ivry , 13th
Metro: Tolbiac, Maison Blanche, Port de Choisy, Porte d'Ivry (7) [I say all those metro stations because I actually got off at Port d'Ivry, which is the farthest one. You'll pass a lot of stuff if you get off there and walk up to where the restaurant is.]

Big Store
81 ave d'Ivry, 13th
Metro: Tolbiac, Maison Blanche, Port de Choisy, Porte d'Ivry (7)

Shenaz Indien
11 rue Houdon, 18th
Metro: Pigalle (2, 12)


Kathy / November 17, 2006 1:37 AM

My grandma needs to make spring rolls for you!!!!!
When I move back to nyc next year, we are going to attack every single vietnamese restaurant in the city and flushing. We'll do vietnamese like its never been done before! (at least in our lives, hehehe....) Oh man, and you'd loooove the desserts!

John / November 17, 2006 2:01 AM

Next time we hang out :D, I'll make sure to be more silly and make lots of animalesque noises, if it'll make you more comfortable. Perhaps I'll have to do some sort of dance or wear an Abraham Lincoln hat to get the ball rolling. I'll draw up a proposal and send it to you FedEx by Friday.

Mmmm cous cous!

roboppy / November 17, 2006 9:15 AM


Ahh I hope I'm still in NYC next year! :O I would so love Vietnamese food adventures...every day.

John: HAHAHA, John it's okay; you don't have to make animal noises for me. I just realized part of the problem of even saying those things; it has to be natural. Well, kinda. I meanm, if I have to tell people what i want them to do, it's not natural..and then it's don't feel pressured to act silly just because I tell you to. It defeats the purpose! I LIKE YE THE WAY YOU ARE!

piccola: YAY FEIST, so awesome!

redrhino: Sorry to disappoint you, but she's actually ...AMERICAN! From Brooklyn! Ehe. But she is kyoot.

Tina / November 17, 2006 4:53 PM

Oh my God, the little bunnies and guinea pigs looks so adorable! ^^ I want one!

That bowl of rice vermicelli looks pretty darn good; it's like a noodle and salad in a bowl with crunchy toppings instead of croûtons.

susannah / November 17, 2006 6:39 PM

that picture of your friend Mare in the tree is absolutely gorgeous . .

almost as gorgeous as cheese-lined paratha. Could you imagine a cheese-line jacket? Wow.

Fauchon Junkie / November 17, 2006 7:58 PM

I had an adorable guinea pig like that once. It used to eat of lot of carrots. And lettuce. And ice cream. And cookies. And pasta.

And then it died of a stroke.

The lesson of this of course is: don't feed animals food they can't make or procure for themselves, possibly due to lack of opposable thumbs.

My parents have not learned this. Last time I went home, I caught them giving pistachio ciao bella to the new dog. Who is now fat, of course.

roboppy / November 17, 2006 8:17 PM

Amy: Goin to the menagerie...FOR GUINEA PIGS! I love that.


Tina: I know, they're so cute! There should be a zoo of JUST BUNNIES AND GUINEA PIGS.

It is like noodle salad, or noodles with some..salad in it. So much tastier than salad.

Susannah: I'll tell Mare that she is second to cheesy paratha. ;)

Mary Sue: Go fulfill your craving! It is your destiny!

FJ: And then it died a horrible death.

It would make sense for pets to die of "human" diseases if they eat human food, right? I mean, the really jhunky human food. But maybe that guinea pig was damn happy...until the stroke.


Poor dog! ..But maybe it's happy, kinda. Cos Ciao Bella is TASTY. And unlike humans, pets will still be loved even if they're fat.

...yeah I need to lose weight.

Adalmin / November 18, 2006 2:05 AM

There's this one guy in the table scene staring right at you with an expression that says, "Vot har you do-ink?"

You may have a vampire on your tail. Stay alert.

Sabrina / November 18, 2006 9:51 PM

In the "table scene" photo, I agree with one of your other commentors that you are the subject of somebody's intestinal rage (quietly suppressed by the finger strategically placed on the chin).

Pistachio kulfi! Yum!

Teresa / November 19, 2006 4:21 AM

umm i realize this is a tad creepy...but i would so take up this roommate offer of yours if i were to be in NYC. i said earlier, i live in a small city with the population of 75,000 people. you are too cool...i would probably hide in my room the entire time i was there, in fear of actually BUMPING INTO MY HOUSEMATE...for I would have to make intelligent conversation with you and hope that you think i was just as cool.

roboppy / November 19, 2006 3:10 PM

Lea:, that is some distrubing imagery. But it's true.


..okay probably not.

Sabrina: Intestinal rage? Holy crap, that's the worst kind! (It also sounds like a funny thing to put on a tshirt. Hehe.)

Teresa: No, it's not creepy! It'd only be creepy if you were a single 45 year old man. ;) (Not that I want to alientate any of my middle aged male readers...ummm...)

I didn't like interacting with my roommates for the past two years. Total bummer. I hope next semester will be different. (This semester is cool though.)

Noneng: Thanks for visiting! Of course I have no problem with site linkage. :)

Elizabeth / November 19, 2006 6:30 PM

You must have great metabolism or you're walking miles per day (?)- abundant and the best French food. Are you going to Provence? I would like to go in January and find a good culinary and/or pastry workshop there. If can suggest any - let me know - in Paris too. Thanks.

roboppy / November 20, 2006 9:31 AM

Elizabeth: I don't have good metabolism...nor do I walk that much. This will catch up with me soon, I think. I'll become the HUMAN BLOB.

I'm not going to Provence. Dooh. Maybe if I were in Paris for a year I'd go to more places. :\

Albany Jane: Yeah...either that or he thought we were were SO ODD.

Susannah: OMG! Wait, I'm not a tofu person. But I'll go anyway. Thanks for letting me know!

anne: Ohh, I thought it had a more specific name (as opposed to this baklava), but all I came up with was "bird's nest" I suppose it is baklava in a different shape?

Thanks for reading!

bazu / November 22, 2006 4:01 PM

yes-those bird's nest pastry things! I loved them as a kid growing up in Iran, and then when we moved to the U.S., I was so happy when I thought I had found them... in a Shredded wheat box... imagine my disappointment!
I thought of you last night, because I bought a fresh sourdough baguette and ate half of it before I got home. What is it that makes baguettes so darn easy to snarf?...

roboppy / November 22, 2006 11:56 PM

garrett: I'm glorious? AW SHUCKS!

Dude if I eat more I will explode. I don't endorse exploding.

Bazu: HAHAHA OH MY GOD SHREDDED WHEAT, THAT IS SO WRONG, I think I would've cried if I were you.

Mmm, sourdough's all crack, man. Delicious wheaty crack.

Pauline: Thanks! Eating Paris would definitely result in explode-ee though. Let's not do that.

redrhino / November 23, 2006 1:06 PM

You did not open a comments section for the Nov 23rd post so people could wish you a "Happy Thangsgiving" in return. I had to backtrack to the comments section for Nov 17th to do so.



Something random from the archives