STORY TELLING | My food experience in Paris
When the idea of Paris was presented to me, I got excited! My mom told me when she was a little girl, she dreamt of becoming a fashion designer and living in Paris. So needless to say, I wanted to see why this was on her bucket list of places, and why the world called it the City of Romance.
I had no expectations going in, other than it was going to be hot with a lot of tourists in late June & the people in Paris are not all that warm and friendly. It would be my first experience in Europe, and when I shared that I was going, people would be impressed and tell me I would love it there. They boasted on the architecture and the food. They explained that Paris had a lot of history, and the buildings such as the Palace of Versailles and The Louvre Museum are must see activities. Prior to my trip, I had never eaten French food, and from all my previous travel experiences, food was never an issue, so I wasn’t expecting it to be a drastic difference than what I had been exposed to in Toronto. Being a Canadian you are open to multitudes of cultures, thus eating various food types from different ethnicities was common.
When we arrived we decided to walk around the neighborhood of our hotel to see what shops were around and what Cafes we could dine in. After getting lost trying to locate a particular restaurant that was a 10 min walk, we opted to go to a nearby Café closer to our hotel. I ordered a lentil salad and my friend ordered duck. I also asked for soda and learned they do not offer Ginger-ale. Shocked, I accepted Coke, as I am not a huge wine drinker. When the food arrived it looked pretty great. I was on a vegan lifestyle for a year prior and so my diet consisted of a lot of peas and beans for my protein. I stuck to what I knew rather venturing out because I am a picky eater. The salad had no taste. It was lacking sauce, sauce and overall temperature levels. The lentils were cold but the rice with corn were warm. I was unsure if I should mix it all together, or keep it separate. After two bites I was done, and did not enjoy my meal. Disappointed, I decided I did not want anything else other than to head back to our hotel.
The next morning we went down for breakfast as we had a full breakfast option that was included in our stay. Again, unsure of what to expect, I knew it was more than a continental style breakfast menu. When we arrived, there were a charcuterie board, boiled eggs, fruit bowl, baguettes with no jam or butter, coffee, cereal with milk only, and a variety of natural fruit juices. Since I am not a huge fan of meat, and I am also lactose, I was unable to eat the cereal, and charcuterie board. I was left with bread, fruit bowl, and hardboiled eggs. The eggs were cold, and the bread was plain so I drank juice and ate fruit. The food experience was becoming an issue for me on day 2.
After an interesting breakfast, we left and headed to the city where we did some sight-seeing. We didn’t eat while we were out as there was too much to do, however we did stop to grab some fruit while we waited for our next tour of the Eiffel tower to start. After the Eiffel Tower we headed back near our hotel, and stopped at another café where I ordered chicken and Fries with a salad. While the meal was much better, I was not impressed that my chicken had no seasoning. My friend ordered steak and said it was very good. The salad the meals came with, was just iceburg lettuce. I was beginning to see the pattern of the lettuce they used for their meals.
We had split up our Paris trip with another country, and when we returned I ate at an Italian restaurant and fell in love.I ordered a lasagna which also came with iceburg lettuce and was thoroughly impressed.We then ate Crepes for dessert and that was also a nice added bonus to my meal.
My 3rd day in Paris and I was optimistic about the food. We went outside Paris to experience the night life, and there I ate chicken, with rice & peas, sweet plantain and salad. Paris was finally coming back around and showing me that it wasn’t all bad experiences with their food options. At this restaurant, the food was flavorful as you were able to identify the spices and herbs that seasoned the rice and meat. Though the rice had a distinct taste, it was definitely more my speed that I had been yearning for all along.
Due to my food experience in Paris, I was not overly impressed. I was constantly hungry, and the times I did have a good meal experience, they were sporadic & far and few in between. I will say that when I return, I have some new found knowledge about places to eat now, and restaurants to try that have a good reputation of quality food.
I have not written you off yet Paris. Like a relationship that needs some repair, I will definitely be back to give you another try.