foods to try in Paris

Old Oct 15th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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foods to try in Paris

Hello,

Will be leaving soon for a week visit, my first visit to Paris. Some of the foods I've never tried and plan to on this trip are:

foie gras
escargot
frogs' legs
kir and other apertifs
cassoulet

What are some of the other typical dishes? I know there are many regional differences, just trying to get a general idea, what are some of your favorites that you just miss so much when you come back to the states? We are staying in the Marais.

Am very much looking forward to this trip, but for some reason have not "prepared" as much as I have for others!

On another topic re: museums: I know we could get tickets ahead of time to the D'Orsay and L'Orangerie, but really don't want to pick the exact date/time ahead of time. Will there be long lines the last week in Oct? I would think that is not a very busy time of year. But again, I know the Orangerie just re-opened. Any times that are not as busy?

Thanks for any info.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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In any restaurant, if there is a special of the day, go for it. I think its great that you have an open mind and want to try new things. If you have time do visit a little gem of a museum near the Arc de Triomph called JacquesMars Andre (SP?).. it was a private home and quite special.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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My favorite thing is to buy a crepe on the street, ok maybe two.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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OK, how do you say frog legs in french? A girlfriend and I are heading to Paris this week and I love a good pair of frog legs! But, what do I look for on the menu?

Marla
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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les cuisses de grenouilles

but this is a good one for "charades French". Just impersonate a frog jumping around then point to your legs!

Be aware, sometimes in France they are served with the lower part of the body still attached -- somehow it's far less appetizing that way -- at least to me.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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We were at L'Orangerie in September and walked right in mid-afternoon, there were no lines. Enjoy the museum, it is lovely.

Where in the Marais are you staying?
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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I stayed in the Marais in February.
For an apertif, try a Suze but only if you like Campari. Both are gentian based. Foie Gras seared is the way to go. Cassoulet, frogs legs aren't tipical paris foods but there is a famous Escargot restaurant that has one on top of the entrance to lead you indoors where everything is prepared with these liitle devils
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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Some of the things you want to try so much are things I don't like at all, actually (eg, escargots, frogs legs, cassoulet). I don't usually drink aperitifs and don't like fizzy alocohol drinks, but a kir is okay although I only drink it when it comes with the prix fixe. If you're the kind of person who likes that kind of drink, though, you probably will. Frog's legs aren't really very common on French menus, so you might have trouble finding them. Just don't be surprised if they aren't on the menu of any restaurant you go to. I just eat fairly normal everyday foods in France (lamb, chicken, steak-frites, etc.), but they are usually prepared fairly well. I guess the main things that I really like that are difficult to find at home (for me, in the US), are profiteroles (a dessert) and pain aux amandes (a breakfast pastry) and potatoes gratinees, and good camembert cheese. I guess the things I like the most are just simple things -- very good reasonably-priced wine, good bread, cafe creme, cheeses, things like that, a good steak au poivre, and a salad with goat cheese.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 09:34 PM
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For my son's first trip to France last year, he really wanted frogs' legs. That's when I discovered that they aren't really very common in Paris. We had them at a lovely little oh-so-typical Paris bistro called Le Moulin a Ven “Chez Henri,” at 20, rue des Fossés-St-Bernard, in the 5th Arr. The frogs' legs there are an appetizer. Another place, which I have NOT been to, but walked by it, is I believe called "Roger le Grenouille," and it's in the 6th Arr.

I love the pastry called a macaron; do a search for it here to find it described. I'm not a rich-chocolate-lots-of-cream sweets person, so macarons in my opinion are perfect!

And I'm one of those who actually likes sweetbreads (ris de veau), which I don't see much of here in the U.S.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 10:10 PM
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You would find quite a few of desired dishes at the "Chez Papa" chain. There used to just be 4 locations, but it seems to be expanding throughout the city at the moment -- probably because it always has snails, cassoulet, andouillette (tripe sausage), gizzard salads, etc., on the menu.
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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Alsatian winstub with Flammekuche, a pot of moules and frites, and pastries to die for
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 12:32 AM
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My favorite is magret du canard - thin slices of duck breast with the a thin piece of the fat left on. Sometimes served with a sauce. Not that awful dry whole or half breast that they call magret in the U.S. Quite a few restaurants serve it. Also, as mentioned above, gizzard salad, love it.

A fun meal and within easy walking distance of the Marais, is the Brasserie de I'lle St. Louis, on St. Louis at the end of the main street (with the shops), close to Cite (Notre Dame) ... You can't miss it, it sits out, right by the bridge.
It's open from lunch until about 1:00AM. It think they are closed on Wednesdays and Thursday lunch.


Fun place, always crowded, sometime brisque service, menu in English if you need it. My first meal in Paris years ago was there and I had what has become by 'regular' meal there - a kir, salade frisee, with lardon (small thick pieces of bacon (?), cassoulet, wine and sometimes peche melba for dessert.

The front bar is right out of an old French movie (it's been there awhile and possibly has been in one of two..) Don't let the waiters bother you, give it right back to them and they open up and are quite funny.

It is Alsatian, so you can also have charcoute (sp), sausages, sourkraut etc.. not my favorites.

It is the first restaurant I ate at almost 30 years ago and has been a part of every trip since then. Not 'gourmet' by any means, but good food and great fun.

Enjoy and please post a trip report.

Nina
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 02:53 AM
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The lines yesterday for the Orangerie were quite long; they were also very long for the decorative arts museum near the Louvre. But it was a beautiful day and everybody was out and about doing something.
As for frogs' legs, they aren't found at many French restaurants, as noted above. You're more likely to find them on the menu at Asian restaurants in Paris than at French restaurants. A few years ago we went to Roger la Grenouille. It was less than mediocre.

Of the foods on your list, you will most easily find escargot and foie gras. Foie gras will be served in a variety of ways, often with salads. Cassoulet seemed to be pretty widely available, but not quite as easily found as the fg and escargot.

Andouillettes is another regional favorite, but we can't stand them. I suggest you try the cheese plates; you will probably be tasting some cheeses you can't find easily at home (but only if you like cheese, of course). And the desserts too! Don't stick to just the most well known like creme brulee and profiteroles. See what looks the most tempting at the patisseries.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 03:25 AM
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Poulet de Bresse..it tastes like chicken is suppposed to taste, not like the insipid stuff we get in our grocers.

Foie de veau..lightly sauteed veal liver, still a bit pink

Try pintade..guinea fowl ..or pigeon, both hardly ever available in the US.

We'll be in France for a month in 2 weeks and my DH has his food list already full!
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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Hi T,

andouilletes - tripe sausage
ris de veau - veal sweetbreads
rognions - kidney

are all acquired tastes

magret - duck breast is very good
choucroute Alsacian - braised sauerkraut with meat and potate is one of my favorites

Coquille St Jacques
Oysters
rouget - Mediterranena mullet

must be tried

Macarons in many flavors can be found at Laduree and Pierre Herme'

Don't forget the 450 kinds of cheese

Croissants, pain au chocolat and innumerable pastries.

Kler is correct: <...a little gem of a museum near the Arc de Triomph...< is the acquemart-Andre'.
www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/jandre/

Try to have Sunday brunch there before a stroll down the Champs Elysee.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 05:01 AM
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Cassoulet should be available this time of year--it's a hearty wonderful dish.
Seared foie gras will usually be an entree (our appetizer) and will be sublime, often served with a fruit and perhaps a small glass of a sweetish wine--and at a premium cost.
Preserved foie gras is often served on salad--and perhaps with the wine. It will not be as expensive.
Restaurants will have their own "takes" on many many foods. You will be transported!!
I haven't found that escargots are anything very special in Paris. I did have a memorable snail soup from a vineyard in Germany. You might see if a restaurant serves them other than with the butter/garlic.
Beefsteak is better left for the US in my opinion. There are so many other things in France that are better done--but mainly the beef is just not quite as good as ours.
If you like mussels, it is a must in France.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I won't go out of my way to find frog legs, but if I see it on a menu I will try it. Don't think I'll do the charade though!

Like many of you, I prefer the simply prepared foods that are just so fresh. The magret du canard sounds heavenly! Merci!

Will post upon return.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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I like steak and frites, quite different than what you would find in the U.S. And crepes. And any and all 'house' white wines... boy are they good in Paris in my experience.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Try a Croque Monseiur if you find one on a menu -- the most wonderful grilled cheese sandwich with a Bechamel sauce you'll ever have!

Nutella crepe from a street vendor!

Just try different things on a menu -- I've found in Paris that you can't get a bad meal!

Enjoy!

joy/luvparee
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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And let's not forget moules (mussels), preferably moules frites....
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