Paris - Sharing a Meal

Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:24 AM
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Paris - Sharing a Meal

My husband and I like to watch our weight and our wallets when we travel and like to share entrees and/or appetizers and desserts usually at dinner. Is this taboo in Paris - will we be frowned upon? Will we be charged a service charge for sharing?
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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Unlike American portions, where an "appetizer" could serve as dinner for 4, you'll probable not need to share portions in France.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:47 AM
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but I don't think sharing, particuarly dessert, would be frowned upon.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Unless you want to pass as a Cheap American, go ahead and share....
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:00 AM
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Since portions tend to be quite a bit smaller the what we are used to in the US I doubt if you will want to share. I've traveled a lot in France and have relatives there as well and sharing just does not seem to be the norm anyplace I've been. You may get away with it for dessert, but otherwise I'd not do it. (again, portions are smaller so if you did do it you really might still be looking for food after dinner).
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:15 AM
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We didn't share in Paris, but have especially dessert in other places (Aruba, for example). However, while enjoying our meal at a restuarant near Boulevard St. Germain, 2 young ladies from Belgium sat down at the table next to us. They proceeded to order 1 appetizer and 1 entre which they asked to be served at the same time -- and they shared. No problem whatsoever. Note that this was a casual no reservations required place -- there are several streets of such places behind St. Germain, but I don't recall off hand the exact street name.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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A second thought -- maybe it's growing experience or increasing age
but I really am beginning to strongly feel that "it's my vacation. it's my money. no matter where you are, the customer is ALWAYS right for those in a service industry (waiters, shopkeepers, hotel desks, etc. or take your money & walk away. Do I really care what a stranger is going to think about me, especially since we will never met again? No, his/her attitude about me isn't going to impact the quality of my life at home...if you are being honest to yourself, to your style, you wouldn't keep friends at home that disapproved of your values & style -- why worry about the stranger's approval? " Wear what you are comfortable wearing (hopefully it will be neat & clean -- packing wrinkles don't count!). If you want to share an appetizer or dessert do so. If you want to taste his pommes frites, do so.
& just remembered, we did share a cheese course on our last trip to Paris -- the waiter not only didn't mind he was very very pleased to id the various types we couldn't -- our pleasure in this lunch at an out-of-the way place found walking back from the Picasso museum was very evident to him & he responded in kind.

Sorry for the babble on -- guess I'm just tired of the "dare we do this??" "what must I wear?" etc. posts
Much more vital is enjoying & seeing what is most important to you.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 08:03 AM
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The question was,"will we be frowned upon?" Yes, in some cases, particularly in some more serious bistros.
"Will be charged a service charge for sharing?" Yes, in some cases. Sometimes a minimum charage (in costs) can be expected.
Also true here in the US, in my experience.

Sharing main courses is not illegal, just not the norm. By the way, just in case you are not familiar with the language, "entrees" in Paris are appetizers/first courses.
Main courses are "plats", or else they are just listed under the fish, poultry, or meat categories. If you are familiar, then disregard.
Sharing a dessert is fairly common everywhere.

If you are small eaters, how about just ordering less? You'll find that appetizer offerings are really quite small. Perhaps you could each order two appetizers and skip having an entree? Just a suggestion.

From there, do as you like.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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Glad to hear that the portions are more normal size than the gigantic size we usually get in the US I hate when we want to try different things, but end up with so much food it goes to waste. I am not so worried about looking like a crass American as I am at not respecting the "eating culture" of the country I am visiting. I want to enjoy the food, but not bring home 10 more pounds as a souvenir!
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Donna
IMO, its travelers like you that give tourists a good name. Watching your intake but still
respecting the culture; what a concept!
cheers

by the way, if you need more Paris info, I have a file; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Hi Donna,
You wrote,
>I want to enjoy the food, but not bring home 10 more pounds as a souvenir!

I take it that this is your first trip to Paris. You will find that you eat more often than you usually do and *lose* weight.

Have a great trip and share as much as you like.
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Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:33 PM
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My young daughter and I shared often and were never changed extra (or regarded with disdain).

However, it was funny, at Bofinger, the waiter advised us to only get two orders for four people eating choucroute and it was perfect. That left some extra for champagne and dessert.

Warning:Although I adore the atmo and some of the entrees offered there, don't go in a rush as the waiters can disappear for unbearable lengths of time.

Our girls watched bewildered as a model inhaled a huge portion of steak tartare at the table next to us. That alone was worth the price of the meal!
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