After Japan, I bounced back to the US for a while, then hopped over to France to pay my brother a visit. Don’t let his tiny kitchen fool you, he can still cook up a meal that can impress anyone. (Though he has at time made a few international calls to get my advice!)
Even while in France, I couldn’t help myself but to make a few meals for some friends. In fact, we were asked to bring food to a couple parties. I couldn’t resist the urge to make a bunch of awesome quesadilla’s to blow some French people’s minds. Tex-Mex food isn’t quite common over there. Needless to say, they were well received. But I was in France, so I definitely did sample the local food (great steak, awesome wine, terrific cheeses).
So, enjoy the food related photos and I’ll see you here again with some recipes next time!
Of course, I had to go to l’as du falafel again.
I did have a food revelation thanks to my brother: fromage blanc is amazing. I can’t seem to find it here in Raleigh though, which is unfortunate. It’s such a simple pleasure, it’s not even fancy. Just a mild cheesy, yogurty, curdy goodness. Imagine a cross between Greek yogurt and ricotta. I would just spread it on some fresh baguette and call it breakfast or a mid day snack. I did some research back in the US for the English name for it and they all sound like names of characters in Lord of the Rings or something: Topfen, Quark, Tvorog, or Kaas. Try to tell me that I am wrong.
The meals in France were always stellar. Above you can see a seared goat cheese salad with prosciutto and melon eaten at Millesime 68 in Nantes. Next to it is beef and potatoes gratin. I forget what it was actually called, but the sauce was very rich meaty.
After dinner, I stopped by a bar called Le Labo. Their thing is to play up the whole “laboratory” atomosphere. Their drinks are served in lab flasks or beakers and the drinks list is organized into things like “Cryogenics” and “Erlenmeyers.” If that’s not your thing, they also double as a pretty impressive rum bar with a long and varied list of rums to choose from. (Photo of Menu here, and here.)
Bread is still amazing in France. That last photo was basically my breakfast every morning there. I devoured a baguette and some kind of croissant, pain au chocolat, or pastry. I wish I could still have baguette and fromage blanc here in Raleigh…
Other interesting revelations:
-Playing petanque with a group of friends by the canal is a great way to spend an afternoon. Though finding out which brother is winning can be tough.
-Speaking of good meals, the poached egg with asparagus was the appetizer and beginning of a great meal at Café Panique. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other photos, so I’ll just move on.
-Potato chips come in different flavors than over here too. Many were very meat-centric like Rotisserie Chicken or Chorizo.
-I didn’t go out to eat as much this time, so no serious restaurant reviews like last year. I mostly made simple dinners with my brother or bummed around the city. It was good just to relax and not take much seriously for a while.
-I managed to find decent English beer, but it just wasn’t the same in France. It’ll hold me over until I go back to England though.
-Speaking of traveling to one country to see something from another: I saw the Black Lips in Paris. I lived in Atlanta for five years and never saw them in their home town, but I travel to Paris and see them there… go figure. Great show though.