Tired Of French Food?

February 17th, 2013 § 0 comments

Yes, when HG is in Paris for a two week stay there are moments when HG becomes tired of French food (admittedly, it takes a lot of French food to make HG tired). Diving into other cuisines in Paris isn’t so simple. Obviously, Algerian, Tunisian and other Middle-Eastern food is commonplace and delicious. Reasonably priced Italian restaurants are awful: Pasta is overcooked. Risotto is gummy. The really good Italian places are astronomically expensive and, of course, totally lack the jolly, noisy ambiance of good Rome and New York Italian restaurants. Pizza? Fuhgeddabout it. One taste of Paris pizza and you know you’re not in New Jersey. Chinese food? There are some snob joints that are pricey and very ordinary. Good, simple Chinese eateries are in obscure neighborhoods and one has to shlep endlessly for a good meal. Vietnamese is another story however; cheap eateries can be found in abundance in Belleville, the 13th and in the outskirts and are lifesavers for students, backpackers, taxi and truck drivers. But, they don’t compare to the top flight Vietnamese restaurants in New York, California and — surprisingly — Denver. Paris is now in the midst of a hamburger craze. Better than Burger King but costly and just passable. Parisians tout Severo as a great steak house. It’s not. Not in the same class as Palm, Spark’s and other top New York steakeries (Must admit, however, the Severo’s steak tartare is world class and tops any in New York). HG’s Paris sources tout two unusual ethnic restaurants that will please foie-jaded palates. One is a very quirky, tiny Izakaya restaurant, a Japanese specialist in sake and tapas (plus a tasty sukiyaki). Run by a gentleman named Takamoto, it is Cave 27 located on Rue Lamarcq, Montmartre. Takamoto is a very versatile guy. Expert equestrian. A flamenco guitarist and singer. Flamenco artists often come in and perform. The other ethnic place is El Nopal, a few blocks from Canal St. Martin. Mexican, Tiny (two stools). Americans who have tried it say the tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salsas are the real deal. HG will pass on this one when in Paree. It seems ludicrous for a New Mexico guy to be eating a taco in the City of Light.

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