Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Vegetarian Problem

During my first year in Paris, seemingly everyone who came to visit was a f@*k#ng vegetarian.

I support this choice, honestly I do. But it makes (in Paris) for truly lousy eating.

Or at least it used to...

In the olden days of 2004-2006, choosing a restrautant with a (non-fish-eating) vegetarian in mind meant that somebody was not gonna be happy. And most often, that body was me.

My insanely bulleted and hyper-linked list of Restauarants To Try was usually set aside because the places specialized in game, offered no choices, or were otherwise unlikely to have anything my friends could eat.

Recently, however, a new list has taken shape. I call it Places Where I Can Take My Vegetarian Friends Without Wanting to Kill Them.

Or, more formally, Fine Eatin' with Fleshless Options.

This new list features six restaurants where I would gladly eat, with or without a vegetarian in the mix. Beyond these, there is a world of casual street eats and ethnic joints that also get the job done. But for those who are looking to have a special (and not cheap) night out, with a focus on French rather than Cambodian, these are my top picks:

  1. Arpège
  2. Maceo
  3. Mon Vieil Ami
  4. Les Allobroges
  5. Transversal
  6. Maison Blanche
The map, and full descriptions of each, are published here on Gridskipper.

Go forth, friends, and eat without passive aggression.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You Will Miss Me When I'm Gone

This morning a young woman sat down next to me on the Métro, an SMS already in progress.

The furious tapping of her manicured nails prompted me to look up periodically from the pages of my book, in which a conceptual fish was stalking our already-dead (or not?) hero.

"You will miss me when I'm gone..." began her text. I hated myself a little bit for reading over her shoulder.

"...but I understand your reasons,"
[deleted, then...]

"...and you're an asshole,"
[deleted, then...]

"...and you should call me when you change your mind..."

There were ten or so of these.

And during the seventh one (approximately) she farted.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Paris Coffee Tastes Like Ass

Tourists are often too distracted by the ambiance to notice that brew between their fingers tastes funny -- but connoisseurs abhor the sludge that's on offer in the everyday Paris café.

It sucks for many reasons, including the frequent use of robusta (not arabica) beans, chalky water, sterilized milk, dirty machines with low pressure and temperature, and untrained baristas who almost never tamp their shots.

And while French drinkers don't seem to know what they're missing, many 'Mericans - even those from Kansas - certainly do. For those of you in search of a jolt without the dirty mouth, I made a list for Gridskipper of the top places in Paris where you can find a decent cup of coffee.

>and here it is...