We went to Paris yesterday. The plan was to check out a well recommended hair salon on the Champs Elysee, make an appointment for next week, visit the cool kitchen shop where I bought my black fork, knife and spoon, and then have a leisurely lunch at a “chichi” restaurant with the appropriate summer rose wine. We did taxi over to the Champs Elysee from the train station but after that, our plans went awry.
“Hair-snatched” by the American salon owner, we spent 5 hours at the salon doing way too much to our hair. Ravenously hungry. There was coffee, tea and cranberry juice but that cuts no ice with Jade. Good thing she had a decadent chocolate beignet before we went into the salon. The picture is a little fuzzy because she wouldn’t stop eating it while I took the picture. Still it kept her from passing out during the beautification ordeal.
Finally, at 6 p.m. we found ourselves on the tourist packed sidewalks of the Champs Elysee, really hungry, but needing to get to the train station before the express train to Sens stopped running. Years ago, we learned to avoid the plethora of restaurants on the Champs Elysee; they are made for tourists and very little fresh food is involved or, indeed, needed to satisfy the hoards of tour group visitors. But yesterday it was eat or get on the train hungry. With negative expectations, we crossed the street and walked into the first sidewalk restaurant we saw. It was Italian-like. I didn’t bother to look at the name.
You have to ask yourself, where did the corporation manage to find these pale, tasteless tomatoes during this bountiful French tomato season? We split the mozzarella tomato salad with little enthusiasm. Hello! Basil? I don’t want to talk about the “Chianti”.
I ordered the fritto misto that came with an ancient tartar sauce, the top layered with an aged yellow skin and some stuck to the sides of the serving bowl. I ate the “fish” like potato chips and avoided the suspicious mound of red rice. You know those bags of pre-breaded seafood you can find in the frozen sections of supermarkets, made for people who don’t really like the taste of fresh seafood? Voila!
Jade had a cheeseburger with real ground beef. I tasted it and it was good, although there was a strange breaded object on the plate and a bizarre sauce that she tasted and rejected. Why was the cheese hamburger the best thing in this Italian themed restaurant? Trying to avoid an international incident with the Americans? Who knows? Anyway, dessert was out of the question.
And that’s why, in order to recover from our dining disappointment of yesterday, I made one of our favorites, a tartine of boudin noir
Spicy Boudin Noir Tartine with Pears and Epoisses Cheese
2 slices of country bread
Epoisses cheese, thick sliced
1 pear, cored and sliced into rings
1 spicy boudin noir link, sliced
Put a couple of slices of the Epoisses on the bread and top with first the pear rings and then the boudin slices. Broil until the cheese melts.