Sunday, December 20, 2009

Au Revoir, Paris!

It was our last day in Paris today, and I am sad to leave, but eager to get home to my dogs, my routine, and my morning smoothies. This eagerness didn't stop me, however, from enjoying lots of Parisian food today.

The first food I purchased today was from a small grocery store. I bought some clementines for myself and the slightly-less-sick Man of Science. For some reason that I will probably never understand, the elderly French grocer insisted that in addition to my clementines I take one free leek. One free leek that will likely go unused, since I'm pretty sure I can't bring foreign vegetables back into Canada with me tomorrow. Bummer.

Lunch was falafel yet again. I bought this round from one of the bogglingly plentiful fast food places that are just around the corner from the Shakespeare and Company bookstore.

fast food alley

There are three or four streets full of fast food places, each with it's own pushy proprietor standing out front shouting, "Bonjour Mademoiselle!" and "Comment ca va, ma belle!" attempting to get you the eat at their establishments. I was looking for the famed Maoz Falafels, but unfortunately I couldn't find it and ordered some falafal sandwiches from a different place instead. They were all right. Nothing spectacular.

But dinner! Oh, dinner. I checked online to see if there was a vegetarian place that we hadn't tried yet and we selected Le Potager De Marais. Good choice! It was the best meal I've had all week. It was just the Man of Science and I because the Parents of Science left this morning. It was a cosy, romantic little restaurant, just a quick walk away from our apartment. Parfait!


I was impressed by how many vegan (and gluten free) dishes they had on their menu. Though I did notice that dishes were only marked "vegan" and "gluten free" on the English version of the menu. Perhaps French people just don't care. At any rate, the menu was great. Small and not overwhelming, but with a good variety of choices. For our appetizers, I chose the mushroom pate and the Man of Science had the seaweed tartar. Both totally vegan and, I think, gluten free.

mushroom pate and seaweed tartar

I loved the mushroom pate. I tried a bit of the seaweed tartar and did not like it, but that is likely because I do not generally like the taste of seaweed. "It tastes like I'm eating the beach," I told the Man of Science, who happily gobbled up his beachy appetizer, clearly enjoying the seaweed more than I did.

For our main courses, I chose the seitan bouguignon, largely in deference to Julia Child. I'm not going to eat the classic beefy French version, but I was happy to order the vegan version.

seitan bourginoin

The Man of Science had something called a "tartiflette" which was made with smoked, deep fried tofu and melted cheese. He loved it a whole lot. I haven't heard him that happy with a dish the whole time we've been here. It did look pretty great, and I tried a little piece of the tofu, which was very flavourful.

There were quite a few excellent sounding vegan desserts on the menu, most of which were also gluten free, so I really couldn't resist an order of flourless vegan chocolate cake with almond cream.

flourless chocolate cake

It was supremely delicious. And made with chestnut flour. Chestnut flour!? Where does one find that? I don't know, but I was sold on this dessert from the first bite. I ate it all even though I was almost completely full by that point. It was the perfect last thing to eat in Paris. We leave for the airport at 6:45 tomorrow morning and by tomorrow evening we'll be back in cold, cold Ottawa once again. Au revoir, Paris! Je t'aime beaucoup.



Cindy said...

Oh, yes! I had my favourite Paris meal in this restaurant when I was there 3 1/2 years ago. An incredible vegan mushroom pie.

It's a shame you missed out on Maoz Falafel - I think that was my second favourite meal of the trip.

Hilary said...

Oh no! If I had seen these posts before I would have let you know about a great spot in Paris with vegan options - Rose Bakery. It's on Rue des Martyrs in Montmartre. The baked goods aren't vegan, I don't think, but they have a lot of great salads and lunch options. Oh well, sounds like you had a great trip with some good eating!

Brigid said...

I ate at Maoz in Amsterdam, and it's really good. Too bad you missed it. Your dinner looks fabulous, though. I can't wait to get back to Europe!