Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bonjour, Paris! (Part Five)

Oh dear.

Our trip hit a tiny bump last night when the Man of Science came down with some kind of throat-hurty cold. I don't do well with bad news in the middle of the night, so I was up from 3 AM until 4 AM worrying that he had swine flu and madly internet chatting with my friend Jess the naturopath-in-training who gave me advice for staying healthy and calmed me the hell down. Thank you, Jess. And thank you, Internet (and time differences) for allowing me access to her during my attack of worry.

In the calm light of day it became clear that the MoS is not swine fluin'. He just has a crappy cold. Perhaps the same Cold That Would Not Leave that I had in October. At any rate, I was on my own for wanderings today, which was fine. I have no trouble making my way in strange cities, it is actually something I enjoy. Though I missed the MoS and felt bad that he was stuck in the apartment all sicky while I was wandering in and out of bakeries looking for these:

the best tasting cookies on earth

Macaroons. Chocolate, pistachio, raspberry. A brilliant texture, not too sweet, magically delicious. And yes, I know they're not vegan. I ate a couple anyway. They are perhaps the best cookies I've ever tasted.

Prior to the macaroon finding, I ate at a little restaurant called Cafe Grizzli. Not to be too dramatic about it, but this place felt like stepping inside a really good novel. It was full of interesting French people and charming servers. It was cosy and relaxed with a great menu (most of it not vegetarian, though). To my left was a table of three, one Parisian woman and two Americans, who spoke in both English and French and who commented on the English novel I was reading. To my right was an older man having lunch across the table from his phenomenally adorable french bulldog, who sat on the chair opposite the man and quietly surveyed the restaurant. I wanted to take a photo so badly, but the older man seemed slightly cranky and no matter how much I practiced "Est ce que je peux prendre un photo de ton chien?" in my head, I couldn't summon the courage to actually ask.

I ate roasted baby vegetables in coconut curry cream for lunch. With fresh bread and fizzy water. It was one of the most delicious meals I've had all year. The atmosphere made it even better. But it was dark and I was feeling a little self conscious, so I have no photos, sadly.

veggie restaurant #2

Tonight for dinner the Parents of Science and I left the sick Man of Science at our apartment and went off to a second restaurant owned by the same people who own the place we went to on our first night here. It was basically the same food as the other location, which made me happy because I got to try something else off the lengthy, mostly vegan menu. The first thing I wanted, though, was one of their fresh juices. I figured it would add to my don't-get-sick defenses. The juice I chose was carrot-ginger-apple. The waiter made it right when I ordered it and the whole restaurant smelled like ginger. It was the perfect way to start my meal.

carrot apple ginger juice

I followed that with some vegetable soup which was good, but not as excellent as the lentil soup I had at the other location. But it was warm and wholesome and that was just what I was looking for. I had a small glass of wine to go along with it.

potage legume

For my second dish I chose another appetizer because I wasn't very hungry after the juice and the soup. It was called "Chickpea Mousse" which is, ah... hummous. But it was baked in two small scoops and placed on a bed of lettuce, beets, and grated carrots. The raw vegetables were very satisfying and the "mousse" was flavourful. So good in fact that I'd eaten almost all of it before I remembered that I hadn't taken a photo. Whoops. Here's a photo of the restaurant's excellent plant wall instead.

plant wall at veggie restaurant

So tomorrow is our last day in Paris, and I imagine I'll be going solo again, since the Man of Science will likely want to rest up for our long day of travel on Monday. I will try, once again, to get a photo of lunch since I seem to be failing in that regard so far. The only thing on the agenda is book shopping at Shakespeare and Company and maybe walking over to a shop we passed tonight that looked like it might have some fun gifts to bring home with me for loved ones. The Parents of Science are flying out tomorrow morning to go to Canada for Christmas. I can't say enough about how generous they've been, putting us up and taking us out for lots of meals. We are lucky people indeed.

J.

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