May 14, 2011

Paris: First Meal!

ABF & I took the Eurostar from London to Paris, so our first steps in the City of Lights were at Paris's Gare du Nord train station. What a gorgeous building! We stepped outside and wandered around the block, taking it all in and trying to decide where to go next.

Conveniently across the street was Le Bareudeur Patient (which I believe translates to something like the enduring soldier). It had outdoor seating and lots of open tables, so we took our luggage in, picked a corner table, and sat down for our first meal in Paris (!!PARIS!!)

ABF is sorely missing iced tea during his stay in England, so he was thrilled to see they had it on the menu. He ordered it and the server asked if he'd like a medium. ABF said yes, and I think he will regret that for many years to come. I'll explain later.

I was in Paris, so it was all about the red wine--yes please! I ordered a glass of Cote du Rhone (of course!) that was 4 or 6 Euros, so about 6 or 8 dollars. Fair enough! It was tart and rich and oh I was in Paris.

In keeping with that theme, I ordered the Croque Monsieur, a ham and cheese sandwich that is toasted and melty and wonderful. The server asked if I wanted frites (fries) or a salad, and I opted for greens.

The salad was a generous mix of leafy greens, radishes, and tomatoes in a light mustardy vinaigrette. Perfection!

ABF ordered the Croque Madame, which is a Croque Monsieur topped with a fried egg. It looked beautiful, and ABF enjoyed it very much. He opted for the frites, which were very tasty, fluffy, wedges. They tasted slightly different--maybe sunflower or some other type of oil we don't normally use? Tres bien!

We enjoyed our meal, although not so much the cigarette smoke from our fellow patrons. I so appreciate that in America you no longer have to hold your breath while trying to eat a meal. Cigarette smoke is a major trigger for my asthma, so judgments aside, it is just plain bad for ME to be around it. While it is generally annoying and smelly and unhealthy, I reminded myself that hey, that's Paris, and quickly got past it. In fact, I enjoyed the very Parisian-ness of it all. :)

When the bill came, I swear ABF's eyes almost popped out of his head, Looney Tunes style. His iced tea was 8 Euros. EIGHT. That's twice the price of my glass of wine, and oh, about twelve dollars. For ICED. TEA. Listen.. I am one of the first people to pipe up if the bill is wrong, or an item rings up incorrectly at the register, and ABF is the opposite. Except in cases as egregious as this. We looked at the wall and saw that a Long Island Iced Tea, or 'Longue Island Iced Tea' (basically Coca-Cola and a crapload of different types of booze) was 50 cents cheaper than his plain iced tea, so ABF thought, vainly, that maybe there was a mixup and they thought he ordered an alcoholic drink. But no, there was no mixup. That's how much iced tea costs in Paris. Ouch.

I was worried that this experience, with its cool service and general disinterest in our horror, would sour ABF on Paris, but as future posts will show, I think it turned out okay. But he never did order iced tea again....

Au Baroudeur Patient
12 Boulevard De Denain
75010 Paris, France

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