Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two Days in Paris: TOO tiring

And probably dumb. We were there from Sunday evening (arriving 4:30 pm at the Paris Gare Est train station) through Wednesday morning (8:30 am flight out of Orly, on Air Berlin).

I have to go teach. So I can't really blog now.

But, if you want to know a restaurant that you might otherwise miss, may I suggest La Gitane. If you are a kidneys fan, I'd suggest the "Rognons de veau en cocotte." Remarkable. The YYM ordered grilled pig's trotter, but they were out already. Apparently they ran out at lunch. The old guys wait for grilled pig's foot day, every Tuesday, and chow down.

You have to have the onion soup. Embarrassing, but you have to. Such a naive tourist thing to order. But I have to give La Gitane credit. They did NOT do the usual horrible thing of an inch of cheese, roasted like a pizza. The onion soup was about....onions. Incredibly hot, very tasty, just enough bread and cheese to give a contrast.

And, though the restaurant emphasizes "Tradition," and "Cuisine bourgeoise," they were EXTREMELY willing to redo menu items to work with the LMM. The LMM is one of those, "I'd like a cheeseburger with fries. Hold the cheese, meat, bun, pickle. Oh, and hold the fries, too. Can you just give me some steamed broccoli, with tomatoes?" In other words, she rewrites the menu.

But the guy at La Gitane, though they were OUTRAGEOUSLY busy, was both patient and helpful, delivering a very pretty plate of steamed and sauteed vegetables that was nowhere on the menu. They added turnips, and green beans, and a fine large portion. The LMM was well pleased, though disgusted that I ate kidneys.

The desserts were extremely generous, and genuinely beautiful. Bringing them out elicited streams of French from cusomers (many of whom seemed local regulars), but I can recognize "Oh yes, Oh yes!" when I hear it.

La Gitane is on the Avenue de la Motte-Picquet (53) (that's the Motte Picquet Grenelle Metro stop, on the 6 or 8 trains, and it's close to other lines also), just west of the Ecole Militaire, at the south end of the Champs du Mars. So, if you are sick of the Tour Eiffel, have a seat and have some country food in the city. And have a bottle of Côtes du Rhône, at a sidewalk cafe. La Gitane is not cheap, but it is hardly expensive (30 Euro per person, if you have drinks or dessert, less if you are frugal). Much better than the other sort of tourist places we ate at. And of course the unintentional street theater is always worth looking at.


John Thacker said...

Mmm, kidneys. Kidneys are delicious.

So are trotters, too.

Shawn said...

yeah, I hear she's a tramp anyways.

(Everyone stop what you're doing and look at the insensitive man! That's what they're paying you for!!)