I've just returned from a week's vacation in Paris. Ahh, Paris, how I love you. I joined my parents and all of my dad's siblings, plus my uncle's wife for a week of sightseeing and delicious food.
This was my third trip to Paris. My first trip, in 1993, followed a college semester abroad in Senegal. I was largely touring by myself, my French was awesome, and I was completely broke. That meant I ate a ton of sandwiches, especially chicken sandwiches. Every bakery has a little pile of sandwiches on baguette in a case. For a couple of dollars, you could get a large chunk of bread with chicken which was delicious and filling. I never sat down to eat once during that trip. That trip also introduced me to the magical Parisian falafel...
On my second trip to Paris, in 1998, Beth and I were on a budget vacation. We ate lots of street food that time, too. We were staying on rue de la Huchette, in the Latin Quarter. The street is home to the city's many Greek restaurants and take away schwarma and falafel windows. Needless to say, we ate a great deal of those delicious falafel sandwiches, piled with lots of vegetable salads and lovely sauces. Again, why pay for a restaurant meal when the take away is so awesome?
This trip to Paris was decidely different on the food front. Since I was with my parents who actually like to (and can afford to) sit down and eat, we went to a lot of restaurants. Which means I didn't eat so many sandwiches. If 1993 was the year of chicken sandwiches and 1998 was the year of falafel, then 2009 was the year of fancy raw beef concoctions eaten at fancy restaurants.
I had seared "Aller Retour" beef tartare with herbs atop the Pompidou Center.
Then there was a lovely carpaccio plate under the grand stained glass dome of the Printemps department store.
Finally, I had classic beef tartare at Chez Francis with a view of the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Magic!
So, my news on the sandwich front is a little thin. The only sandwich I ate that I actually took a picture of was the emmental and butter sandwich at the top of the post. I purchased that atop the Musee d'Orsay and it was perfection. We did have a Sandwich Night at our apartment with bakery sandwiches and falafel but my dad took those pictures since my camera battery was dead. When I get them, I'll fill you in on Nuit de sandwich!