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Everything posted by BradenP

  1. I choose those three out of pure laziness I live very near to all three and have been to all the budget and mid-priced ones a bunch.
  2. Has anyone tried all three? I am prone to Isse cause the place is cool and the food is good, but I have never been to the other two. Bizan is a bit pricy starting at 60€ and jumping quickly 150€ per person.
  3. My girlfriend and I went to Lyon a few weeks ago. We had some good meals, but the one that stood out was had at "En mets fais ce qu'il te plait". The restaurant was recommended by master-blogger Clotilde and the meal was delicious. Nothing super fancy, but traditional dishes done really well by Japanese chef Ishida. The other great meal was had across the street from our hotel in the old Jewish quarter. I forget the name of the restaurant, but the hotel was Cour des Loges, which I highly recommend. Our room had a walk out patio in the midst of an old garden. www.courdesloges.com
  4. Shoot, you are right, the place I go to is called Song Heng. It's on 3, rue Volta in NOMA. This place is usually packed and has a line out the door. While waiting, there is an American bagel place across the street that has Tootsie Pops (haven't tried the bagels). As for two-hour plus waits at Cambodge, it's a bit nutty. Now that it's nice though, I put my name in at 8, drink on the Canal St. Martin and eat around 10.
  5. Yup, I think that was me. Were you the one buying socca?
  6. My two cents will be added to Song Huong. I go once a week. The place is seriously no-thrills though. Be prepared for cafeteria style seating and having to to get up at least once to let the people beside you in/out. It's also only open for lunch and they take French holidays off. I really like Cambodge in the 10th as well. It's Cambodian, but the soups and other offerings are great. This place is more hip with a cool playlist and young french servers, but brings the authenticity with a Cambodian grandmother cooking up the food in the kitchen.
  7. I would travel to any corner of Paris to find an actual horseradish root, my weekend bloody mary isn't quite complete without it.
  8. A few of us eGulleters teamed up last Tuesday and tasted the macaroons of seven different bakeries. The criteria was that we would taste only chocolate macaroons as chocolate is one flavor that seems to be offered by all bakeries who make macaroons. Here are the bakeries and my notes. I will let others ring in with their own opinions. 1. PIERRE HERME: Spots of cocoa on the exterior, chocolate cake mix taste. 2. LENOTRE: Shiny exterior, soft and crumbly, more cocoa taste, less chocolate taste. 3. STOHRER: Light brown color with a taste that resembled previously refrigerated brownie. 4. SAINT PREUX: Dark brown color, thickest of the bunch, chocolate came mix taste. 5. LAUDUREE: Spots of cocoa, medium brown, cocoa powder taste, the most dark chocolate taste. 6 JEAN-PAUL HEVIN: Medium brown and slightly shiny, mild chocolate cake mix taste. 7. MOM AND POP ON RUE CLAIR: Matte finish with the mildest chocolate taste of the lot. The winners: 5. Lauduree was first with 6 votes, most of us noted a presence of spices and bitter cocoa taste. 4. In second place with 5 votes, the Saint Preux was the best of the chocolate cake tasting ones. 2. Lenotre came in third with 4 votes. Similar cocoa presence as the Lauduree without the spice. The losers: 3. Stohrer was the clear loser with 5 people noting it was their least favorite. The medley of refrigerator tastes being the biggest complaints. 6. JP Hevin had zero votes for or against. It should be noted it was the most expensive of the bunch.
  9. I second Forest's recommendation for Experimental Cocktail Club. ECC is close to my apartment, so I frequent it quite often. The design of the room is a perfect mingling of old french with modern accents. The cocktails are spot on, and as Forest has mentioned, the bartenders aren't afraid to suggest a cheaper liquor for a mixed drink when they think "you wont taste the difference". The playlist changes as night progresses starting with a mellow set of Belle and Sebastian and Edif Piaf and moving into more upbeat modern pop/rock/dance. Sometimes the Piano in the center of the bar gets into the mix as well. The crowd is perfect antithesis of the Champs Elysses crowd; easy going, casual and not checking over their shoulder every time someone enters the front door. I think place would get lost in the mix if it was in NYC, but here in Paris it stands alone.
  10. mszimbeck, ms. Clotilde and I went to a two day lecture by Herve THIS where he spoke in length about the science of cuisine. Clotilde's notes from the day are a great summary. Herve THIS also does a monthly lecture series that is open to the public.
  11. I picked up Caroline Mignot's new Paris restaurant guide last week at Cocotte. The book has a great lay-out broken down by arrondissement with maps at the beginning of each section. What I particularly like about Caroline's book is that it doesn't just stick to classic tried and true places, but mingles some classics with sandwich places, cafes and just plain greasy spoons. The book is also only 10€, what a steal.
  12. John, I highly recommend the guy at the Enfant Rouge market for to-go sandwiches. My parents took three for the train ride between Paris and Florence and said they only got better with age.
  13. My weekly sandwich place is in the Enfant Rouge market. There is a guy who looks like Linus (from the Peanuts cartoon) who has a stand in the second to last row. He slices the bread (which has a texture between sliced bread and baguette), adds a drizzle of olive oil, then continues with lettuce, marinated tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, chives, avocado, salt and pepper and your choice of jambon cru, rostello (roasted pork) or a sliced beef similar to bresaola. Finally a choice of and cantel or comte sliced generously over the top. Depending on the wait, sometimes he will toss the sandwich on the crepe griddle and let the cheese melt. The sandwich is always amazing, but there is one downside. This Linus character spends a lot of time drinking at La Perle down the street and smoking copious amounts of pot. So despite what would seem like a pretty straightforward "Subway Sandwichesque" assembly process, each sandwich takes at least 10 minutes for this "sandwich artist" to build. Like watching a elderly relative with Alzheimer's open the same christmas present fourteen times, the steps to making the same sandwich never seem to register with Linus. I would suggest that if there are more than 3 people in line in front of you, to grab couscous from the next stand down.
  14. I have actually found that Mora has the best prices, while E. Dehillerin and Bovida compete for MORE expensive. Across Etienne Marcel from Bovida is A.Simon which is the hands down winner for MOST expensive. The thing I like about Mora is that ALL of their goods have prices on them. At the other places you have to pick each thing item, then get someone to look it up, or dig through and epic sized book of 8 digit numbers.
  15. I get my haircut next door and since June I have been walking by l'epicerie de bruno, peeking in the window at the vast selection of spices, and praying that they would open soon. Well, my prayers have finally been answered and I can say that it was worth the wait. Bruno is currently working with three different suppliers and bringing in many spices, rice and chillies that can't be found anywhere else in the city. It looks like he cleaned out everything that had been in the store over the summer and they are slowly stocking up on more supplies. I picked up some Tonka beans from Brasil and fragrant Sumac from Turkey today and will be back next week when they start bringing in the super spicy cinnamon from South America. Bruno also speaks perfect English, if you have questions. Also check out his new book, Caroline's review of it is here: Bruno's Spice Book
  16. I just walked by a new, at least I think it's new, tea vendor in the 1st. It's called Terre de Chine and it's at 49 Quincampoix just west of the Pompidou Center. I didn't have time to stop in, but it looked like they had an incredible array of both teas and tea making accessories. I think there is a website, but I didn't have time to write it down. There is also a great beer store two doors down that specializes in artisanal French beer.
  17. I had a great five hour lunch at Arzak and would highly recommend it. There is one other restaurant though which I would give an equally high recommendation for and that is Kokotxa in Old Town San Sebastian. He doesn't have a star yet, but will very soon. Go now before he gets those stars and the price of the tasting menu goes up.
  18. Here is a link Butter Tasting Gallery to pics from the butter tasting including the labels of each of the butters we tasted. All of the pics were taken by Gullet member ajgnet.
  19. Thursday night twelve of us put together a solid effort at tasting a plethora of salted French butter. In total there were 16 butters (although two were from Pennsylvania). The butters ranged from basic Monoprix brands, to market butter scraped from an urn, to the much lauded Bordier. We tasted blind, and simply started by tasting the butter that was situated closest to us on a table filled with butter plates (pics coming soon). After two hours of smearing the pale yellow pats onto little nuggets of baguette, we all felt a little tired, a little nauseous, and a strange mix of being full and desiring a salad at the same time. Throughout the tasting we independently kept track of our favorites and (more importantly) our least favorites, then tallied those scores at the end. Here are the butters we tasted (with my notes) and how they ranked. 1. Buerre de Baratte AB: Dull, with an artificial texture and slightly bitter. 2. Monoprix Gourmet:Salty but nice mouthfeel, slightly bitter finish. 3. Payson Breton: Mild salting, creamy with a lasting oily mouthfeel. 4. Grand Fermage: Chunky bits of salt with a mild slightly oily finish. 5. Marie Morin: Strange funky taste, artificial and oily. 6. Bernard Gaborit (Beurre Cru): Hints of the ocean in the salt with a lasting creaminess. 7. Le Montsurais: Mild, not oily, not salty, almost no distinction. 8. Le Gall (P'tibio): Dull, mild, no mouthfeel. 9. Grand Fermage (Charentes Poitou): Boring! Tastes like nothing. 10. Echire:Sweet, with a nice milk taste. 11. Cantin:Tasted like the wax from baby bell cheese, hints of plastic, not good. 12. Hendricks (unsalted): Like a frozen popsicle of milk. 13. Gin Meadow: Tasted like cake batter, or that stage when you whip butter with sugar. 14. Bordier: Lot's of up front salt, but a mild finish. 15. a la Motte Sale:Salty and more grassy then the others. 16. Au Bon Beurre: Super salty, hard to taste anything else. Let's start off the results with the big losers of the bunch. 5. Marie Morin: With nearly a unanimous vote, this was the WORST butter of the bunch. We bought this one at Galleries Lafayette Gourmet. 11. Cantin: With the second most votes for disliked butter, most people noted the plasticky and waxy taste. And now the big winners of the night. 10. Echire: With 7 votes, more than half the people here voted this as the best of the bunch. 4. Grand Fermage: and 2. Monoprix Gourmet: Tied for second with five votes each. 9. Grand Fermage (Charentes Poitou) Rounded out the last of the top votes with four votes. Interesting notes: The Bordier butter came in with three votes. The most contested butter was the 16. Au Bon Beurre which had three votes for favorite and four votes for least favorite. I will let others ring in with their notes as well as information on the butters they brought.
  20. I am a big fan of the "Fromage Sejouk Extra" from the Lebanese place "Man' Oosh"on Rambuteau near the Pompidu. It's basically a dough that is flattened and grilled over a dome. To that, sausage, halloum cheese, mint, olives and tomatoes are added and it's rolled up, making it easy to eat on the go. Another good place is on Fauberg Saint-Denis just past Juhles on the right side when you are heading north. On the street side the guy is hand rolling durum wheat, flattening them into pizza's and coating with a thyme and sesame pesto topping called "Manaeesh" and finishing them in a brick oven. The manaeesh is good, but my favorite is the grilled chicken wrap. The chicken pieces are grilled over coals and wrapped in the durum wheat with lettuce, red onion, tomato and lemon juice. The flavor combination is clean and delicious and the taste of the coal comes through in the chicken. My final on-the-go food is the sandwich guy in the Enfant Rouge Market. Beside the Japanese place in the back is a guy who looks a lot like a grown up version of Linus. He makes sandwiches to order with the bread they sell and you can choose from a list of ingredients. The price for soda and sandwich with any number of toppings is 5€.
  21. I second the recommendation for Astier which also has a lot of hip bars in that area, check out the Gridskipper article here Hip Bars Link. I liked Rosso, the best of this lot. I am also a big fan of Bistro Vivienne which is conveniently situated between Fines Gueules and Willy's Wine Bar. Grab an apero wine at Willy's and a digestive at Gueules. Try the whole roasted chicken at Bistro Vivienne, it comes on a cutting board with a salad, fries and béarnaise sauce (I order this once a week).
  22. What about the Japanese? Or South Koreans? Or Singaporeans? Or Germans for that fact? Having been on both sides (i.e. as a diner and a cook) I can tell you from personal experience that all kinds of people from all nations are taking photos in restaurants. American's may have a bigger photo snapping presence here, because this is Paris. Reverse the situation and make it NYC and I will show you dining rooms full of Asians, Germans and even French taking photos. Are most of them bloggers? Probably, but given how many E-gullet members have blogs, I don't think that narrows the field that much.
  23. I was getting amazing heirlooms all summer long at the Saturday Batignol, they had the best selection of heirlooms including my favorite, the green zebra. There are also two suppliers that have heirlooms in the D'Aligre covered market. The Bastille didn't have much, neither did the Friday Raspail or the President Wilson Market. As for non-markets, there is a Bio place on Saint Denis just north of Passage Cerf on the left hand side that has them. Bio Coop in the 10th doesn't seem to stock a variety though.
  24. I was thinking we would do salted for this one as it would be hard to compare the subtle differences of the butters if we did both. Look forward to another tasting for unsalted, which I use a lot more often. I'm glad the timing worked out TarteTatin, I would love to see some Amish butter or Vermont butter, or both if you have the room.
  25. Oh man John, you took all the best ones... One classic brasserie la Biche au Bois One classic bistrot L’Entredgeu One bustling fun place Bistro Vivienne One neo-bistrot Le Pre Verre One gastro-bistrot La Gazzetta One good fish place Fables de la Fontaine One meat place Au Bouef Couronne One oyster place The oyster guy in the middle lane at the Bastille Market One post-modern one Pramil One one-star experience Les Magnolias in Le Perreux-sur-Marne
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