I’ve been in Paris now for three blue-skied, breezy days and I have been enjoying food because my vacation is over tomorrow, and I am going back to Boston, which I don’t care what anyone tells you, has very lame food. I’ve been eating things like flaky, buttery croissant and pain au raisin from the good bakery where they do it the right way with layer after layer of pastry. We ate moules frites at a Belgian restaurant, and falafel in Le Marais, which was very elusive as we could never find the precise cobble-stone street, and when we did the stand was closed, and the next day we again had a hard time finding it, but truthfully it was all the more delicious for its elusiveness, and for being stuffed with cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, hummus and spicy sauce along with the chickpea fritters. We ate crepes with nutella and bananas beside a fountain under the gaze of the Eiffel Tower, and then I had bread and cheese and wine for dinner. (Wine, in case you are wondering, is as delicious as I remember, not having had it since the last time I was here.)
This, even though I employed the same devil-may-care-vacation-is-almost-over attitude during the last few days in Tetouan, enjoying creamy avocado smoothies, pastries and cheeseburgers. I haven’t had the chance to discuss Omar’s Superburger here, mostly because it was closed during the day during Ramadan, and because it’s the kind of thing you get spontaneously, without making plans for a photo shoot. Omar owns a place by the main plaza. It is small and dimly lit, and has the look of a very old-school Spanish place, with heavy wrought-iron lanterns, leather stools and a dark wooden bar. You can order three things, a hamburger, a cheeseburger or a superburger, along with a few drinks and coffee. When you’ve ordered he will take a patty out of his refrigerator and flatten it out on the small, butane powered grill. He will scoop some finely chopped red onion onto the plancha, and then crack an egg into a metal ring. He will cut a roll and scoop out the extra bread in the top, leaving more room for the filling, and place that on the grill. He will cut a sheet of paper in half using the edge of the counter and then assemble the burger, onions, patty, egg, a slice of American cheese, Moroccan ketchup, and hot sauce if you request, wrapping it in half the paper and placing it on the other half. This burger costs 14 Moroccan dirhams, about $1.60, and is very good. Let’s just say I had more than one.
Ladurée is one of those must-go places for visitors to Paris, either to sit in the café or to go to the counter to order pastries or macarons. It’s definitely a tourist trap, but like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, for good reason. Macarons are really available everywhere in Paris, from patisseries to supermarkets. Pierre Herme is the other must-go spot for macarons in Paris. He is known for more unusual flavors (Foie Gras, anyone?). I thought it necessary to visit Ladurée, the gold standard, to see first, what I macaron should taste like, and second, if I liked it.
|Vanilla was lovely, delicate, not too sweet.
I think they filled it with a vanilla guimauve,
or marshmallow, which they seem to use for
many of their flavors.
|Pistachio was by far the best. A beautiful, natural
shade of green, with a strong but elegant flavor
of the nut, I do not think the filling was buttercream, but
was all or mostly nut paste, with little pieces of pistachio.
|Salted Caramel was excellent, with a nice
crisp cookie giving way to a creamy, perfectly
I still don’t really get it. The good ones are good cookies, and I do like a good cookie, but for me they are just not something to lust after, or make special trips for, or use up precious suitcase space for. More for everyone else, I guess!
I also found this little stowaway ladybug too, in this beautiful lettuce in the same market.