good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Month: April 2011

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki + stencil art

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki + stencil art

We made the trip to Versailles and stood in line with throngs of other tourists.  I was far more impressed with the furniture, art work, and rooms here at Versailles than I was with Château Chenonceau (Amboise) and the hall of mirrors was even more […]

Poilâne and Ladurée

Poilâne and Ladurée

Fresh bread baked in brick ovens was a major reason we searched out Poilâne.  That, and one of us (not me) loves baking bread at home and is getting quite good at it. Let’s just call this trip “research”. Being that we could not eat […]

Paris and Pierre Hermé

Paris and Pierre Hermé

There were  many destinations that I was overeager to see in a day. This is vacation after all, so let’s do some planned stuff and then.. let’s just get lost.

 

Louvre and Tuileries

First on the day’s agenda was a trip to the almighty Louvre. You can’t go to Paris and not see this place. An added bonus- the Tuileries was right there too. Taking a leisurely stroll and decompressing from all the art overload was nice.

 

We kept walking, crossed a bridge, and found Notre Dame Cathedral. Just like that. How great is it to just pick a direction and see what you see?

 

Notre Dame

I’m sure you know what the cathedral looks like and there are tons of books that have beautiful photos. So, there won’t be any shots here. Instead, I’ve chosen to focus on the devil in the details.

 

Pierre Herme

After being big tourists and seeing some sights, it was time for a snack. We searched out Pierre Hermé and I was determined to get my hands on his famous Ispahan and 2000 Feuille.

 

Ispahan

Ta-da! Thanks to one of us who has the great map skills and sense of direction (not me), we arrived. Just look at this beauty. I have to say, PH is the greatest! The flavors of lychee, rose, and raspberry come together so effortlessly. This combination is genius. Loved the texture of chewy, slight crunch, ripe fruit and silky cream.

 

2000 Feuille

I had to wait until we got back to the hotel to tear into this one. Balancing my treasured bag of PH treats was difficult enough on a park bench in the wind and rain. Again, I was not disappointed. I love both mille feuille and praline so I was certain I would be pleased with the 2000 Feuille. Pleased was an understatement. The. Best. Ever. Had I known, I would have bought two or three.

 

Chocolate, Rose, and Green Tea Chestnut Macarons

Do I even need to tell you about the macarons? Insane.

 

More Space Invaders and stencil art

Now that we had a major sugar rush going and infinite smiles, it was time to go for another walk and see what we see…

Space Invaders and Lenôtre

Space Invaders and Lenôtre

Street art can be really cool. I’m no fan of tacky graffiti that trashes a neighborhood or a cheesy name scrawled on a wall. I am a fan of stencil art and Invader. We were lucky enough to find some space invaders in Paris and […]

Marché de la Bastille

Marché de la Bastille

At home, I love going to the farmer’s market so naturally, I was super excited to go to an authentic French marché. We headed to Marché de la Bastille where they had a huge variety of produce, seafood, bread, and other goodies. I noticed quite […]

Paris: La Maison du Chocolat

Paris: La Maison du Chocolat

La Maison du Chocolat

 

Bonjour! So we made it to Paris after an all day train ride. After checking into our hotel, we decided to find someplace to grab a quick bite to eat. No problem, we’ll just find a cozy neighborhood bistro to have lunch, right? It wasn’t nearly that easy. The few places close by to the hotel were not anything to get excited about. So we continued on. We did find a FNAC and cha-ching! Maison du Chocolat! Oh wow. This place was on my list of patisseries to hunt down the next day, but here it was right before me.

 

 

I was astounded to see the selection all laid out before me, perfect and calling my name loudly. What to try? I wanted to get one of everything. We ended up leaving with a chocolate tart which I can never pass up and a chocolate eclair.  I need to tell you about the packaging. Each item is individually packaged in its own protective box and bagged up in a sturdy bag. Impressive. It happened to be raining that day.  We got lost on the way back to the hotel,  jostled our way through the FNAC to pick up a Michelin Guide, and dodged the crowds on the street.

 

When we finally got up to the room, I couldn’t wait to break out the dessert. Remember what I told you about the packaging? That was important because everything was intact and just as flawless as it was sitting in the shop case. If you’re wondering how these tasted, you should know they were both very good. The chocolate tart had the creamiest texture with perfectly smooth ganache and the chocolate filling in the eclair was melt in your mouth delicious. But, to be honest, we both agreed that Bigot from this previous post was the hands down winner as far as best all around chocolate tart and eclair. I still dream of Bigot.

Goodbye to San Sebastián

Goodbye to San Sebastián

So it’s the end of our stay in San Seb and we are very sad to leave. We had many unbeatable days of dining on the best tapas, wandering around aimlessly on lazy days, hanging out at the beach watching the surfers, people watching, and […]

Trash Talking

Trash Talking

If you read my earlier post, you will know what this means. Dirty napkins are kinda gross, but it’s what you want to see when you’re trying to decide on a tapas bar. Unless you already know the reputation of the bar, you have to […]

Guggenheim Bilbao and More Tapas

Guggenheim Bilbao and More Tapas

Guggenheim Museum

 

We spent a nice day driving to Bilbao and browsing the Guggenheim. It is indeed a spectacular modern architectural spectacle. The exhibits were as modern as the building itself, but Richard Serra’s interactive maze of metal spirals, ellipses, circles, and curves are something to be experienced. Just don’t eat right before taking a walk inside this installation.

 

Txacoli

After returning to our hotel, we were ready for more txacoli and some relaxation. So, we headed down to the restaurant and had a drink and indulged in more tapas.

Crujiente de rabo de buey con cremoso de patatas

The hotel’s restaurant was always lively and buzzing with people. It was time we checked it out. It’s a good thing we did because I would have missed out more tasty tidbits. This tapa had soft, shredded beef inside the phyllo purse and sat atop mashed potatoes with cheese.

 

A satisfying ending to a fun-filled day.

Dinner at Arzak

Dinner at Arzak

    The highlight of our San Sebastian trip was dinner at Arzak. We also happened to be celebrating our 10 year anniversary so that made it all the more special. On our first trip to Spain, many years ago, I bought the Arzak and […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...