Tag Archives: falafel



So the Eiffel Tower is cool and so is Notre Dame, but the real “best” parts of Paris lie out of the downtown area.  We’ve been slowly winding our way through all of the neighborhoods and finding nice places a bit more out of the way.  One of the best places so far is the Marais – a hipster neighborhood that has some nice art, cool used clothing and some killer falafel.  A recipe for success every time – at least in my book.

Like any hipster place, it is fun to visit, but it would be challenging to live there. This is mainly because there are a lot of hipster-gawkers like me in the Marais. Hipster-gawkers are people hanging around trying to remember what it was like to be a hipster.  Now that I’m married with two kids, I am slowly coming to the realiziation that I’ve compeltely lost that hipster vibe that I may have once had (or at least thought I had).

Now, most of my clothing has butter or jelly stains on it and I haven’t had my haircut since I moved here since I’m worried that my rubbish French will have me leaving the salon a scarily unsatisfied customer. Frankly, I am looking more like a hippy than a hipster. It doesn’t make me like the Marais any less though. I feel like my presence in the Marais gives a fair warning to the hipsters – enjoy your hipsterness while you can because soon you, too, may have butter on your shirt. But if you live in France, at least it will be really good butter.

burrito black hole

I like cities enough.  I have no desire to live in one at this point in my life, but I love to visit for a day and then I am always more than happy to leave. My first visit to Paris didn’t really fit my typical “love a city visit for a day” mentality. After a full day in Paris, I was chomping at the bit to get out of there. It may have been the bus loads of tourists wearing visors crowding Notre Dame or the swindlers hanging around the Eiffel Tower (which my friend Louise has renamed the “Awful Tower”), but I was more than happy to get out of Paris to the refuge of our small town.  Frankly, my first trip there made me think about making it my last trip there – at least for a while.

In order reinvigorate my desire to return to Paris, I knew it would take some sort of big draw.  Would it be an art opening?  Or a music festival?  I wish I could say that it was something somewhat cultural, but if I said that I would be fibbing – actually, outright lying.  My desire to give Paris another chance could be boiled down to one factor:  the need for some good ethnic food.

Coming from Vermont, it might be easy to assume that I’m not used to getting good ethnic food.  Mais, non!  Vermont has great mix of ethnic food.  Ok, so do the burritos from Vermont make you think you’re in Mexico?  Maybe not, but a least you can buy them and they’re always tasty.

Need Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Indian or Chinese? Vermont’s got most of what you’re looking for. Fontainebleau on the other hand, has many cool things, but ethnic food (of any sort) is not one of them.  It’s like a curry black hole here.  I realized that to bust out of my ethnic food void, I would need to hop the train back to Paris.

I was planning to go by myself (while the kids were otherwise occupied), but at the last-minute Tim decided to join me.  I warned him that the purpose of this expedition was not cultural in any other way than the involvement of cultural food.

In preparation for the trip, I googled around on some of my favorite Paris blogs to get a sense of what was out there and where it was located.  After my googling, I had two things on my mind, a falafel and a burrito.  We jumped off the train, went the other way from the Eiffel Tower to a funky neighborhood where we sat in bliss with the best falafel in Paris.

By the time dinner rolled around I wasn’t even hungry, but since I had been in such an ethnic food void I couldn’t stop myself from completing my mission.  A long walk across town to another neighborhood and one burrito later, I was over filled and fulfilled.

And as always, an after dinner shot.  Not tequila – only espresso.


For those of you planning to visit us, get your burrito fix at home. It’s easier than going to Paris.