January 28, 2004

A Bad Meal In Paris

Why now ? After all, Cornichon is supposed to tell you what's good and why. But here we are ... a rant about a bad meal in Paris.
Scene: the Place des Vosges, one of the most harmonious squares in Paris, in the heart of the Marais, a newly fashionable place to live. And popular with tourists.
Place des Vosges 2.jpg Pot au feu w Arcades.jpg.JPG

Time: lunch hour. Place: a restaurant called Guirlande de Julie, where I'd eaten twice before. Specialty is that hearty cold-weather dish, pot-au-feu. A simple boiled dinner. Beef brisket, broth, fresh winter vegetables [carrots, leeks, onions, potatoes]. With mustard & cornichons. Cornichons in a little crockpot, with wooden tongs to extract them. Ah yes, except that there were no cornichons.

Still, looked great when served. Looked OK on the plate, too. [The French say "in" the plate, perhaps because their plates are more concave than American dishes.]

But yikes, the meat ! Supposed to be meltingly tender. Barely need to approach with knife, it falls apart. Not this time. Tough as a straw mattress. Felt glued together. Almost inedible.

Complained to waitress, Nathalie, who'd already let me know she was a student in economics. Wants to work in tourism, could I help ? Not a chance, sweetheart.

After all, you didn't even remember to bring the cornichons !

Posted by Ronald Holden at January 28, 2004 7:14 PM