Friday, June 3, 2011

Eating at a French Cafe

French cafes, in my opinion, are like Denny's, but tastes a HELL lot better and have a HELL lot more class.

Some cafe staples you are guaranteed to find are: omelettes, croque monsieur, croque madam, homemade fries (none of that frozen McCain shit), beer, and a good espresso.

Prices depends on the district you're in.  As Mr. Meow puts it, "you're in trouble when your lunch beer, a 250mL, costs 9 Euros."  Also, pay attention as to whether the prices includes tip (service compris) or not (service non-compris).  Most places do include it and will state it on their menus.  All prices include taxes.  Now, even though most places include tip in their prices, that doesn't mean you should take every penny that they return on the check plate.  Take what you want and leave the smaller change (~2 Euros) as an extra tip if they deserve it.

Now, for some cafe etiquette.  Do not order something and tell them to "hold this" and "substitute that", if you don't like what's in your food, then DON'T ORDER IT!!  You'll be lucky if you get service at all after that stunt or at worst, be pointed to the nearest McDonald's, which there aren't too many.  If you're allergic, still try your best to get something else.  Most of these are probably half put together already for efficiency sake, so changes or extra ingredients to make one just for you will be difficult.

Cafe Opera: Croque Provencale
Generally, a "croque" whatever is a slice of toasted country bread
with deli meat and melted cheese on top.  Like an open-face sandwich.
Lunch at this joint ran us 50 Euros with tip - 2 croques, a juice, a beer

Cafe Didot: Omelette with ham and cheese, hand cut fries
Omelettes do not have to have cheese in it

Cafe Didot: Creme Brulee dessert
All cafes carry homemade desserts of this calibre

Cafe Didot: Coke, or "Coca" as the French call it
Made with real sugar instead of High-Fructose Corn Syrup.  Real satifying.
Lunch here cost us 35 Euros with tip - 2 omelettes, a coke, a beer, a dessert

La Place @ Versailles: Croque-membert
This one is more of a pressed sandwich style, 
but there's melted cheese in it nonetheless

La Place @ Versailles: Croque New Yorkaise
Lunch was about 50 Euros here, but hey, it's Versailles, a tourist trap.
2 croques, an iced tea, a beer

Word of advice: avoid tourist areas.  If you see mutli-national flags anywhere on the establishment - be it the windows, doors or the menu, stay away.  You're guaranteed to be gauged. 

Then, there's this cafe in Giverny, home of the artist, Claude Monet.  This place even has a menu based off of his books.  But I think what tops this place is the view surrounding it.

Claude Monet Garden @ Giverny

Les Nymphéas @ Giverny: Bœuf mode façon de Marthe Butler
Claude Monet’s recipes selected from the book 
« La cuisine selon MONET » by 
Claire Joyes (Editions du Chêne)

Les Nymphéas @ Giverny: Accompanying potatoes and vegetables
Claude Monet’s recipes selected from the book « La cuisine selon MONET » by 
Claire Joyes (Editions du Chêne)

Les Nymphéas @ Giverny: Sumptuous chocolate cream and orange madeleine
Claude Monet’s recipes selected from the book « La cuisine selon MONET » by 
Claire Joyes (Editions du Chêne)

Les Nymphéas @ Giverny: Good'ol vegetable soup

Les Nymphéas @ Giverny: Pate on country bread with salad
Salad was so FRESH, I get depressed eating a salad in my hometown
Vegetables look and taste expired in comparison.


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