Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Food for Thought: Braisenville - Paris 9

Paris is heating up with new restaurants popping up all over town. Check out this newbie to the 9th district, Braisenville, where they are keeping the fires burning and the palettes tingling.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday wanderings - Day Trip to Beautiful Chartres

This Wednesday Yetunde takes us wandering to Chartres; a wonderful and popular day-trip from Paris, full of history and a magnificent Gothic cathedral.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Foto: Sign of the times

Sometimes it pays to take a moment when walking through the streets of Paris and look up.

- Le Marais

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings - Inside the Hôtel de Ville

The Hôtel de Ville is one of Paris' most famous and photographed landmarks but not many people have seen inside the walls of the grand building. Functioning as the Paris' City Hall, the building serves multiple functions—including housing the local administration and the Mayor of Paris. Thanks to its grand ballrooms, the Hôtel de Ville is also the favorite spot to host opulent receptions for the world's political leaders.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit: The Art of sophistication - Brasserie La Couple

Founded by Ernest Fraux and Rene Lafon, La Coupole brasserie was established in 1927 as an act of retaliation by these two former employees of the Dome cafe. The brothers-in-laws set out to create a bigger and better cafe than their previous employers, by building a magnificent establishment which, with its two floors supported by huge pillars (some of which contained art work by Montparnasse legends Fernan Leger and Moise Kisling), could seat up to 600 people.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sipping on Saturday - Surviving Wine Country

Hello. My name is James and I have a confession to make.

I don't like wine.

It's not something I like to talk about because I will be deported and be given a nasty red stamp in my passport if any French immigration officer every finds out.

But, luckily there are other options if I feel like enjoying an adult beverage at one of the many sidewalk cafes in Paris.

They say that in France the wine if cheaper than water—well, it is certainly cheaper than the beer and it's a lot cheaper than mixed drinks. Expect to pay 5-8€ for a beer and 8€+ for a mixed drink.

"Happy Hours" to the rescue! 
From about 5-8pm many bars and cafes in Paris have taken a cue from the Americans and they've adopted the notion of happy hour—but many of them refer to it as happy hours (makes sense, I guess). If you head away from the touristy areas of the city you're likely to find the elusive sub-3€ beer. I recommend the bars on Rue Oberkampf for the 20s and 30s crowd. The Bastille area also has plenty of affordable watering-holes.

My Favorite Drinks (So Far)
I've only been in France for a fairly short amount of time so I haven't gotten a chance to sample many drinks but here are a few of my favorites:

Martini Rouge
I tried one of these a few days ago (mostly because it was cheap) and it turned out to be pretty good.

2 oz gin
1 tsp Chambord® raspberry liqueur

Gin Fizz -
After a long day of walking around I was in the mood for something refreshing the the gin fizz looked like it would hit the spot. It came in a big (and slightly embarrassing) margarita glass but I though it was really good. But at 8€ it was bit more than I'd like to pay.

2 oz gin
dash of lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
soda water
maraschino cherry for garnish

Kronenbourg 1664 Beer
This is probably one of the cheapest beers you'll find in a bar or cafe (or McDonalds) but it was the first beer I had in France so it will always have sentimental value.

Gini Lemon Soda
I had never heard of this stuff until we had a guest blogger write a post on it. So when I was in the store the other day I decided to try a can. I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually really good. It is already on our next shopping list.

Be sure to check out our friend Forest Collins of the 52 Martinis blog for more ideas about drinking in Paris. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Foto - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Today's amazing photograph comes from Michelle Lundquist. Be sure to check out her other photography

This photograph was taken through the clock at the the Musée d'Orsay—which happens to be one of my favorite museums in Paris. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Food for Thought: Mexican! Three times the charm with Anahuacalli & co

Mariachi band from El Guacamole's grand opening fiesta
Mexican food seems to be all the rage now in Paris. From the openings of new hot spots like Candelaria or taco joints popping up all across the city and Old el Paso Taco and burrito kits lining the grocery shelves, Mexican (and TexMex), is just hot hot hot.

So what makes good Mexican? For me it is all the flavors blended together to create a powerful and intense dining experience. I have an old favorite in Paris - so if you ask me what's the top on my list of Mexican restaurants, where you are sure to get an authentic experience (trust me, I asked my husband who lived in Mexico for 4 years!), I say without hesitation, Anahuacalli. Just visit their site and discover the menu that awaits you.

Some like it hot! And I like it hotter, so my dish of choice at Anahucalli is the Camarones boca del rio - combining two flavors I adore: Chipotle and tequila.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit: Paris goes loco for Mexican cuisine

You've maybe heard it through the grapevine, bloggers have been poised for months now telling us about the latest and hottest (muy caliente), trend in Paris - Mexican. Rather fitting since we are still in the year of Mexico in France, that so many new and some old Mexican establishments are making their way into the lime light in the city of light.

For those of you who have not been blessed with prior knowledge on the culinary arts of Mexico, we'll try to help you out here and hope to entice you enough to make you curious to go out ant try some of this great stuff.

There are some basic ingredients that are essential parts of Mexican cuisine:

Chili peppers of all kinds  - I have three on my balcony: Guajillo, Chipotle, Jalapeno. The last two I was told by the chef of what will now be my favorite taco joint, are one and the same, with chipotle being a smoked Jalapeno.
& Rice and beans

You may have seen some of these items on menu and wondered what they were:

Tinga de pollo
Boiled chicken, shredded to which we add a red sauce made from red dry chiles (not very spicy)

Carne assada (res)
Any meat can be used - res (beef) is more common. It is small pieces of meat grilled well-done and served very simply, just with diced yellow onion and fresh cilantro (coriander)

Pibil (cochinita pibil is the best)
The meat is marinated with citrus juice, so it is a bit acidic but the very slow cooking in banana leaves, makes it very tender, (originally it was cooked in a pit, as pibil means buried in an ancient Maya dialect from the Yucatan.

Salsa verde
The most flavorful sauce, made with green tomato, cilantro and onion.

Salsa casera or asada

This is the hot one; broiled onion, jalapeño and tomatoes. When the vegetable are grilled, we make the sauce in a mortar then add fresh cilantro.

en Adobo (a type of sauce)
Can be used to marinate any type of meat or seafood. The sauce is made first:
This is an essential sauce in Mexican cooking.

Make your own adobo sauce):
1/2 pound ancho chile, 1/2 pound guajillo chile, 2 oz árbol chile (very hot)
1 ounce of garlic,  1 ounce of salt, 6  bottle of Corona,  2 cups of water, cook 2 hours and blend well.

Pour on top of your meat to use as a marinade and cook the meat slowly.

Barbacoa (BBQ) literally de la barba a la cola… (from beard to ass)
Sauce made of orange, lemon, sugar & butter...

made from corn or wheat. Corn tortilla are used mainly for tacos and chips. Wheat tortillas for fajitas (but this is mostly an American twist).

Guacamole and Totopos : Guacamole and chips

Usually made simply with Queso manchego
but also Huitlacoche (corn mushroom, very dark….)

Marinated raw fish with lemon juice and olives
Onion, cilantro tomato

Thank you Eric for the great explanations and the recipe. Guess those years living in Mexico paid off.

Stay tuned for our review of three of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Paris. 

Salsa verde  & guacamole photo courtesy of Simply recipes

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sipping on Saturdays: Gini, je t'aime, Gini je t'adore

Dean Seabrook takes us on another tour through Paris and French life enjoying what he refers to as the best soft drink in the world.

When I first visited France I discovered Gini, the citrus soft drink created by Perrier.  It is the best soft drink in the world.  I need not consult market analysis to know this.  I simply drink it and my universe expands.  Gini is a slightly bitter, lemon-lime drink.  You can't get it in America.  I've actually called the company to ask if I could import it.  As soft drinks go, it's not terribly old, having been created in 1971.  The brand has made its way through sales and spinoffs and mergers. Orangina Schweppes owns it now.  Serge Gainsbourg wrote a song about it called "Gini, je t’aime, Gini je t’adore". (

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Fotos - My Neighborhood Church

Église Saint-Ambroise 

One of the things I love most about Paris are the beautiful old neighborhood churches you find scattered throughout the city. I'm originally from Missouri and you'd be hard-pressed to find a church that is over 75 years old so I love the fact that this 150-year-old church (Saint-Ambroise) is right next to my apartment. I also find it a little funny that back home this church would be the pride of the city but in Paris it's just another church. 

If you find yourself in the 11eme arrondissement be sure to check it out for yourself at 71 Boulevard Voltaire.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday Food for Thought: Lunch alone no more, go Colunching®

My new friend Bryan sent me an invite to sign up to Colunching, I had no idea what it was. All I knew is that I didn't have the time (right away), to participate. I did at least sign up and create half of my profile. Summer is my busy season so it is a surprise that I even get to eat at all!

I was thrilled when finally I was able to say yes and joined my fellow Colunchers at Super Nature in the 9th on September 5th.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings: Paris by Bike!

 For this weeks Wednesday wanderings guest blogger Dean Seabrook, takes us on a world wind trip of Paris by bike!

Photo from

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit: I Charleston Paris - When dancing feet take to the streets of Paris

A group of highly talented (definitely flexible), dancers from Montpelier take to the streets of Paris to bring a Swing back in your step. When my friend sent me the link to the photo suggesting maybe that I post it on our blog, I had to agree. Not only is the backdrop of Paris fabulous, so is the dancing.

Their idea is to promote swing dancing in France - it certainly got my feet tapping.
See any places you recognize? Enjoy!


For more information on the Swing Jammerz visit their site here
And for Swing in Paris check out this site

Video courtesy of Swing Jammerz

Monday, September 5, 2011

La Rentreé — First Impressions of Paris

Hello everyone! This is the first blog post by James, the newest member of the Feels Like Home in Paris team. It seems rather fitting that today also happens to be la rentreé—the day when everyone heads back to work and children start school again.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sipping on Saturdays: Café des 2 Moulins

For this weeks Sipping on Saturday, Ann-Marie takes us to the famous Cafe des 2 Moulin's in Montmartre, which many of you may recognise from the film Amelie.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Foto - To better discern the characters, wait for the night

Lovely photo from Florence Mula of My Little Agency

The Luxor Obelisk (French: Obélisque de Louxor) was one of two obelisks given to Paris from Egypt in 1829—although only one obelisk ever made it to Paris. Built 3,300 years ago, the Obélisque de Louxor now stands in the middle of the Place de la Concorde. At 23 metres (75 ft) high and weighing in at over 250 metric tons, it took a great deal of engineering know-how to transport the gift from it's original location at the Luxor Tower in Egypt to Paris more than 180 years ago.

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