She must be onto something because every bite of food I had today could only be described as heavenly.
My foodie friend and Frenchie all last fall, Caroline, took me and our friend Katie to dinner at Austin's laid-back French bistro, Arro, to give us the inside scoop on a city with a brasserie on every boulevard and café on every corner.
Though the food's aplenty, it actually can be hit or miss in Paris. Thanks to Caroline, though, today I struck gold not once, not twice, but thrice.
I got an earlier start than expected this morning, so I decided to challenge myself to a solo Metro ride to Rose Bakery in the third, just one arrondissement over from my school.
With umbrella in tow, I made it inside the cozy bakery tucked in the Marais. The baker was kneading dough with confidence, fully prepared to make perfect pastries. The scone du jour was pecan maple butter and a fresh batch came out of the oven just as I walked up to the counter.
The waitress kindly sat me down since I was dining "sur la place." I washed the crumbly scone down with an espresso and most delicious (& darling!) little fudge espresso brownie bite on the side.
Mom, America's Test Kitchen raves about their apple tart...we'll have to go back! And dad, a man came in practically begging for a slice of le gateau aux carrottes (carrot cake) because it's "best in the world." How 'bout dat, Pops? So much for IHOP; as far as I'm concerned, RB is the place you walk in hungry and leave happy.
I made it just in time for my first class/syllabus day. The class is called Secularism in France, so we'll be looking at how religious life has changed over time in the country--especially in recent years--and compare that to the US tradition of separating church and state. I was happy to hear our professor is eager to make Paris our classroom and take us to many sites during our meeting hour.
On the way to stock up on longer-sleeved clothing items (I mistakenly thought Paris and Seville would be similar climates), I grabbed lunch at Frenchie-To-Go, another rec from Caroline. She praised it for its name-sake: being to-go, something the French have been a little slow to catch onto.
The tiny joint has created a buzz a million times the restaurant's size indicated by the long line and a camera man following the head chef, Sebbie Kenyon, around to cover the success of his restaurants.
Sebbie saw me overlooking the menu, sensed my decision dilemma and told me I wouldn't be disappointed with the buratta. He uttered the word balsalmic, then asparagus. I was sold.
Needing a pick-me-up, I grabbed this Curiosity Cola that they managed to make that much cuter with the green striped straw. And probably charged me 2.5€ for!
We made our way to the 9th and shopped around, hitting every floor of famous Galerie Lafayette with its ceiling that's the Sistine Chapel of department stores.
Making it to the top floor is no small feat, so we treated ourselves to French fro-yo, and I topped mine with kiwi and toffee roasted peanuts.
All of this on the eve of my train ride to Bordeaux, the ultimate wine country of the world. To that, I say cheers to you, Caroline, for making my French dining experience today--as the French would say--super!