August 16, 2011
Paris is packed with things like bad service, people who don’t wear color, restaurants with funky bathrooms, people who embody blasé, park benches older than both of my countries, and street food that will screw your brains out, call you lover, and often never call you back.
For these reasons, I decided to go there for my birthday and eat like a king; a short conqueror with a pointy hat; a paratrooper on D-day. This week would be the start of our Brazilifornian invasion of Europe to eat, splurge, and celebrate being young and badass. Me being young, and CH (aka my partner-in-crime) being badass.
Paris has had its fair share of immigrants from Northern Africa and the Middle East ever since the first World War. Many won their citizenship as colonial soldiers or as cheap laborers rebuilding after the wars. Thank god they decided to stick around, as time has forced these competitive neighborhoods to keep improving their recipes–making Paris the city for kebab and falafel.
Just off the plane, William, our favorite blonde Parisian, took us to his favorite kebab place near St. Michel/Odeon:
That’s right: sliced kebab topped with fries. Cin-Cin!
Shaved meat stick
Me and the blonde.
The Jewish hood in the Marais district is perfect to run after some falafel. Lines and lines of people poured out of half of the shops! I was told we didn’t eat at the best falafel place, but the best I had ever eaten sufficed. The streets are lined with people waiting a city block to get their hands on lunch. Full of tourists, locals, Orthodox Jews, and many guys standing and shouting to follow them to the Most Famous!, Best!, or Original! joint. We opted for the Most Authentic! on Rue des Rosiers.
At 5 euros we weren’t messing around. This was some goodness.
Fresh vegetables and geometric patterns.
Falafel specially prepared with… boxcutters wtf?
The sandwich: falafel and lightly fried eggplant filled with their fresh veggies and sauce.
Our hostess Angela has an amazing Parisian apartment, the kind that’s quaint and perfectly located just above a local vendor. But her particular vendor happens to be a stinky, meaty, loud, late night kebab joint that permeates the air and your entire being, with a sign just outside the kitchen window reminding you they are still open at 2am. Due to this proximity, Angela has rightly sworn them off, but I snuck down just before our flight to get into one.
Orange Drink, fries, meat in bread, creamy sauce, mayo, and spice: adequately meeting all the food groups.
Next up: Fashionable lunching at Merci Shop!