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Sunday, November 20, 2005

I'm baaaack

Well, I made it back to the states from France, no issues to report, however, my colleague and I did see 2 burned out cars, on flatbed trucks, that were being transported somewhere.
I definitely ate well last week.
From the croissants, and the butter...oh, the butter, to the cheese and the wine. Wow. Every time I go abroad, I am struck by how great the butter is. I don't normally eat butter, but I make an exception when I go away.
I had business in a small town called Evreux, which is 100 km from Paris, in the Normandy region. This was my 2nd visit to Evreux. I stayed in the town center, at a quaint hotel, called the Normandy Hotel. It has creaky floors, poor heat and a damn good restaurant. The restaurant is manned by the family that owns the hotel, as well as a single waitress, a heavy woman, with blond hair and rosy cheeks. She looks like a frau (is that the right word??).
Anyways, for dinner, I had, un salad avec champignons et langoustines - a warm salad with mushrooms and langostinos. It was delicious. My entree was a skewer of salmon and monk fish, with bacon and veggies. The richness of the bacon paired well with the sturdiness of the fish, it was good. Dessert was dramatic - a rustic apple tart, with vanilla ice cream and flaming Calvados. Calvados is apple brandy, from the Normandy region. It is like fire water. Between the Calvados and the wine, lets just say I went to bed feeling pretty good.
The food at the lab I was visiting was adequate. The lunches were full blown, with a starter, entree, cheese course and dessert, as well as wine. I had the most delicious croissant there. It was warm, with ham and cheese and a bechamel, with crusty melted cheese on top. My veins hardened with every delicious bite. The second day they served a Crevette pot pie, or shrimp pot pie. That was pretty good. Nice flaky crust (puff pastry) and loaded with shrimp in a rich veloute, most likely made with a stock made from the shells of the shrimp.
My second night in Evreux, I was alone, as my colleague travelled to Amsterdam. I actually went out for Indian food. Nothing to write home about...
On my third day, I travelled to Paris. I stayed in the St. Germain du Pres region, which is a region with many art gallerys, restaurants and shops. I had a wonderful meal at a restautant called Boissonarie, specializing in fish. I ate a crab salad with a tangerine dressing and a steamed trout with calamari and risotto, with a wasabi mousseline (frothy sauce). The bread served with the meal came from the boulangerie (bakery) across the street. The waitress took her bread basket across the street and returned with the warm, fresh bread. Thursday, I was flying back to the US. I had a short bit of time to do some damage and went shopping. One of my stops was at a store called Fromaggerie 31, a cheese shop. You could smell the shop about 40 paces before you made it to the door. Hey, you know what I say about cheese, the stinkier the better. The man that worked there was very helpful, and spoke English quite well. He helped me pick out a Camembert (raw, unpasturized) and a chunk of Compte. He vacuum packed them and I stuffed them in my suitcase. I had such anxiety going through customs, with my luck, I thought I was going to be stopped, for sure. I wasn't :), and will be enjoying the Camembert soon.
Overall, the trip was good, but I am glad to be home. Till next time....

3 Comments:

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Spidey said...

bring on the stink!!!

and by stink i mean cheese.

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger Spidey said...

MAX
DADDY
BUBBE
MOMMY
WINDOW
HOTWHELLS

-MAX

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger mike said...

I am hurt!!!!

 

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