LET'S TALK ABOUT FOOD- PART 3...
There are so many things to share, eventful adventures and stories, but what I forgot to share in Part 1 were photos Michelle took on her phone as we drove into the city. Here are a few of our favorite sites before we continue onto another day.
I know I've mentioned this before, but still, one of my favorite memories of Paris was the fresh fruit and juice. One morning, Michelle and I decided to walk to the grocery store. There was one that was just a few minutes away. It was called "Carrefour City". Perhaps it was a bit early, I know Americans are used to getting up and starting their day earlier than Europeans do, but the grocery store was still closed when we got there. But just a few feet away, was a little organic fruit store that sold fresh fruit. We walked up, saw some fresh orange juice and I asked the young man who was preparing for store opening "Combien coute pour la jus d'orange? Parlez Anglais?" I pretty much asked him how much was a bottle of orange juice and if he spoke English. He said "Yes" The juice was about 6 Euro. A little expensive if you ask me, but it was worth every cent. Anyway, after a little conversation, I complemented him on his very good English. I mean, he had a French accent, but his English was grammatically correct. He didn't struggle finding words at all. So I asked him how he knew to speak so well, and he replied "I play video games"! I was really impressed.
Anyway, we talked about the kinds of juices he prepares, and he mentioned a few of this and that. As I brought my eyes to the fridge where all the juice was being stored, I became curious on one in particular, which was the apple mixed with grapes and other fruit. He insisted it was 100% fruit, no sugar added. So that's what I got. Michelle chose to get the fresh pomegranate, and one that had orange and ginger for Hannah. As the juice was squeezing, we commented how we would love to have this every day. And he pointed out, sure you can, you can get a juicer like this for "15K". Those were his exact words. Well, I don't have 15k to spend on a juicer. I'd rather book my next trip, but you can guess I tried to go to Amazon to look for a cheaper version.
We ended up walking away with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and Michelle decided to try the currant. It was so funny, Parisians know you're from the States if you are 1. clueless about their food, and 2. If you wear any souvenirs screaming PARIS! We didn't know what the red berries were, and one of the guys at the store politely asked "Are you from the States?". It made us chuckle. He said, these are "currant" which happens to be a super food, and if I may say "super tart" lol.
We were on the schedule to have lunch at Jules Verne, which was a Michelin Star restaurant at the Eiffel Tower. We were all excited. I've eaten at the Eiffel Tower in the past, but it was at the first floor, at 58 Tour Eiffel. Jules Verne was a little bit on the higher end. It cost between 135 to 265 Euro depending on what you decide to get. We decided to try the 5 course meal, which was the less expensive plate. The more expensive plate was a sample tasting of everything on the menu.
When we arrived at the South Tower entrance, you immediately get access to the elevator that goes straight unto the restaurant. That was really the reason why I decided to book the lunch, because you kill 2 birds with one stone. There are packages you'd have to book just to get a tour of inside the tower, but it was just better to eat and experience it all. Here are a few pictures inside the Eiffel Tower, and one in particular outside. In case you're wondering what those bumps are, its the wall outside the Eiffel Tower, taken by Michelle. The bronze textured image is the wall inside the restaurant.
As we head inside, we are greeted by the host, and asks us, "English, French, Italian, or Spanish?" Of course, we said English, and he immediately brought us to our table and replaced our French menus with English and started to explain the process. He asked if we would like anything to drink, and I decided, why not? I'll have some champagne. He brought us over some Rose Champagne. I will emphasize that I was seated across the girls on the right side of the table. Here's what happens next...
We were all so wowed by the view, it would be a shame not to get a picture of all three of us together inside Jules Verne! So I said to the girls, lets take a selfie. But I was so embarrassed to ask the servers, I didn't want to interrupt them of their job. So I decide to get up, move over to Hannah's side of the table (which was opposite from me). As I was about to hold up my phone to snap the selfie, Hannah decides to get up and shift, and so she accidentally bumps her head onto the corner of my phone, and we spill her glass of Champagne and actually break the glass!
You can imagine the mess, the servers rush to our table, everyone in the room looks in our direction, and you can hear all the gasping. One of our servers kept asking "Are you ok?". We had to reassure him a couple of times that were were. They cleaned up the table and replaced the champagne. One server said, "ok let me move this soggy bread away".... We all wondered why instead of taking it away, why he just decided to move it and take away everything else. Was it to serve as a reminder for our embarrassment and clumsiness?
After a few minutes pass after the accident, our servers arrived to place utensils on our tables. We continue to be wowed as we notice that we were actually using signature utensils! I was excited to be served. Hannah and I selected the ravioli for starters and Michelle wanted to go a little more exotic and local with the fois gras (duck fat). As we get served, Michelle is wondering how to eat the fois gras. It arrived at our table with a piece of buttered bread, and the fois gras itself looked like a small liver patte. So she decides to eat it like cream cheese on a bagel. Well, none of us knew how to eat it, you have to improvise. I mean at this point, everyone in the room knew we were tourists.
As we finish our starters, our servers arrive once more to replace our signature utensils. One of them makes a mistake and places a steak knife at my spot, and a butter knife in Michelle's. I actually ordered the Cod, while Michelle ordered the steak. Michelle notices her glass of water is getting low, with hesitation, she asks me "Are we allowed to pour our own water?". I mean, we did not want to make another spectacle of ourselves if that was a big deal. So she attempts to, and one server sees us, and immediately rushes to our table and cries "Madame, no, please allow me!". Could it not get any more embarrassing? At this point, we notice that the silverware is all wrong. Do we change it and risk the servers serving the wrong plate? That would even be a bigger spectacle if we had to switch plates, so we decide to slip each other the wrong knives. Luckily, we did not get noticed! I guess this just shows our lack of table etiquette, how could this get any worse? But luckily, that was it. And oh.....yes, they still have not picked up the soggy bread at our table.
Jokes aside, the main course was my favorite of all, not because of the food, but because of how it was brought and served to us. Each one of us had our own server, and our food was plated and covered in a silver food dome. All 3 of our food domes were lifted at the same time, and if we had a cream sauce included to our dish, it was poured and served on our plates, while it was being described how it was made! We wrapped up lunch with some dessert, and took a stroll around the 2nd floor.
Here are some pictures of the food at Jules Verne. By the way, I also wanted to add that our food had gold flakes! See if you can spot them!
After lunch, we walked around the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower and wandered around the gift shop. We met a few photographers there who offered to take our pictures. How ironic. Its usually the other way around. Anyway, we met Ben and Florian who were really very nice. Ben caught Hannah's eye, so we decided to chat him up a bit. He spoke good English, I guess you have to if you work at the most popular tourist spot in the country. It would have been nice to hang out maybe one day, but unfortunately, we were set to leave the following morning. I also discovered that the popular thing to do today if you want to connect is ask for a person's Instagram, instead of a phone number. It makes more sense to be safe. So that's what we did. We all exchanged Instagram handles and went on with our day.
Here are a few pictures Florian took of us at the 2nd floor. I know it's a little cheesy but we had to have them!
We headed back to the hotel to get some rest and get things ready for going back home the following day. We took the scenic route, and as we walked, we were stopped by a tuk-tuk driver asking if we wanted a lift. We asked how much? And he said it was 35 Euro! All three of us looked at each other and I just told Michelle its too much. An Uber is cheaper. Besides, Hannah was excited to try the scooters! So we walked away....but he continued to follow a little making a "clueless gesture" like what? You'd rather walk? As a matter of fact, yes. The scenery did us good. We found greenery and another view of the tower that was pretty. We certainly enjoyed our day, even though we had a little mishap, we managed to have fun.
That concludes Part 3. Stay tuned for the next installment where I share some behind the scenes of our shoots! A bientot! Bisou!