Monday, May 20, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 24 - Paris Day 2 "This walk better be worth it."

Breakfast was a Paris classic, French baguette from a boulangerie

We did a walking tour to start the day and again it was raining. We explored the Parc Des Buttes de Chaumont and also architect Bernard Tschumi's Parc de la Villette with the 35 different architectural follies that are spread throughout the park.

The Canal Saint-Martin area has some cool locks where boats can actually travel up the river towards the Seine.

 For lunch, we went to one of the classic, legendary French restaurants that has been open for over 100 years, Bouillon Chartier. This place is affordable and the food was delicious. The escargot, OH MAN. Yes, with garlic and butter. NOM. I ordered the pot au feu menagere which was a beef brisket stew. There was so much tender brisket in a flavorful broth. Wows.
For dessert, I had to try the Moelleux au chocolat which is like a chocolate lava cake served with some vanilla sauce. YUM.

We explored the nearby Parisian shopping arcades of the Passage des Panoramas and the Passage Jouffroy.

Our tour concluded with a visit to the Opéra Garnier and the interior was exquisite. It was flush with ornate decoration and excessive extravagance. We couldn't go into the opera hall though as there was a production making preparations.

 Ahhh. Of course, going by the opera, had to go to Uniqlo. It definitely made a dent in my wallet buying new clothes. =D

Dinner tonight was at another pho place with recommendations from someone who is familiar with Paris. We went over to the south side of the city near Maison Blanche to a different area also with a concentration of Vietnamese restaurants. We went to Pho Tai (but as they were full), we were forwarded to their secondary restaurant, Pho Tai Tai. As soon as we were in the door, the hostess was enamored with Dan and grabbed his arm as she led us over across the street.

The manager and the staff was fluent in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and French and we were using a mix of languages to converse with them while Rachael, Dan, and Justin were totally clueless as to what was going on with the barrage of mixed languages that they couldn't understand at all.

We had a great time and we were all entertained with the conversation as much as the staff was (I hope).

 I was again disappointed ordering the iced coffee being nothing close to the cafe sua da that I was expecting. This place's iced coffee was closer to an HK style iced coffee. The cha gio spring rolls are AMAZING here. Best I have ever tasted. Though the pho is not as awesome as I thought it would be, but still pretty decent.

The hostess who initially welcomed us in came to visit us (up on the second floor) and give us some candy. When she got to Dan, she gave him so much more (like 6 or so) while everyone else only got one. You can see Dan in the picture below blushing as we were making fun of him.

After dinner, I went out for some night photography out in the rain with Joanne, Kenneth and Justin. We visited the Louvre and Royal Palace and walked through / around the gardens to the Place de la Concorde. The choice to walk over to Concorde wasn't quite the smartest choice as it seemed a lot closer on the map while in reality it was a really long walk. As exclaimed by Kenneth, "This walk better be worth it".

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