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Review - Jacques Genin

I wish I could go back up and edit my post to explain what I was expecting, but I can't seem to do that. It's probably important to note that I came to this site asking for advice on whether my initial first day in Paris plans to do a short chocolate walk just north of the rue de Rivoli seemed doable. And I was told pretty unanimously to skip that and head to Jacques Genin. Someone even said the tea room would be a good place for my daughter to nap.

It's an easy half hour walk from the main tourist area. Sure, it may not be central Paris. But for folks like me who are staying in the tourist area, it's certainly not right down in the heart of the hotel district.

And I'm assuming you've been there. Have you been with a child? Would you feel comfortable encouraging your child to nap in that tearoom? I wouldn't. And I didn't.

Clearly we disagree. Clearly I am in the minority. Like I said before, the caramels are great. Enjoy.

Oct 21, 2011
linus1973 in France

Review - Jacques Genin

Thanks for all your replies, everyone. It must've been an off day, or an off hour, or somesuch thing.

I am not a novice traveler or eater -- I grew up in the U.S. and Europe, and I travel extensively in Asia for work. I don't have an inferiority complex, just had a so-so experience at a place everyone else adores. I do love the caramels -- still eating them, actually -- but I'll stick with my original point that I don't think I'd go out of my way for the experience. But if I ever come across his caramels again, I'd happily pay 1 euro or so each for them.

Oct 20, 2011
linus1973 in France

Review - Jacques Genin

Thanks to the advice on this board and from a New York Times review of the place, I carved out a fair amount of time to head to Jacques Genin this week. And I have to admit, I was a little disappointed.

First, I should say, some of the chocolates and caramels were divine. The mango caramel was like pure mango, but with better consistency than the fruit. And the dark chocolate with mint was simply amazing. Superb. I don't know how he made it taste like a mint leaf suspended in chocolate, but it tasted as if I picked the leaf from my garden and melded it with chocolate. Fabulous.

We arrived shortly after a rain storm, after wandering around for a while looking for the store. It's a bit off the beaten path -- at least a half hour's walk from the main tourist area around Tuleries/rue de Rivoli/the Louvre. No problem there -- we bought umbrellas and made it an adventure. But when we walked in the door, I felt as if our appearance (a little rained on, slightly disheveled, but we were in no way part of the fanny-pack wearing hordes of tourists) I felt immediately as if we were ugly Americans who bounded into their home. It was the only time my entire visit to Paris and the surrounding area that I felt like the staff was cold and unwelcoming.

We still managed to spend 30 euros there, for a water, a plate of chocolates, and caramels. Of the seven chocolates on our plate, there was only one I would want again -- the mint. The caramels were fabulous; I haven't had one yet that I don't like (peanut was yum.) But was it worth taking such a huge chunk of time out of my trip to sit in a stuffy chocolatier so I could be mostly ignored for a half hour? Probably not. I'm certainly not saying don't go, but look at a map and make sure you want to head that far out of the city center before walking out there. Maybe if I'd taken a taxi the whole situation would've been better - we'd have looked nicer, we'd have spent less energy getting there, and maybe the staff would've at least not marched around us pretending as if we didn't exist for the first 10 minutes.

Oct 19, 2011
linus1973 in France

Paris: First day advice?

We are a 10-15 minute walk to the metro in Vincennes, which I believe is right outside the city. I travel a lot, so I know my m.o. in foreign lands, but you're right: Everyone else might crash.

Oct 10, 2011
linus1973 in France

Paris: First day advice?

I am heading to Paris Thursday evening with my 11-year-old daughter and classic, ageless, mother in law. :) We probably will get to our hotel in Vincennes by about 2, and I know I will be way too antsy to hang around Vicennes on the first day.

So I am thinking about taking the metro into Paris, doing a short walking chocolate tour, and then doing dinner. I have never been to Paris, so I really know nothing. Very little French, very little about prices, and very little about the city.

This is the walk I was thinking we'd do:

http://www.chocoparis.com/chocolate-w...

And then I think we'd probably like a lively bistro, moderately priced (less than 30 euros per person, hopefully) nearby.

My questions: Will we be too full after walking around eating chocolate to want to eat dinner? How expensive will the chocolate be? And does anyone have advice on a good restaurant to try?

Thanks for your help! I will report back when we return.

Oct 10, 2011
linus1973 in France

Ann Arbor area small turkey?

Has anyone seen a small turkey for sale in any Ann Arbor area supermarkets? We're looking for 10 pounds or smaller.

Nov 22, 2008
linus1973 in General Midwest Archive

Favorite family restaurants on the Big Island of Hawaii

We just got back (hours ago!) from the Big Island. We loved Original Thai in Kona; definitely a locals place. No view; in a strip mall behind a Firestone Tire store, but AWESOME Thai food.

We ate at the Fish Hopper right on the bay in Kona yesterday on our way out of town, and I was underwhelmed. Not bad food, but bad service and nothing special food-wise.

Aug 03, 2008
linus1973 in Hawaii

Need Maui Help

We just got back from a 14-day trip to Maui and the Big Island. If you're up for a drive, check out the Gazebo in Napili Shores, about 15 minutes north of Lahaina. Go for breakfast and have either an omlette or a pancake specialty; it's awesome. Mellow vibe, excellent breakfast food. It's hard to find, though, and lines out the door could have you waiting up to 45 minutes for a table. But worth it.

You can make a day or morning out of it by staying at the bay to snorkel. The beach is lovely, and we saw a ton of sea turtles swimming around. We ate there twice in a week, and I'd go back tomorrow if I could!

Aug 03, 2008
linus1973 in Hawaii