Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

samsmom1127's Profile

Title Last Reply

If you've been to Laurel, how did you get a reservation?

Last week I was looking at their Open Table page on a whim, and was able to snag a table. Admittedly, it was on July 3rd at 6:45 when everyone else in the world is heading for the Shore, but I was glad to get it. If you scroll through with no particular date and time in mind you can get lucky.

May 13, 2015
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Dining on a Low Country Ramble

Thanks for your suggestions for Folly Beach, mollybelle. I will definitely check out Tomato Shed.

May 05, 2015
samsmom1127 in Southeast

Dining on a Low Country Ramble

To celebrate my daughter's college graduation, we are taking a road trip. We will spend 11 days driving the 2 hours between Savannah and Charleston. Obviously, we will need to keep our strength up with outstanding meals. My daughter does not eat meat, but eats fish and pretty much everything else. We have visited Charleston before, and have eaten at FIG (loved, loved, loved), Hominy Grill, and a few other places. Here is what I have planned. Your suggestions and comments are appreciated.

Savannah, GA (3 nights)
Sunday, May 31: Alligator Soul
Monday, June 1: The Olde Pink House
Tuesday, June 2: The Grey (pending reservation)

Beaufort, SC (2 nights)
Wednesday, June 3: Griffin Market
Thursday, June 4: Breakwater Cafe

Folly Beach, SC (2 nights)
Friday, June 5: need a suggestion, maybe just a casual, beachy place
Saturday, June 6: Fat Hen

Charleston, SC (4 nights)
Sunday, June 7: brunch High Cotton dinner Husk
Monday, June 8: Edmund's Oast
Tuesday, June 9: Glass Onion (pending reservation)
Wednesday, June 10: The Ordinary (pending reservation)

May 01, 2015
samsmom1127 in Southeast

Meat-centic 21st Birthday Dinner

Wow, thanks for the great ideas everyone! I have been to a few if the places suggested (Zahav, Amada), but none of the others. I'll need to get online and check these out. From what I read here, Butcher & Singer or one of the Brazilian places sound like winners. Any preference for either Fogo de Chao or Chima?

Jun 07, 2014
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Meat-centic 21st Birthday Dinner

I am looking for a nice place to take my daughter and her boyfriend for his 21st birthday. He is very good about going to places where my vegetarian daughter is comfortable, but this time we want him to get a big honking piece of meat if he wants. The right place does not have to be a steak house, though that may be an obvious choice. We are looking for great quality and a bit of a special occasion vibe. Suggestions?

Jun 01, 2014
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Simple substitute for Canadian flour?

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will use my good old King Arthur AP and substitute a little with bread flour and see how it goes. I won't be doing this till Holy Week, but I will report back with the results then.

Apr 07, 2014
samsmom1127 in Home Cooking

Simple substitute for Canadian flour?

I have a recipe for Russian Easter bread that sounds interesting. It calls for Canadian flour, however. Is there an appropriate substitution for my American kitchen that doesn't involve importing flour or performing chemistry experiments? Perhaps bread flour? Many thanks for your insights.

Apr 06, 2014
samsmom1127 in Home Cooking

Help choosing a single serve espresso maker/milk steamer

Thanks for your help! I do like the idea that the Nespresso uses fresh milk with the frother, and am comforted that it is easy to use and then clean.

Oct 09, 2012
samsmom1127 in Cookware

Help choosing a single serve espresso maker/milk steamer

I would like to buy my mother a single serve espresso maker and milk steamer for Christmas. She would be using it for "milky" coffee drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, not straight espresso. I figured on just picking a Nespresso model, but my brother suggested looking at Tassimo (and I'm sure there are other brands) as well. My mom is in her 70s and has limited patience for anything with a steep learning curve, so whatever I choose needs to be simple to use and, equally important, simple to clean. My budget is up to $300. Suggestions?

Oct 09, 2012
samsmom1127 in Cookware

Deli that delivers near UCSD?

Hi! I am hoping some hounds in the SD/La Jolla area can help my daughter and me with a mission of mercy. I good friend is a student at UCSD, and has come down with a case of the flu. My daughter would like to send some good chicken soup his way. Any suggestions on a deli that would deliver? Many thanks.

Nov 10, 2011
samsmom1127 in San Diego

Two dinners and breakfasts in Boston near the Eliot Hotel

Thanks to everyone for your assistance. We ended up at Island Hopper and Summer Shack, and really enjoyed both. We shared calamari and a Vietnamese crepe at IH. Daughter had a Malaysian vegetable curry that she loved, and I had a half Peking duck. As you can imagine, we had plenty leftover to snack on back at the hotel later that evening. We also enjoyed our dinner at Summer Shack. I had the lobster roll, which was fresh, lightly dressed and very good. Daughter had the BBQ bluefish special which was good, but she really loved the cole slaw served with it! We were running a bit behind time in the morning and never had time for a sit down breakfast, but we did stop for a quick lunch at a place called Boca Grande, at the intersection of Raleigh and Beacon Streets near BU. The place had a steady stream of clientele, mostly BU faculty and students. I had a steak burrito and daughter had a cheese and tomato quesidilla. Both were freshly made and good, not a reinvention of Mexican food, but great for the location. It was also nice in that it had a coffeehouse vibe...daughter was anxious to talk about her visit to BU, and we must have sat there for over an hour nursing our drinks. No one dreamed of hurrying us along.

Again, my thanks to the Boston hounds! If you find yourself heading to Philly, please post and I'll be glad to return the favor.

Two dinners and breakfasts in Boston near the Eliot Hotel

Thanks for the advice BackBayGirl and BostonZest. These are just the sort of places I was looking for.

Two dinners and breakfasts in Boston near the Eliot Hotel

I will be visting Boston for two nights next week with my teenage daughter, staying at the Eliot Hotel. I'd like something that is walkable from the hotet. Daughter does not eat meat but does eat seafood, and is not otherwise a fussy eater (won't eat a steak but has no problems with raw oysters.) I am looking for something a bit fun and casual but with good, interesting moderate prices (maybe $50-60 for the two of us ) I did a bit of a search on the board and did not reallly see anything that fit the bill, unless Summer Shack is more than a tourist trap.

While I'm at it, any ideas for breakfast?


Pottstown/Sanatoga Recommendations

I do not live in Pottstown, but I am a frequent visitor as my daughter goes to school there. Hopefully some residents will chime in.

The first and most obvious recommendation is Funkly Lil' Kitchen on King Street in Pottstown. It is a BYOB that does some very nice, creative cooking with as much seasonal, locally sourced ingredients as possible.

My favorite place for breakfast/lunch is Shorty's Sunflower Cafe...amazing breakfast food, cute atmosphere, and very reasonable prices.

We've also been to a restaurant called Henry's that specializes primarily in fish. It has odd hours as I recall, but we had a nice meal there. It is also a BYOB.

There is a casual, red gravy Italian place on High Street called Angelina's. I haven't been there myself, but my daughter and her friends like it a lot.

Speaking of pizza places, it sounds like Little Italy is a place to try out, and The Ice House is reportedly good for roast beef sandwiches. Again, I don't have personal knowlege of either place.

Finally, Alabaster's Tea Room on High Street is adorable. Lovely teas, scones, etc as well as a very nice, well-prepared selection of salads and sandwiches in a charming atmosphere.

Hope this helps you get started. Best of luck with the move!

Feb 18, 2010
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Good spot for craft beers near the Convention Center?

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. They actually got to town early, headed for Monk's and never made it to the Auto Show! Finished up the evening joining me after work for a brew near my home, at Memphis Tap. However, bro has checked out all your suggestions online and is planning a schedule to hit them all. He especially likes the looks of Varga, Good Dog and Prohibition. Also, since he won't be confined to a particular area on future visits, I will definitely be adding to the list. As always, thanks for your help.

Feb 06, 2010
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Good spot for craft beers near the Convention Center?

My brother and sil will be in town on Friday for the Auto Show. Any suggestions for a spot not too far from the Convention Center for great beer and good bar food? With the weather coming in on Friday they would like the bar to be within an easy walk. Thanks for your suggestions.

Feb 04, 2010
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Cheap Eats Comfort Food Joints

We just tried Paesano's, the new sandwich place opened by the chef at Modo Mio, just across the street from the restaurant on Girard Avenue. It was fantastic. A roast suckling pig sandwich, a hot dog wrapped in proscuitto, a chick pea pancake (sort of like Italian falafal), an order of roast potatoes, and two dessert crispelles (along with three cans of soda thrown in for free) for $22.00. We ate this over two days. I can't believe the quality for the price.

Jan 29, 2009
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Preggers in Paris

Congrats on your impending blessed event! My own blessed event, who is now 15, didn't want to order Coke in Paris, so ordered Orangina quite a bit. Also, something similar to Orangina, but with lemon. Just look over the carte, there are plenty of options that aren't wine, coffee, tea or coke.

May 12, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Pepper pot soup in Philly

I'm not sure if any of the bakeries in the tourist center of town make buttercake. If you will have a car, and don't mind a little ride, check out Holmesburg Bakery or Geiger's Bakery, both in Northeast Philly. You can google map the locations. They are about 20 minute-half an hour outside of center city, depending on traffic. Or, since you should definitely visit the Reading Terminal Market when you are in town, make sure you go on a day when the Amish are there...the Amish bakery may have it.

While in the Reading Terminal Market, get a pretzel from Fisher's Amish stand, and then compare it to a pretzel from Federal bakery, available at the Pennsylvania General Store stand.

While these two items are available anywhere, I believe only in Philadelphia are they served together...fried oysters and chicken salad. Also, is snapper soup a Philly only thing? If so, you should try it.

May 06, 2008
samsmom1127 in Pennsylvania

Dinner impossible? Appealing to different tastes in Paris...

You'll be fine. Alternatively, if you are staying in a hotel, you can ask them to make your reservations. I speak a little French, but find I do better making myself understood in person than on the phone. That said, many restaurants have English speaking staff. Either way, you'll be fine!

May 02, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

is playing it by ear a bad decision?

Unless you are hoping to go to starred or very trendy restaurants, you should be fine playing it by ear, especially if you are not insistant on earting at a certain time. In fact, given your food restrictions, it will give you a chance to see what a particular day's fixed menu or specials are and make decisions accordingly. It wouldn't hurt to make reservations in the morning or, for a place you really want to try or on the weekends, the day before. That said, still do a little research and perhaps come up with a list of potential spots, just stay flexible. And enjoy!

May 02, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Looking for suggestions from the experts...

I'm sorry, I went to Bistrot de L'Oulette in the Marais, not the fancier restaurant in the 12th.

I did go to a couple of good cafes, but you should just look around the area where your hotel is, or wherever you happen to be when you want to stop, for a likely looking cafe. A cafe is not the financial investment that a restaurant is, and isn't a huge investment of time unless you want it to be, so it is really safe and fun to wing it.

Apr 30, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Looking for suggestions from the experts...

I don't know everything on your list, but it looks pretty good, although souphie just commented that a recent meal at Ze Kitchen Galerie was underwhelming.

I ate at L'As du Falafel, Le Hangar (twice) and L'Oulette when I was in Paris in March, and liked all of them. In fact, I loved Le Hangar. In my trip report, I said that I may have liked it more than the Louvre. Not everyone will agree, but for me it was exactly the kind of restaurant with the kind of food I went to Paris hoping to find.

I was a little worried about L'As du Falafel; that it would be nothing but an overrated tourist trap, but it turned out to be great. Wonderful loaded falafal sandwich, good frites and lemonade. Were there a bunch of tourists? Yes, but there were also a bunch of neighborhood French people, especially at the indoor tables. As long as you are on the block, stop in Sasha Finkelstein for dessert.

L'Oulette was really good too. My daughter had calamari in a brown sauce that was different from the preparations we have had at home, and was delicious. The waitstaff was young, casual and fun.

Planning on a couple of picnic meals is a great idea too. Don't forget to have a cafe meal or two, or at least stop for coffee or a glass of wine, and people-watching.

Apr 30, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Dinner impossible? Appealing to different tastes in Paris...

You have been given some great advice, so I am not going to mention a restaurant. Instead, I'm going to suggest that you do not save your most "special" restaurant for your last night. My experience in Paris (and also in Italy) is that after a week of wonderful meals and/or snacks, I suffer from "palate overload." Plus, you may be tired from all of the sightseeing and wonderful experiences, and a little sad about leaving at that point. I like to go for comfort food my last night. Just a thought.

Apr 30, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Cupcakes in Philadelphia: '08 Edition

I just had a truly sublime cupcake from, believe it or not, the Metropolitan Bakery in the Reading Terminal Market a week or two ago. Unfortunately, I seldom see them there. It was good enough, though, that if I needed a bunch of them, I would try to special order them.

I also endorse the many suggestions of Brown Betty cupcakes. Yum.

Apr 24, 2008
samsmom1127 in Philadelphia

Paris for 4 days

Hello FoodDude2. I just came back from Paris with my teenage daughter. We stayed in, and primarily ate in, the 4th district, The Marais. I can't recommend this area highly enough for anyone, especially young people. It is really fun and energetic, and still feels very "old Paris", has a lot to see, is close to everything, and has a wide variety of eating and drinking opportunities at every price range. I don't have a first hand hostel recommendation, but have heard good things about MIJE Hotel des Jeunes,

Breakfast and lunch do not need to cost a lot of money. Pop into any bakery in the morning for a baguette, a croissant, or any other bread/pastry that floats your boat, and a caffeine containing breakfast beverage. For lunch, put together picnics from the bakery, the cheese shop, the deli, the fruit stands. You will literally trip over them all over Paris. If want something simple and pre-made, it seemed to me that most bakeries have a delivery of various sandwiches dropped off every day. I noticed office workers running around munching on them as they ran errands.

You will do very well in cafes for your main meal at the budget you suggest. Try to stay away from the ones located right next to a major attraction, and you should be happy with both food and price. I ate at La Tartine on rue de Rivioi and Le Pick Clops on Vielle du Temple and enjoyed both. Also, don't miss L'as du Falafal on rue des Rosiers.

If you want a restaurant/brasserie/bistrot, you should think about having your main meal at lunch, and doing the picnic thing for dinner. Try to find a "prix fixe" that you like, and you will save a lot over a la carte. Or, have 2 courses in the restaurant and dessert from a bakery or ice cream stand. Another thought is to check out the many ethnic places in the Latin Quarter.

Don't sweat over the language thing. Learn the polite words, and download the menu glossary from Patricia Wells website. You will find it easier to figure things out than you think.

For my very detailed thoughts on eating in Paris, my report, titled "What I Ate in Paris, March 2008" is not too far down the board. My less expensive options are towards the bottom.

Finally, try a crepe from a street vendor. It may a touristy, but I really liked mine!

Apr 22, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

What I ate in Paris, March, 2008

My 15 year old daughter and I were in Paris from March 11 to the 18th. We stayed at the Caron de Beaumarchais in the Marais (4th). Thanks in part to the chowhounds, we ate very well. Here are some notes about our culinary experiences. I hope they are helpful to others heading to Paris.

I put a lot of time and effort into making restaurant choices before traveling in Europe, and from what I read on the boards, I’m not the only one! I create a spreadsheet with names, addresses, opening hours, phone numbers, etc. to take with me, but will try something else if I see a place that appeals once I get there. Dinner and a stroll afterward is, in fact, pretty much our evening activity. Obviously, I’m not heading out to a club or even stopping at a bar for a drink with my 15 year old in tow!

I prefer to eat within walking distance of my hotel. I know that this leaves out a lot of terrific places, but after a busy day of sightseeing, I don’t want to have to travel for dinner. Fortunately, the Marais is restaurant/café heaven, and the choices were many and wonderful. We made our reservations for 8:30 most nights, occasionally 9:00. We did not go to any starred restaurants, so did not make any reservations from home. Instead, we asked the hotel to call in reservations for us the day of, or maybe a day in advance. I don’t like to stop for a major meal during the day, so generally we ate breakfast in the morning and just held out until dinner. We kept two “grazing” days aside when we did not plan a major restaurant dinner and instead snacked during the day and stopped in a café in the evening.

As an aside, my daughter, while not a vegetarian, does not eat beef or pork products, or duck, or rabbit, and is not a big fan of offal. She does eat chicken, some other birds, most shellfish, and some fish. On the other hand, she is not a chicken fingers and pizza only kind of kid either. She likes sophisticated preparations, and does not consider things contaminated if there is an ingredient she does not eat in it. For example, if the salad has bacon in it, she pushes it aside and eats the rest. I was assured that if worse came to worst, every menu has roast chicken and frites. Let me tell you, we did not see roast chicken once! Not even in a café! No big deal, because she found many great things to eat, but it was not as cut and dry as it was in say, Italy, where there was always pasta to fall back on. If you have a truly fussy eater, be sure to check out the posted menus before venturing into a restaurant or café.

So, here’s the list:

Bofinger, 5-7 rue de la Bastille, (4th): We ate here our first night. I thought a classic Parisian brasserie would be a good choice to get our trip started, and indeed it was. The food was good, the surroundings lovely, and the waitstaff very professional and helpful, especially since I don’t speak especially good French and they didn’t speak especially good English. I have read less than stellar things about the service here, but I thought it was fine. Service was slow, but not in a “we are ignoring you” or a “we are disorganized” way, more in a “the table is yours for the night, and there is no need for either of us to hurry” way. The food was not the best we ate in Paris, but it was also better than I was lead to believe. The cold seafood platters that were delivered to some tables looked amazing. We did not go that route this time, but think would save our pennies and think about it on another visit. Also, not very many tourists, which surprised me.

Amuse Bouche: pretzels (!) and olives Rolls on table
Entrees: fois gras de magret avec pain poilane (duck liver pate with toast)
onion soup gratinee
Plats: jarret d’agneau (lamb knuckle) braised with sliced potatoes and onions
scallops with butter cream sauce with finely chopped zucchini and carrots
Dessert: flan with quince and nuts
crème brulee
One glass of house red, one cup of café (came with little cookies), water (not bottled)
95 euro incl. tip (rounded up to about 10%)

Bistrot de L’Oulette, 38 rue des Tournelles (4th): This was a cute little place with good food. The staff was all pretty young and casual and very nice. They had fun trying out some English and we had fun trying out some French. There were some tourists but also some French, many of whom seemed to be having business dinners, which surprised me because this place was pretty laid back. I thought it was a little expensive for what it was, but we really enjoyed it, so “non, je ne regrette rien.”

Rolls on table
Entrees: rabbit terrine
eggplant and goat cheese in a glass
Plats: duck confit
calamari and onions in a brown sauce
Dessert: marscapone cream with pears and gingerbread
flaky baked apple served with Armagnac ice
Bottle of Evian, demi bottle of house red, café, tea (served with chocolates)
100 euro (I overtipped)

Le Hangar, 12 Impasse Berthauld, (3rd): This was our very, very favorite place in Paris (I mean, I think I may have liked it more than the Louvre!) In fact, as with Armando al Pantheon in Rome, we broke our only rule, which is not to eat dinner at the same place twice. We wanted to come back here and work our way through the whole menu. In fact, on our second visit the British couple sitting next to us were also there for the second time, and were crushed that the place was closed the next day and they couldn’t eat there one more time before going home. While a few tourists have found it, most customers were French and many seemed to be regulars. On Saturday, people without reservations were seated outside (I don’t think that they planned on using the outside seating, but a very cute, very young couple came along on what must have been a big date. They took pity on them, turned on the heat lamps and set up a table. Once one table was used, they apparently decided to fill the rest.) After that, people were turned away. I still dream of this food.

Dinner I
Amuse Bouche: Olive spread with toasts Sliced bread on table
Entrees: Lentil salad
Spinach gnocchi with blush sauce
Plats: sautéed fois gras over olive oil mashed potatoes
Chicken breast with a light sweet glaze and a yummy mystery vegetable
Desserts: orange crepes with Grand Marnier sauce
Chocolate soufflé with ice cream
Carafe of water, demi of white wine, café and tea (served with cookies and truffles)
90 euro

Dinner II
Amuse Bouche: Olive spread with toasts Sliced bread on table
Entrees: polenta with cheese
Haricots verts salad with parmesan cheese
Plats: beef strogranoff with fried potato puffs
Sautéed scallops served over olive oil mashed potates
Desserts: chocolate cake with molten inside and ice cream
Stewed apples with crème anglaise
Carafe of water, café and tea served with little cookies and truffles
84 euro

L’Ambasse D’Auvergne, 22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare (3rd): Of all the places we ate, this is the one that I liked least, which is completely unfair. There is nothing wrong with it, and the food was quite good. The surroundings were lovely. The waiters were very nice…maybe a little too nice, too practiced. And that’s the thing. This was the only restaurant we ate in the sort of felt like it catered to tourists. Of course, visitors were in every restaurant, but this one just did not feel like it had its local core of regulars. Again, in fairness, even the tourists were interesting here. There was a large table (maybe 8?) of business people speaking English near us, but none of them were American. They came from all over the EU, but evidently spoke English because it was the only language they had in common. There was another table with a couple of generations of a Spanish family. So if you are in the area, or if you want to try the famous aligot, you should try it out. Now that I think about it, it was our last night in Paris, so we may have just been both tired and sad. I really should give it another try. Of course, the aligot was divine, and that alone may be a reason to return.

Bread on table
Entrees: Zucchini Charlotte (a mold lined with zucchini slices filled with creamy, fresh blue cheese)
Bean soup garnished with chopped scallops
Plats: Roasted duck breast served with aligot (the waiter kindly gave DD a dish of aligot, also)
Poached salmon stuffed with scallops
Desserts: Bottomless chocolate mousse served from a copper pot
Chocolate fondant cake
Water (too tired and full for coffee and tea, or wine)
65 euro

Breakfast: We ate breakfast at the hotel twice. It was a little pricey at 12 euro, but one order was enough for two people. I paid a little extra to get DD a pot of tea (there was enough coffee for two, and they would have provided an extra cup, but she doesn’t like coffee.) The breakfast was served on a large wicker tray with a pretty cloth and flower, was brought to the room, and was served from 7AM to 12PM (very humane hours, I think.) The hotel breakfast included a boiled egg, a baguette, a pain au chocolat, a croissant, butter, honey, two kinds of jam, a container of yogurt, a glass of fresh orange juice, and a choice of coffee, tea, or chocolate. Since we usually did not eat lunch, this did a good job of sustaining us until dinner.

On other days, we ate at a patisserie on rue de Rivoli right around the corner from the hotel, where we had a St. Paul loaf, a pain au chocolat, and coffee and tea at the counter, and felt very Parisian indeed. On our last day, we just stopped in the patisserie up the street from the hotel and bought a wonderful baguette to eat at the airport.

Café meals:
L’As du Falafal on the rue des Rosiers: we ate here on a crowded Sunday afternoon. We chose to give our name to the man at the door and eat inside, and it really didn’t take longer than it would have to wait at the take-out window (about 15 minutes), although it was more expensive. I was surprised that the customers inside seemed to be mostly French. We each had the famous loaded falafel sandwich, shared an order of very good frites, and drank lemonade and Orangina. Cost, 27.5 euro. It was awesome. I know it would probably be much cooler and more sophisticated to poo-poo such a well known spot, but it really did live up to the hype.

La Tartine on rue de Rivoli: I really liked it here. We ate an early dinner on one of our grazing days, and lots of Parisians stopped in for a drink and a snack on their way home. I had an open-faced grilled ham and cheese on top of a toasted slab of Poilaine bread, served with a salad, and a limon presse. DD had a huge salad with grilled chicken (and slab bacon that she passed over to me) and an Orangina. She was suffering from green vegetable withdrawal at this point, and enjoyed her salad very much indeed. I forgot to write down how much this cost, but it was very reasonable.

Le Pick Clops on rue Vieille du Temple: This little café was right at the end of the street from our hotel. It is a fun, young place, with a staff that seemed to be mostly British. The clientele was all French, young, and kind of hip. If it was near us, DD and her friends would set up camp here regularly during the afternoon and early evening. It becomes more of a bar in the American sense as the night wears on. I had a Croque Madame and a glass of white wine, and DD had a Tandoori salad and an Orangina, followed by coffee and tea. The food wasn't memorable, but it wasn't bad, and the place was fun. Cost, 35.50

Snacks: We each had one of the pre-made sandwiches that seem to be delivered to every patisserie in Paris on a daily basis and took it to eat by the fountain at the Beaubourg. Not bad. Before this, despite people who say that the French are much too civilized to eat on the run, we noticed that almost every office worker in Paris was munching one of these on the street as they ran from place to place at lunch time.

On the day that we ate at L’as du Falafel, we stopped at Sacha Finkelstein for dessert. I had cheesecake and DD had pommes polonaise, an apple pastry. Both were absolutely fantastic. The place was mobbed with mostly older French people on this Sunday. I couldn’t quite get the hang of things and almost gave up, which would have been a shame. Here’s how it works: stand in line at the appropriate counter (baked goods or prepared foods), place your order, you will be given a slip with your charge, take it to the back to the nice man at the table and pay him, return to the lady who took your order and pick up your goodies.

Le Loir en Theire is a very cute tea shop in the Marais. I can’t find the address right now, but I’m sure it can be Googled. The name translates to The Mouse in the Teapot, and there is a cool Alice in Wonderland mural on one of the walls. We only had tea and cider, but the cakes and pastries looked terrific. No tourists (except us!) We stopped in late afternoon, and the crowd was young people and young couples with children.

Ice cream: We tried both the famous Berthillon and Amorino. My advice to you is to have both often. Try alternating each night. Seriously, this stuff is very, very good…but dare I say, not quite as good as gelato in Italy. But don’t let that stop you.

Crepe: DD insisted that we couldn’t leave Paris without trying a crepe from a street vendor. We had ours in the Jardin de Tuileries after visiting the Orangerie. I’m glad DD insisted. I had lemon and sugar and she had chocolate. This is another one of those things that a truly hip person would poo-poo. I loved it.

OK, I just can’t eat another thing.

Apr 18, 2008
samsmom1127 in France

Holes in the wall

Jovan's at the corner of Memphis and York in Fishtown. Family friendly corner bar with great homemade food and a slight Eastern European vibe. Plan to stay awhile...they start cooking from scratch when you place your order.

Jan 25, 2008
samsmom1127 in Pennsylvania

Fondue in Philadelphia

Thanks for the tip, jerseytomato. Beneluxx is in my neck of the woods...for that price we could check out a $9 portion, and then decide whether to spring for extras.

Jan 10, 2008
samsmom1127 in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Italian Delis and Markets

You might also be interested in my favorite block in South Philadelphia. Start at John's Market at 1615 Ritner Street. (In the neighborhood it's commonly known as "Dad's Stuffings.") It is officially a meat shop, but it also carries a large selection of prepared Italian foods, and a selection of Italian groceries. Then, cross the street to Potito's Bakery and look over the selection of very good Italian pastries. Then proceed less than half a block east down Ritner to Primo's Hoagies where, in addition to the very good sandwiches, you will find a selection of deli items and groceries. Cross the street and check out Cacia's for Italian breads, bakery style pizza, stromboli, etc.

When you are finished all of this, just wonder around the area and check out the corner stores. If I recall correctly, there is a pretty good Italian deli called Mi-Pal's at around 15th and Wolf (Wolf is one block north of Ritner.)

If you are not familiar with Philadelphia, this part if South Philly is safe and easily acessible from Center City. If you are driving, just head south on 15th Street and turn right on Ritner. If you are taking public transportation, either take the Broad Street subway south and exit at either Snyder (walk 3 blocks South on Broad to Ritner and turn right) or Oregon (walk 3 blocks north on Broad and turn left) or take the C bus.

Jan 10, 2008
samsmom1127 in Pennsylvania