Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vegetarians in Paris Have It Tough

So kids, I'm back from my great French adventure! The architecture, rich history and countless museums made it a fabulous experience. As for the food part, it's a different story.

I learned that vegetarian eateries are a rarity but there are great little places. I thoroughly enjoyed La Victoire Supreme du Coeur on Bourg TiBourg. Their mushroom roast was divine and their cauliflower soup, amazing. There was also a restaurant called "A Little Trendy" in the 16ieme arrondissement that served pastas and pizzas that were very nice. But that's where the line stops.

White flour is pervasive throughout French life in the form of bread. It is eaten morning as butter laden croissants, noon as bread rolls and night as baguette. Plain vegetables seem to be a rarity (crudites are not raw vegetables...!) and let's not mention tofu, it's not found on regular grocery shelves.

In regular cafes, mention that you are vegetarian, and you'll be treated with a basket of bread rolls and a plate of mushy, overcooked vegetables covered in butter and salt. Or disgusting pasta in a three cheese sauce, think lots of nasty blue cheese. *gag*

For example, we went to a posh restaurant called the Procope where I asked the waiter the have the chef prepare for me a plate with only vegetables. I was given a plate with three different kinds of potato, two slices of polenta, and a pile of grated beets. The lot was over salted and covered in butter.

I did manage to gain 5 pounds even though I walked kilometers... But then again, I did indulge in dessert every day..... *hee hee*

My advice for the vegetarian traveller to Paris, bring yourself some food replacements and vitamins and expect to do a detox when you get back because your digestive system will be gummed up with all that white grain!

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