Food + travel are two of very favoritest things.
The former I get to enjoy on a daily basis while the latter is something that takes months of planning, time off work and oh yeah – money.
I can rationalize spending money on food. I eat it everyday, usually 3-6 times a day, and it directly contributes to my health, happiness and overall well-being. Rationalizing constant travel vacations is quite another conundrum. First, my vacation time, while generous, is still limited. Three weeks a year. Second, it takes much more logistical planning to make a travel venture happen. That’s if said vacation time matches up with my work schedule. Third, it takes dolla dolla bills. Not just $5 or $10 – I’m talking hundreds to thousands of dollars.
I make travel happen, because I love it.
But in those interim months when I perch myself before Kayak scouring for cheap flights to exotic global destinations, daydream about canoeing the Zambizi River in Africa and brainstorm random, legal ways to make some extra dough to fund my whimsical trips, I turn to food.
No matter if I am at home in Madison, Wisconsin or visiting family in Minnesota, I can be instantly transported to a Parisian sidewalk cafe and feel that quintessential French je ne se quois with just a strong espresso and droolworthy pain au chocolat.
Eclectic, local, organic, casual + environmentally-friendly, this bistro has it all…
…including cherry macadamia white chocolate scones.
I still regret not ordering one.
I slowly sipped (read: gulped) my coffee, breathed in its comforting smell, closed my chocolate chip brown eyes and pretended I was in the 7th arrondissement sitting in a chic cafe across the street from Musee d’Orsay.
Jess walked in, and I looked outside to find massive amounts of snow on the ground.
Yeah, I was still in Minnesota.
I found the menu nearly impossible.
How could I ever be forced choose between Grand Marnier French toast, poached organic eggs with arugula, lardon + truffle oil and a gorgeous buckwheat crepe filled with spinach, roasted tomato and chevre?
But I had to choose.
After all, I was “in Paris,” and the French just don’t mess around.
At least not with quiches of the day.
Green beans, peppers, onion, arugula + parmesan in the most delectably buttery crust I’ve ever put to my Everythingtarian lips.
Each bite was better than the last.
The company was spectacular.
The service was lovely.
I didn’t even mind eating a side salad for breakfast.
As Jess + I polished off this fruit bowl full of fresh berries, pineapple, melon + apples, I decided I should probably actually go back to Paris and try to live the real thing again.
Because I actually hate Paris.
For the four days I was there, it downpoured rain from morning to night. The fact I had almost died hiking in Austria two days before arriving didn’t help either as the shock was still wearing off. It was also the last leg of my European backpacking trip, which means I was living in (almost) poverty. Breakfast consisted of baguettes with Nutella. Snacks were apples. Lunch was baguettes with Nutella. Snacks were also cheap bottles of wine. Dinner was baguettes with Nutella.
But I digress.