The day started taking the metro to the north of Paris, to a sleepy area nestled behind Sacre Coeur. I met a friend for lunch, the food being a textbook example of what makes the little things in Paris so wonderful. It was just penne pasta with some rotisserie chicken in a cream sauce, but every part of it was just so. damn. good. I’m sure there’s a lengthy explanation out there to account for this, probably involving local, organic, and fresh ingredients, but I’m just going to enjoy it at face value.
After the lunch we talked for another hour or so, the kind of lazy drawn out conversation that is not only allowed but commonplace in a French restaurant. It’s not always wonderful though, make no mistake – it’s cute when you’re the one doing it, but maddening as hell when you’re one of the people waiting for a table. The restaurant was half-full at our 3pm dining time [the dining schedules of a student and an unemployed drifter are oddly synchronized], so it was a guilt-free loiter. I ordered a cafe gourmand, easily my favorite French staple – it’s an espresso and a small mystery dessert mini-buffet. You don’t know what you’re going to get, but you know it will be small, adorable, and delicious. Today’s jackpot was a tiny creme brulee, chocolate mousse, and some kind of yogurty-puddingy-thing with raspberry sauce on top.