Eating good in the neighborhood

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Despite the tantalizing options in and around our 'hood, we've been pretty pathetic about eating out at any new places since we moved in. I guess with yummy goodness like this:

and this:
...being produced in our very own kitchen, why eat out? (Baked Maille salmon with basmati and salad, that I made this evening.)

When Gui's mom and sister came by, we decided it was high time to try one of the many, many Asian restaurants around these parts. Within a one-block radius, there are seriously four Japonese/Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese restos to choose from. Gui and I tried the trendy Vietnamese place just a few doors down our street for lunch a while back, but left feeling overdosed on cilantro (coriandre) and not nearly full enough, considering what we paid. But, they do proudly brew Illy coffee, so I'll likely return when I'm out of or too lazy to fix my own cup of joe and in need of a quick fix.

This time we tried the "Thailandese" place just on the next block. I'd always been curious about this place - it seems really busy at times, but at other times, it's totally empty. It was empty this time, but after we were seated, our waitress/hostess seemed awfully busy. Only after a few people came and went did we realize that she was preparing take-out orders - and lots of 'em! It was a good sign already and so was the low-priced menu. I ordered the pho for a starter and beef and onions with rice for my main course. Big mistake. The pho came out in a bowl big enough to serve all four of us. It totally hit the spot, though, and I quickly made up my mind that I'd be back in ordering the soup on the next rainy day (shouldn't be too long now). Everything else was good, too, which gives me confidence in whatever else lays undiscovered in our 'hood.

Saturday was full of more happy chewing and full bellies. After skipping breakfast (just me, Gui always finds something with chocolate to eat for breakfast), our stomachs were rumbling right around noon and we narrowed our choices down to a "traditional" restaurant and a pizzeria. I'd been wanting to try both since my mom and I had walked past them during the lunch rush before we even moved into our place, but something about the "traditional" place pulled us towards it and we had a seat inside. Despite seeing crazy-big, butter-soaked steaks and platters o' fries, we both opted for the couscous. Neither of us was prepared for what we were served, but after a few "OMG"s, we dove into this:

Yeah, there're like TEN pieces of merguez there - and that was one order. You can't even see what I ordered, which were the brochette, and there are at least five under there. It's probably not even necessary for me to explain that this all made me really happy, and really full. It brought back memories of my comatose meals in San Antonio a few weeks back when I couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up. I vowed then never to eat that much again, so this time I only ate enough to knock me out for a couple of hours without needing a stack of pillows to prop me upright. This place is definitely another keeper.


lulu said...

your home cooking still looks better than the restaurants'.

I tried your recipe with tilapia... yum. Talk about easy and good with no pots and pans to clean up afterwards. Thanks!

Balaji said...

10 pieces of merguez for ONE order???
U gotto be kiddin... where in paris they serve you this kinda food. I wld be certainly interested to go there if u cld provide details..
i am an indian. But i go on my knees for good couscous royalé n merguez..

Good post.. Keep goin

Misplaced Texan said...

Balaji: Thank you! The restaurant is in Boulogne-Billancourt and it's called Le Relais de Bretgne (I think). The menu said they served traditional food, but every single table ordered either a ginormous steak or couscous. The couscous royale was enormous! Bon ap!

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