Two Sandwiches

6 10 2008

Apologies for the dearth of posts lately.  I was having some problems with my internet access last week, which seem to have corrected themselves, although the TV signal is still missing.  (Not sure if these are related, but they are provided by the same company.)  Let me tell you, being without TV and internet can be very lonely.  Especially since Nick has been out of town, I just felt so cut off from the world.  So I have some extremely fun French customer service calls to make – the last time my phone service actually got cut off in the middle of the conversation.  Awesome.

But enough of my communication woes.  Since I’ve been cooking for one, there hasn’t been anything very exciting going on in my kitchen lately.  What is exciting is that I’ve been scoping out some cheap, quick eats that don’t involve cooking or doing dishes.  I’m talking about sandwiches.

I’d been meaning to check out Saigon Sandwich for quite a while, not knowing whether it was any good, but willing to spend two and a half euros to find out.  One afternoon, following a super fun visit to the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie (the healthcare division of social security) I found myself in the neighborhoodand decided it was time.  I sized up the menu posted outside, which has three options: Classique, Spéciale, and Poulet.  The Classique contains Vietnamese-style ham and salami, the Spéciale has those plus head cheese, and the Poulet obviously contains chicken.  I decided on a Classique(I figured it was best to start with the basics) and stepped inside.  I noted a review from Chocolate & Zucchini posted near the cash register, and took it to be a good sign.  As the owner assembled my sandwich, he asked if I wanted it spicy.  Yes, please.  All the ingredients looked fresh and tasty, and I could hardly wait to get home to tear into it.  All in all, it was a really good sandwich.  The flavors of each ingredient shone individually as well as blending togther in a harmonious whole.  As I Google-chatted to Nick upon finishing it: “We’ll be going back.  Often.”

Another sandwich place that has been on my list for some time is L’As du Falafel.  This place, located in the epicenter of the Jewish quarter, is something of an institution in Paris, and conveniently open on Sundays.  But the best part is the sandwich.  I’ve had some tasty falafel in my day, but L’As might just take the cake.  Bite-sized balls of deep-fried falafel were piled into a large pita pocket and layered with red and green cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, and a delicious creamy sauce.  Hands down the best five euro meal I’ve had in Paris.  And all the vegetables made me feel really healthy.  I opted for the sandwich to go, and as I ate I made my way down to the Hôtel de Ville.  I admired its French Renaissance splendor, then crossed the street to stroll along the Seine.  Unselfconsciously munching away, I made my way down to the Conciergerie, lit up in all its imposing solidity.  I watched the city lights shimmer on the turbulent water of the river and when I was finished eating, I descended into the world’s largest subway station to make my way home.

This is what living in Paris is all about.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




6 responses

6 10 2008

Mmm, Saigon sandwich – I’ll have to give that a try. And I already love l’as du falafel ! Your meal and walk sounds lovely.

7 10 2008

One day I’m going to Paris and tracking down all of these places. My fiance actually considers the sandwich to be Norway’s national cuisine (that’s where he’s from) so I’m sure he’ll be up for the adventure. By the way, I kind of forgot about the tag, but I’ll do it in my next post. I can be so scattered sometimes. I have to think of a good book, one that won’t make me look too dorkey. Maybe I’ll choose one on French art in your honor!

7 10 2008

Hopie – I recommend it. 🙂

Andrea – Sounds like a fun honeymoon… 😉

10 10 2008

Maybe it sounds weird, but the metro was one of my favorite things about Paris. That and the walking, walking, walking… Being shoulder-to-shoulder with the metro, boulot, dodo of the city made me feel immersed. As for sandwiches, I fell in love with panini in Lyon. We stopped at the same place almost daily, and the proprietor let me order in French and would graciously have a conversation — in French! — with me.

11 10 2008
Betty C.

My number one rule when in Paris: always avoid Châtelet-Les Halles.

11 10 2008

Trisha – I find that the French outside of Paris are much more patient and willing to let you speak their language. I know that most of the time the Parisians are just trying to be helpful, but it drives me crazy! Just because I have an accent doesn’t mean I don’t understand! 🙂

Betty – I generally avoid it at all costs, but I’ve learned a shortcut or two…

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