Journey Woman


Her Paris - Five Budget Meals with Personality

Evelyn Hannon

Classic French food is wonderful; it's also very pricey. Guidebooks can help you find the best chefs in town but Journeywoman offers more modest meal suggestions designed to help balance your budget. It will be up to you to mix and match these local eateries with bigger splurge dining opportunities.
Pizza, picnics and pastries...

For a wicked Sunday brunch, try Tea and Tattered Pages, a quirky, comfy secondhand cafe-cum-bookshop. British expat, Kristi Chavane will heap your plate with goodies ranging from chicken and broccoli muffins to scrambled eggs, bagels and pancakes. P.S. She stocks over 7,000 English paperbacks and she happily welcomes browsers. So make your choice, settle in at the window seat and the afternoon will fly right by. Fixed menu, and reservations a must. Call 40.65.94.35 (24, rue Mayet)

No trip to Paris is complete without a picnic. For produce with personality, make your way along rue Mouffetard. Journeywoman promises you pate, patisserie and peaches that will remain etched in your personal taste bud Hall of Fame. Historical bonus--Rodin was born in this area and his mother shopped in this very same market.

If you're in the Marais area and, it's strictly veggie you crave, then Journeywoman heartily recommends Theatro Picalo. The dining area's small, the menu interesting and the ambiance oh-so-soothing. P.S. Their French apple crumble is a five-star choice. Ooh-la-la! (6 rue des Ecouffes)

Nobody goes to Paris for pizza. But some nights you're just too tired to leave your room and it's "hotel delivery" to the rescue. Call Pizza Hut (05.30.30.30) and within 30 minutes you'll have your meal. Minimum? No. Delivery charge? No. Credit cards? No. Will they deliver wine and beer? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Finally, Batifol is a chain of local bistros that offers French food and pastries like grandmama used to make. Expect modest pricing, healthy portions and the opportunity to mingle with the locals. 17 locations in Paris. Why not start with tea and goodies at the Batifol in the mall off the Avenue des Champs Elysees? Should make for a delightful pause in your sightseeing sessions.


Food for thought...

Attention movie mavens, film buffs and festival groupies. You'll be pleased to know that March is film festival month in Paris with at least six screening programs (one especially for women) going on around the country. There's:

The International Film Festival
The Spanish Film Season

3rd Asian Film Festival

International Detective Film Festival

International Festival of Women's Film

The Festival of Films for Young Audiences

Ed. note: Several years ago I had the great pleasure of attending the International Festival of Women's Films in Creteuil (just outside Paris) and it was great fun. Not only did I meet female viewers from around the world but also the filmmakers that were there screening their own films. D�licieux!... as they say in Paris. For further information, click here.


Paris Observations
....from a twentysomething American woman's point of view.

Everyone in Paris really does the "kiss-kiss" thing to greet each other. The only exception is that two men don't kiss other. As a result I was kissed more times in my week there than I've been in my entire life up to this point.
Nobody in Paris jogs. And Parisians have never heard of the "stairmaster." They stay thin with the help of nicotine and caffeine.
Nobody in Paris ever wears sweatpants.People here actually wear leather pants to the grocery store and it's probably the only city in the world where a young woman must wear a miniskirt in order NOT to be stared at.
Condoms are called "preservatifs" (which I thought was pretty funny) and are available from vending machines on the street.


Source: Jennifer Wade's Home Page


Another reader writes...

I'm an American Journeywoman and I'd like other Journeywomen to benefit from these tidbits that I learned from travelling to Paris:

The Louvre Museum has a great shopping mall/food court in the basement. There is a separate street level entrance (look for "Galleries du Louvre") which also allows you to bypass the long, long line waiting to enter the Pyramide. Once you get into the basement, you can buy an admission ticket with almost no waiting by using the credit card machine. The food court here is truly international-- Spanish tapas, Libyan and Algerian food, Southeast Asian, Sicilian pizza-- and has long hours. Avoid the poached-looking burgers, though! The Librairie (gift shop) is great also.
An incredible museum with a great gift shop is the Musee du Moyen Ages (Cluny) which is the national medieval museum containing the original Lady & Unicorn tapestries. If you don't want to pay a fortune for a print of the tapestry, consider a sheet of gift wrap which has the whole tapestry on it! This museum is in a building that has been in continuous use since it was a Roman bath (and that's a very long time).
When choosing a Paris hotel, why not consider Montmartre. I stayed in the Hotel Regins Montmartre in August for about $US89/night, with a charming restaurant and wonderful service. The small, immaculate rooms have few if any right angles and clean, private bathrooms with showers and hairdryers; the Place des Abbesses Metro stop is immediately outside; the staff generally speak pretty good English, and the hotel has an elevator. Within a few blocks is the wonderful Restaurant Naoko, an excellent place for beautifully presented and satisfying Japanese food.
In fact, it's wise to consider Paris in August. True, many businesses are closed for "les vacances," but the museum lines are shorter, the climate pleasant, and rates are typically lower in many places. Do, however, check specifically on the hours of any attractions, as they may be shorter in August and this may not be in the guidebook.

Lin S., Madison, WI, USA

 

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