8/11/17

L’éclair de Génie: A Treat Worth Trying

As avid Instagrammers and Parisian food aficionados may have noted, L’éclair de Génie is the reigning king of the éclair.  This cleverly named business - a play on words literally meaning "a flash of genius" - with Chef Christophe Adam at the helm, provides customers all over the world with beautiful éclairs, ice cream, confections and more.   



With shops all over Paris, its place of birth, it is hard to avoid the white and yellow facades and inviting pastry counters of L’éclair de Génie.  Even in my neighborhood in a suburb west of Paris, an éclair delivery truck is often parked around town.  The vans are adorned with photographs of immaculate éclairs of every color.   



The shops I passed most often were those in Le Marais and on Rue Montorgueil.  Usually, I would just pass by.  Sometimes, I would venture inside to take a peek.  Once or twice, I indulged in one of the scrumptious morsels. 



Over the summer, my sister visited from the US and we stopped into the storefront in Le Marais to see what they had to offer.  At the time, the shop was featuring a box of 4 mini eclairs for 10€.  Naturally, we took a box without hesitation and were delighted to try the lemon-coconut, salted butter caramel, raspberry, and strawberry varieties.  The four wonders were nestled into a beautifully designed box.  Careful attention had clearly been paid to each one of the 3-bite pastries and the decorations were perfect reflections of their flavors. 



The Raspberry éclair was glazed in pink and adorned with shimmery covered pop rocks.  The filling was tinted pink and had a bright fruity taste.



The Lemon Coconut was filled with a rich cream and topped with a tiny coconut marshmallow and thin strip of coconut. 




The Strawberry variety was set off by a smidgen of gold leaf and a tiny wild strawberry.  Don't forget the fresh berry filling which had a pleasant level of acidity.




And the classic Salted Butter Caramel was shining in gold and caramel glaze and studded with crunchy chocolate morsels.  The filling was perfectly thick and well-emulsified.  
  




If you head in for a treat, don’t skip the classic chocolate flavor, and make sure you try something seasonal on the menu.  Chef Christophe Adam has perfected his product and made it worthy of all éclair accolades.  Stay delicious L’éclair de Génie!

Find the most convenient location for you here.


8/8/17

English Speaking Spots in Paris, Part 3: Honor Cafe

Honor Cafe 



Tucked away in a courtyard across from President Macron's abode you will come upon Honor Cafe.  Their signs proclaim that they prepare "the coffee Paris should be known for" and I cannot disagree.  The location is convenient, if you're busy shopping in Madeleine or visiting Le Jardin des Tuileries.  Friendly, skilled baristas will greet you in English or French to take your order.  You have the option to take yours "to go," but I suggest taking a minute to sit in the architecturally interesting shop or out in the cobbled courtyard.

Alice Maggio of Seek and Pursue
I had the pleasure of accompanying friend and travel blogger, Alice Maggio for her first experience at Honor Cafe.  Alice was impressed by the architecture of the small nook, and remembers being warmed by her steamy cappuccino on a drizzly Paris afternoon. "The alley way status of this cafe is to its advantage because of the fact that it is surrounded by a major segment of Paris' fashion scene. The store signs in the neighborhood were almost blinding while the chalk sign displaying Honor's coffee was humbler and more down-to-earth.  It's far more comforting than the sleek and sanitized Chanel shop that shares its postal code. "





Honor Cafe is an easy place to find iced coffee in the summertime and enjoy a slice of banana bread if you have a hankering.  The shop even offers flasks of coffee stamped with their name for fanatics.  It's a comfort to the weary traveler or expat looking for a go-to coffee shop and a fun stop for residents to chat with the barista while sipping a freshly brewed cup.  



Details

Eats range from 3-12

Drinks from 3-6

Address:
54 Rue du Faubourg St Honore, Paris 75008


Metro: Madeleine, Concorde

Hours:
Monday-Friday: 9h-18h
Saturday: 10h-18h
Sunday: CLOSED



6/22/17

English Speaking Spots in Paris, Part 2: Broken Biscuits

This post is the second installment of my "English Speaking Spots in Paris" series.

Broken Biscuits

I found Broken Biscuits one fateful day after visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  The storefront is tiny and there is only space for 2 or 3 people to sit inside, so I almost passed it by. The shop is located in a passage with few or no cars, so there are usually two tables outside in the road where you can enjoy your delicious pastry and coffee.  Sitting at a tiny blue table with a cup of something warm and a lovely bite to eat in a cobbled alley with a view of a florist shop is altogether Parisian.  At least, the Paris that people from the New World dream about.

Cafe Creme and Cheesecake

The pastry case at this place is impressive.  In it you will find classic French offerings, re-done favorites, and even British inspired treats.  At the counter, a pile of golden madeleines will entice you while the friendly staff makes your coffee.



It is obvious that a huge amount of care goes into the food and drinks produced in Broken Biscuits.  So, treat yourself to a delicious and gorgeous experience there as soon as possible.



Details

Eats range from 2-15

Drinks from 4-6

Address:
10 Passage Rochebrune, 75011 Paris

Metro: Rue St. Maur, Pere Lachaise

Hours:
Monday/Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Friday:
8:30AM-6PM
Saturday/Sunday:
10AM-7PM


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6/21/17

English Speaking Spots in Paris, Part 1: Boneshaker

I know it can be anxiety inducing to visit a country where they don't speak your language.  Of course, in Paris most people have some level of English and you should really try to speak in French when you visit, but it can be sort of fun to visit a cute cafe where you hear the proprietors speaking multiple languages behind the counter.  

For your convenience, I've compiled a list of my favorite French/English speaking spots in Paris. This is the first installment.


Boneshaker 


This is a doughnut shop.  In the light of this fact, perhaps you can understand why it is the subject of my first "English Speaking Spots in Paris" series.  Doughnuts are one of my absolute favorite foods.  This is pretty much the only place I've been able to find in Paris with real doughnuts.

Boneshaker is a tiny gem in the heart of a fun neighborhood in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.  The storefront features a display of doughnuts, bicycle decor, and the window seats have a view of the lingerie shop across the street.  The kitchen upstairs is the birthplace of irresistible doughnuts, brownies, and more.



Boneshaker Paris
The Interior
Menu

Raspberry-Lime
Salted Butter Caramel

Chocolate Cardamom
Peanut Butter Banana, Cherry Pie, S'Mores, Beer Glazed
"Martha Washington" aka Cherry Pie
S'mores

House Made Lemonade
Organic Teas
As you will be able to tell from the photos you just scrolled through, I have enjoyed Boneshaker's doughnuts on multiple occasions.  There is often a new seasonal flavor to try which makes frequent visits necessary for an addict like me.  

Try any flavor of doughnut; you won't be disappointed.  Rumor has it that Saturday is cinnamon roll day, so it can't hurt to head over then.

Thank you for making Paris an even happier place, Boneshaker!

Details

Eats range from 4-5

Drinks from 3-5

Address:
77 Rue d'Aboukir, 75002 Paris

Metro: Sentier, 

RER: Chatelet/Les Halles

Hours:
Tuesday-Friday
10AM-5PM
Saturday
10AM-6PM

Phone: +33 01 45 08 84 02

Email:
bonjour@boneshakerparis.com

Website:
http://www.boneshakerparis.com/




6/10/17

Fou de Patisserie


It seems like Fou de Patisserie is the hot spot nowadays if you're a voyager in Paris in search of a sweet treat.  The concept is simple: gather one or two of the best pastries from Paris' top patisseries and sell them in one store at one price point.  One stop pastry shop.  

Head over to the shop on the famed Rue de Montorgeuil and if you're lucky enough to snag a table out front, do so for the people watching on this pedestrian street.  If not, the nearest park isn't far.  And if you can stand the wait, walk over to the Seine before you take a bite.  

The good people at Fou de Patisserie will patiently wait while you make a decision and box up your pastries of choice rather masterfully.  The offerings change fairly frequently, so it's worth ducking in every now and again if you get the chance.  



The storefront is small, but just the right size for 3 or 4 patrons to browse.  They even have a selection of gourmet ice creams in the freezer case outside the door.  



This strawberry beauty from Un Dimanche a Paris consists of a crunchy cookie base, strawberry pate de fruit and a light cream.  It's finished with fraises de bois and was a delightful combination.  To the right you see Karamel's lemon tart.  It's a deep shell filled with lemon curd, caramel and hazelnuts.  Refreshing and rich all at once.  And check out that pillowy meringue.




On a beautiful day in Paris with visitors from Washington, D.C., I got to try these four lovely compositions.  A raspberry and vanilla pastry from Angelina, Cyril Lignac's gray beauty, L'Equinoxe, a "club sandwich" strawberry cake from Hugo&Victor, and Un Dimanche a Paris' milk chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel bar.





A long case shows off the pastries while pristine refrigerators keep the ones meant for eating fresh.  


The Phil'gout.  Get it?

Lime Tart


Pistachio Blueberry Choux

 Many thanks to Fou de Patisserie for your existence and helping regular people discover the most wonderful and delicious parts of Paris.

If you've ever visited, I'd love to hear about what you tried in the comments!

Foud de Patisserie

45 Rue Montorgeuil
75002

Metro: Chatelet/Sentier

The website is mostly dedicated to their publication:
http://www.foudepatisserie.com/