Let Them Eat Cake

“Let them eat cake,” a phrase most commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Cake being made with butter and eggs was more expensive than bread, and showed whatever royal figure said it was totally out of touch with the plight of the common people.  After seeing the many palaces of Paris, I am sure this is quite true.

By the same token, upon seeing the sheer magnitude of pastry shops, the French took this phrase to heart. I have a few friends who would like to make their residence in Paris. French pastries surely fits into the top ten reasons they would want to do so.

We could have taken more pictures of the food, but sometimes the sublime beauty of what was being served and our ravenous hunger after walking crowded Paris streets caused us to forget all about taking pictures of the food until we were half way through. By then it seemed too late.

The first place we discovered was by accident. It was called Boulangerie Paris Baguette. One might of thought first stop, pastry heaven. It was hard to choose. I went with creme brulee, one of my favorites.

When we stumbled across Boulangerie Paris Baguette, we were looking for some place for an early lunch, seeking out a particular vegan restaurant we had found online before making the trip. We quickly found that the eating habits of the French were quite different from ours. Restaurants may be open for breakfast. They may also serve lunch. They may stay open until around 5 PM. If they also serve dinner they may reopen at around 7 PM, although it seemed as if the prime dinner time was around 9 PM or 10 PM. Between the 5 and 7 PM period you could sit at a cafe and order drinks. Drinks might be wine, as was mostly the case, or espresso or tea, or cokes, warm with lemon.  Tea is not iced tea but a pot of hot tea, the restaurant or cafe offering a good selection. That could be one of my reasons for living in Paris, although not quite a strong enough reason in and of itself.

The vegan, mostly organic, restaurant we were in pursuit of was called Saveurs Végét’Halles. We ended up eating there twice. It was overall our best dining experience. Another totally vegan place we ate at was in Nice. It was called le Speakeasy. The lady who ran it was from California. The food was filling and healthy. I would have loved to know the woman’s story who ran it, but she was busy serving.


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