Monday, December 22, 2014


Métro: Saint Michel (line 4) or Cluny-La Sorbonne (line 10)
RER B and C: St-Michel Notre Dame
Address: 77 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris
Hours: Everyday from 10:30am to 7:30pm
Price: 1.90 euros per cream puff

It all started with an IT guy and his grandma. Yep, I know that's so not what you expected to read on my blog. Well Odette was a typical French grandma who would bake delicious cream puffs for her grandchildren. Frédéric Berty is like every French person: Nostalgic. So he decided to drop his IT career and open this little shop/ Tea Room.

First of all, I love the street it is on with the old church in the corner, the cobble stones and the beautiful tree on the side. I love the charm of its building and the incredible view on Notre Dame. Then comes the food. I have to be honest, it's probably not the most jaw dropping puffs I ate but they were still enjoyed and eaten. My favorite flavors: chocolate, caramel, pralines and vanilla. I found the berry one pretty disgusting actually, tasted more like chemicals than anything else. Lemon was okay. But once again the spot makes all the charm of this place. I could seat there hours drinking my hot chocolate and enjoying the sun rays caressing my face while admiring Notre Dame, plus it's a pretty quiet spot as well. What else to ask for?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Maison Pou

Métro: Ternes (line 2)
Address: 16, avenue des Ternes, 75017 Paris
Hours:Monday- Friday 9:30 am to 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Closed on Sunday

You want to know what French food is really about? You might think that caterers are only good for weddings, but in France, caterers are an everyday stop. Maison Pou is one of those institutions that are delighting locals. It's no tourist trap. You will find anyone from the little neighborhood grandpa and grandma to the busy businessman. Founded in 1830, Maison Pou won many first prize for their delicatessen products. They do everything from a simple salad to a delicate chocolate cake. I've stopped there many times and I have never eaten anything that I do not truly like. My personal addiction is their individual pizza (3.50 euros) which has nothing to do with the traditional pizza we all know. No, it's more like a tart made with a tomato compote which is to die for. Their quiche is also really good or their Greek salad. Their desserts are good but not their strongest point. It's quite affordable if you take the individual portions ( about 4 euros for a gourmet dish like quiche or pizza, count 5 euros for dessert) but careful when you buy by the weight. Prices take off real fast. Word of caution: no credit card under 10 euros and better get there early, there is a line everyday starting 11:30 am.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Métro: Rue du Bac (line 12)
Address: 46 rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Hours:Monday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 7:00pm
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Closed on Sunday
Cost: Free

I must admit that conserving dead things is not one of my passions. Ever more I tend to stay away from all that taxidermy thing. Like me, you probably had to visit the local university's natural science museum which smells like a good old dumpster dive. Are you feeling that chill? Anyway I've read long time ago about Deyrolle. Created in 1831, it's reknown all over the world for its insects collections, taxidermy skills and educational materials. But that still did not sell the deal to me. Why would I want to go there. I'd rather go to the Louvre. One day, I'm walking by rue du Bac for some due shopping spree and this shop catches my eyes. It sells pretty things like books and gardening tools. I love pretty things so I go in. It smells good and I just want to buy about everything. They have an inviting staircase to the second floor so I follow the trail to Ali baba's cave only to find myself next to a giant peacock and a billion butterflies. Flashback goes through my head. I'm in Deyrolle. Wow, it's nothing like I had pictured. It's truly beautiful. Rooms upon rooms of magnificent creatures from the smallest insect to a fairly large bear. And wait until you put your eyes on their posters section! I literally spent an hour looking at them. I couldn't take pictures inside the store but check out their website's photo section to get a better idea. Hey, plus you can avoid the hour long wait to the Natural Science museum and show your kids some cool stuff for free while you get some shopping done! Forget about your misconceptions, taxidermy is so in these days!

Friday, October 31, 2014


Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne (line 10)
Address: 10 rue Dante, 75005 Paris
Hours: everyday from noon to midnight
Cost: 10 euros (Lunch deal: appetizer+main dish+drink)
Cash only. NO credit card

Passing by on the street, you might miss this tiny place and it was unsure that I pushed the door but then the magic happens! What a change of scenery! Am I still in Paris? It is the size of a matchbox but the atmosphere makes you want to dance between the rickety stools. There are only 15 of them but they are so colorful: red, yellow and bright green!  

It's always reassuring to me when I try a Mexican eatery and I mostly hear Spanish around me. Loving Mexican food so much I should probably start learning Spanish. And you can never go wrong when you see that it is a full house. It was a bit hard to find a stool to seat on. Yes, you have to find your own spot because it is a 2 men's show and between the kitchen and the service they do not have time to pick a place for your ego. So it's like "mi casa es tu casa"! And I love it!

Of course that also means that you need to be a little patient because one waitress/cook/cashier can only so much at a time. Another awesome feature for me: the grocery side! You can buy a big jar of chipotle (8 euros) or of serrano salsa (7.50 euros) for a hefty price but in Paris it is mission impossible to get those so you indulge! At least I did on the chipotle!

So, you're going to say: what about the food?! I took the lunch deal which is really what they say a deal or should I say a steal?! I started with a tamale, also a rare find in Paris. It was really plain. I was expecting more kick and spices. It was really good once I added some homemade spicy salsa found on the table.

It was followed by a burrito. It was okay. Not the best Mexican food I ever had in terms of flavors but for the price it was filling and a really fun experience with the music and decor. I would not recommend it for a romantic diner but as far as a fun lunch break goes it was just fine- like a fun little getaway.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine

Métro: Trocadéro (line 6 or 9)
Address: 1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris
Hours:Monday-Sunday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (last ticket sold at 6:15pm)
Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00pm (last ticket sold at 8:15pm)
Closed on Tuesday
Cost: 8 euros. Free for kids under 18, EU students aged 18 to 25.
Free for all every first Sunday of the month.

Sometimes Paris is full of beautiful surprises that leave you just in awe. I had no idea this place existed and I have to say it is now in my top 3 museums. So basically it is the copycat museum of architecture. It is filled with moldings/replicas of the most beautiful buildings of France such as the cathedral of Reims or Rouen. Everything is clean, accessible and you can actually have a good look at it. It is divided unto 3 sections: the gallery of moldings, the gallery of murals and the gallery of modern architecture. First let's take a look at the Moldings Gallery:

What is really cool is the actual building which is more reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower of which we have a really beautiful view from the windows. It is a huge contrast with the moldings. Some of the castings date all the way from 1880 and has remained unspoiled while some of the originals have been damaged through the years. So it is a great record of what the originals were like prior to their state of deterioration.

Not all moldings are from religious buildings, you have here a replica of some of the sculptures of the Arc de Triomphe.


 I was really moved by the splendor of the following piece. Everything is so immaculate, detailed and refined. The emotions are real and it comes to life the more one looks at it. It took me a good 15 minutes and two times to fully admire all the details and the beauty of it.

On the second and third floor you will find models of more modern buildings. Personally it did not interest me that much and I went quickly through it. I almost missed the door to the third gallery: the Murals. I just could not believe my eyes: life size replicas of churches.

I really loved this museum. It felt more like I was traveling and visiting monuments rather than being in a museum. It was a really refreshing experience!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Métro: Ternes or Courcelles (line 2)
Address: 73 boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris
Hours:Monday-Saturday 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
Closed on Sunday
Cost: 4-6 euros for a sandwich

I have to say I am not a huge fan of what French people call the "Jambon beurre" which is the typical baguette sandwich made with ham and butter. But cool and good sandwiches can cost a fortune so it's refreshing to find an affordable sandwich shop with original and creative sandwiches. Well, refreshing but not surprising coming from world reknown French chef Alain Ducasse. Huge kuddos for the even prices, (4.00 or 4.50 euros- no nonsense 4.79) which really makes me happy because I hate carrying all that necessary change. And you can also pay with your credit card! Can you say: Miracle!!!!?

I ordered the "Brioche parisienne au thon" which is a very fancy tuna sandwich on a sweet bread. A bit small compared to other sandwiches in the shop but the price is right: 4.50 euros for this baby. It's not made from a tuna can, don't insult the chef but instead it is a pure joy in mouth. It's made with thin slices of tuna steak, beansprouts, coriander and a horseradish sauce. It's a sublime combination. I might have to go back and try the other sandwiches or the full lunch box.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Métro: Place Monge (line 7) or Censier Daubenton (line 4)
Address: 2 bis place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005 Paris
Hours:Saturday -Thursday 9:00 am- 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm-6:00 pm
Closed on Friday
Cost: 3 euros

Can I just be honest for a second? I don't know if you have seen A Mighty Heart (2007) or Black Hawk Down (2001)? Well I have and I have been traumatized ever since. So when my husband said he wanted to visit the Middle East, I about died. I know this is stupid and everyone that I know who has been there absolutely loved it. I say to that: good for them. Me? I belong to Paris.

But I also learned that if you want to save your marriage you need to compromise (honestly not much of a compromise because I really wanted to go) so I offered to visit the mosque of Paris. We went by a few times before and the people are always so friendly and welcoming. We started a few conversations on the street which NEVER happens in Paris. I am a Christian but I never felt like anything was imposed on me and talking about religions seems to be the norm there. I keep very fond memories of the people we have met at the mosque.

Obviously this is a place for worship so you will need to be respectful and you won't be able to visit the prayer rooms or go in on Friday. But you can walk around this gorgeous place and for a second feel like you have just traveled hundreds of miles to a small paradise. And unlike us, I wish your visit in on a sunny day. It makes a huge difference.


The decision to build the Mosque of Paris is made after World War I to honor the 70,000 Muslims who lost their life fighting for France. It is the very mosque built in France. It is inspired by the El Qaraouiyyîn mosque in Fez in Morocco which is one of the oldest in the world. All the beautiful decoration are realized by specialized craftsmen from North Africa. The mosque also is known as a Resistance center during WWII. Their mission was to save British paras and find a hiding spot for them. Later they also hide Jewish families and procured them with fake papers. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

The garden is a real delight. The tiles are just amazing. I am just in awe with all the details and craftsmanship that went into creating this place.

I really had a great time but a word of caution. Don't eat at the restaurant! We used the bathroom next to the kitchen to find gigantic cockroaches on the floor. Not so cool.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Passage du Grand Cerf

Métro: Etienne Marcel (line 4)
Access: 145 rue Saint Denis, 75002 Paris
             8 rue Dussoubs, 75002 Paris
Hours:  Monday-Saturday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm.
               Closed on Sunday

It's one of my favorite passageways. It's really clean and filled with light, especially on a sunny day. I love walking through it especially on my way to Stohrer. Funny story behind it, it was built in the 1800's but was not profitable to a point that it became really run down. Now, it's home of a few fancy shops, which I dream I could afford to go into. There's one antique shop that I really like that sells doorknobs, and my sister is in love with the little haberdashery which sells amazing fabrics. Sadly, no little cute cafés to enjoy this lovely passageway.

 You can even pose with a male model! He's hot and he knows it!
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