July 7, 2018

Europe 2018 day 8: phở in Paris

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Another morning, another visit to the boulangerie for viennoiserie.  Today we're going back to Blé Sucré, an old favorite of mine.  Imma getting me some kouign amann today!  The place is kinda within walking distance from the apartment, so we took a stroll over in order to work up an appetite...

Croissant - this was just OK.  Not particularly impressive.  The one I had here 8 years ago was much, much better.

Chocolatine - pretty sizable and decent, but certainly not as fine as the one at Du Pain et des Idées yesterday.

Kouign amann - the reason why I'm here today.  Must have this wonderful and delicious collection of folds with plenty of sugar added.  Yum.

Brioche ronde avec sucre - no, it wasn't enough that I had the kouign amann... I needed more flaky folds and more sugar.  This was pretty good, too.

We walked back to the apartment and stopped by Gare de Lyon on the way to admire the beautiful architecture.  I also wondered out loud with Hello Kitty whether we should come for a meal at Le Train Bleu, since it's such a beautiful restaurant and close to where we were staying.

We needed a light lunch today and I hadn't booked anything, so Hello Kitty requested that we break the "no Asian food in Europe" policy so that she could try out phở in Paris.  This was on pretty short notice, and I certainly did not plan for it or did any research, so I sent out an S.O.S. to my friends who run Brass Spoon in Hong Kong asking for a recommendation.

We took the Metro to the 13th only to find Ngoc Xuyen Saigon closed for the entire July. I was stunned for a minute before trying desperately to see which other restaurants are nearby. Phở 18 is on the next street, and I vaguely remember (or thought I did) that some of my friends have mentioned the place in years past.  So we parked ourselves here.

Not sure why this sign was necessary, but OK.

I ordered myself an iced coffee of some kind, and this was what came... Très hipster...

The plate of herbs looked pretty legit...

Phở nh - so the lady looked at me funny when I placed my order, and I had to explain to her in Mandarin that we'd been eating a lot over the last few days, which was the reason why I asked for a small bowl...  Anyway, the Charolais beef was pretty tender, and the broth had the distinctive fragrance of cloves - which was new and interesting to me.  I'm not an expert when it comes to phở, but I was pretty happy with this.

What I wasn't so happy about was the fact that I was in a restaurant without air conditioning and eating a hot bowl of soup noodles.  Needless to say my shirt was pretty drenched.

Having satisfied her curiosity about phở in Paris, Hello Kitty and I returned to the apartment to shower and change.  We were about to hit one of the highlights on our trip, and dressing up seemed the right thing to do...

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