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LYU370 05-17-2019 06:16 PM

Anyone been to Paris?
Heading to France for a work trip, then going to stop in Paris for a few days on the way back. What's a good area to stay in? Any out of the way must see/eat places? Something off the beaten path.

frognot 05-19-2019 12:09 PM

Have only been to Paris, TX and Paris, TN but figure this smart aleck response will bump your post back to the top.

Jed Thompson (CharredApron here) has Oncle Jed's Texas Style BBQ restaurant in France (very far south of Paris). Haven't seen him on here in a while but if you have FB can try to contact him using that name or restaurant site.

Phubar and Gore would also be good sources for Euro info.

airedale 05-19-2019 03:31 PM

If this is your first trip, I'd suggest getting this guidebook to look at ahead of time: Very heavy on color pictures and discussion of various things to see. Excellent for trip planning; we automatically buy one of these for every trip where they publish a guide. Not good for hotels and restaurants, though; for those get a Rick Steeves, Lonely Planet, Frommer, or other paperback.

Re restaurants, it's very hard to get a bad meal in France. So don't go nuts chasing some travel book's recommendations. Hard to get bad wine, too, so unless you're a Petrus kind of guy I would not obsess about this either.

Re "beaten path" there is a reason the path is beaten -- there is good stuff along it. Louvre, for example, is a PITA for crowds as is the Eiffel Tower. But both are needed to get your Paris tourist card correctly punched.

The French military museum is a bit off the path and interesting. Learn to use the Metro; it's the easiest way to get around.

Take a credit card other than Amex and a debit card to get cash from ATMs.

EdF 05-20-2019 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by airedale (Post 4180885)

Take a credit card other than Amex and a debit card to get cash from ATMs.

Great advice. And make sure your bank doesn't restrict overseas withdrawals for the MasterCard/Visa.

airedale 05-20-2019 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by EdF (Post 4181380)
Great advice. And make sure your bank doesn't restrict overseas withdrawals for the MasterCard/Visa.

For any travel outside the US, always call the issuers of your credit cards and debit cards to advise them of destinations and dates. Some cards have online options for this but I always feel better talking to an actual person.

It is also good to have two different credit cars/two issuers and two banks for debit cards. It is entirely possible that one card will suddenly cease to work. I had that happen a few trips ago (Ethiopia, maybe) because despite the notifications the issurer's fraud software got overexcited.

Re Amex, acceptance is very poor because their charges to the merchants are excessive. It's a very poor card overall, but especially for international travel.

1MoreFord 05-20-2019 09:08 PM


Paris, Arkansas. Don't remember any Que there however.

My ole friend's devil woman ex-wife has a store there that I've never been into and there are a couple of interesting rock/concrete homes there that look like they were built by the same guy who built the North Little Rock Old Mill, along with an old abandoned hospital that was featured on American Pickers owned by some physician brothers who are said to have started the first health insurance in the US.

A bit to the North on I-40 is Altus there are several wineries and a nice restaurant at one of the wineries.

Speeed 05-20-2019 09:53 PM

Harry Soo just tried a BBQ place there

airedale 05-20-2019 10:43 PM


Originally Posted by Speeed (Post 4181641)
Harry Soo just tried a BBQ place there

I would not waste any Paris time on chasing American bbq. The French food is an experience not to be missed. Why go there if you don't want to experience the cuisine?

Gore 05-21-2019 10:59 AM

I've been several times, but it's been about 10 years now. I was staying near the Chinatown area as it was lively and the food was decent. About Paris food, it is very hard to get decent French food in Paris. Restaurants spring up and become the hot place to go, but they soon get bought out by big companies. There are apparently four of them in Paris that own almost all the restaurants. Once this happens, the food becomes mediocre. I've been disappointed numerous times until I had this explained to me by a few Parisians I know and who took me to some places they knew that had sprung up recently. If you want good French food, you've got to spend a mortgage payment in Paris, or go to a village outside Paris. The last few times I visited, I gave up on French food and ate Asian and was much more satisfied. Sad, I know.

There is plenty to do on the beaten path in Paris. I usually take long walks. My favorite if from Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe. There are a lot of things to see on the way. I also like very much the crepes they sell on the street. Watch them and get the ones that are made fresh. This also goes for the waffles. Get a fresh sugar waffle. These are not the perfectly shaped Belgian waffles, but the dense irregularly shaped waffles. Get one that is made fresh and eat it plain.

scp 05-21-2019 11:34 AM

It has been 7-8 years ago for me...but a few things I remember about the food.

1 st wine is cheap with dinner...they price it about the same you pay in a liquor store. Don't remember any restaurant names...we tried to stay with small mom and pop places. Best dish I had was Chicken coq au vin. French onion soup for lunch one day at a small cafe...was amazing...seemed kind of a tourist thing to do...but worth it. Their version of table like Dijon on steriods. You have to try foie gras at least once...expensive...but very you rarely see it here. You wont find a breakfast as we know it(mostly cheese and breads). Pastry shops are every where and are worth the visit.

People are snobs...dont take it personal. My wife says its just their nature. I mean when you smile and say Hi...a lot of times...they will just turn their heads.

I will try and remember the area we was walking distance of the eiffel tower...but not break the bank expensive...will report back.

Gore 05-21-2019 11:52 AM

By way of story, a long time ago, my wife and I and her best friend spent about a week in Paris. Both of them are excellent cooks and worked in very nice restaurants. We went from place to place, but ended up eating basically mediocre food, despite spending a mint. Finally, the last night they were both sick of the disappointment and refused to eat dinner. Well, I was hungry, so I did the quintessential American thing and stopped into McDonalds, picked up an assortment of things (menus are different in European McDonalds) and came back to the hotel. Their interest was piqued and my wife's friend had NEVER EATEN MCDONALDS BEFORE, anywhere. They both declared it the best meal they had in Paris. To go along with this, another Parisian friend of mine insists the best restaurants in Paris are Pizza Hut and McDonalds. He says the other restaurants sell overpriced garbage. I want to go on record that I have gotten lucky a couple of times, but both places were recommended to me by locals.

Rockinar 05-22-2019 04:28 AM

I was there twice about 10 years ago. I dont know if it was just a stroke of bad luck or what, but I had a lot of trouble communicating when I was there. I have been everywhere from Moscow to back allies in Cambodia. Never had as much trouble communicating and getting around as I did in Paris. I stayed at the Hotel Du Louve, next door to the Louve.

LYU370 06-08-2019 03:23 PM

While I was down in Grenoble for work, our French colleagues took us to a fancy restaurant on top of a mountain one evening. There are actually two restaurants up there.

Had to take the "eggs" up.

Cold smoked cured salmon for a starter.

Filet with morel mushrooms for the main.

And Crepes Suzette for desert.

On the weekend it was the breakfast of champions.

Steak, garlic & horseradish mashed taters...

And they can make a damn good Old Fashioned, properly chilled, proper ratio, but no damned ice. What is it with Europeans and the lack of ice?

Then after work was done, a stop in Paris for a few days. Stopped at Harry's Bar for an overpriced Old Fashioned.

Stopped at a cafe and saw these on the menu, so I figured why not.

Some mussels for lunch, smaller than the PEI mussels, but you get a whole bunch of em.

Creme Brulee & black current sorbet for dessert.

France had good wine at a good price, beer & spirits not so cheap.

Then a stop in Iceland on the way back. Save up your quarters. Iceland is EXPENSIVE!

In my best Scottie voice... Captain, there be whales here... Beef texture, really, really good.

Had to grab a couple Pylsurs. Icelandic hot dogs. Raw & crispy fried onions underneath, a somewhat spicy mustard & mayo. They also come with ketchup. But being a good Chicagoan, NO KETCHUP allowed on hot dogs.

Found and awesome restaurant in Reykjavik. Grill Market, expensive but awesome food.

Smoked puffin appetizer.

Horse tenderloin...

This guy was pumping out apps left & right all night long... SERVICE!

And of course you have to have some Icelandic lamb

And Icelandic meat soup (lamb)...

And I had a wine at the hotel at midnight. The cars finally turned on their headlights.

Fun trip, thanks for looking.

Norm 06-08-2019 04:07 PM

Thank you, great pictures and interesting dishes!

gtr 06-08-2019 08:41 PM

Thanks for the pix and reportage! Looks like a great time. Been to Paris briefly a couple times & enjoyed it, and I'd really love to check out Iceland.

I'm with ya on no ketchup on the dogs.

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