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Gluten Free in Paris – Day 2

Day 2 began with Cafe Au Lait, sent to the room along with a piece of fruit and fresh yogurt we picked up from a grocery a couple of blocks away the previous day. DELISH! The grocery was obviously used by the locals and did have a nice selection of various a items, yogurt being one, we chose an artisan, locally produced yogurt. I highly recommend using this resource if available to you. You can pick up some less expensive eats and europeans don’t do breakfast like Americans. Breakfast is a pastry or small sweet treat and coffee. If you want something substantial, you’ll have to find a grocery and preplan. We picked up water and some munchies for breakfast. I also picked up a bottle of wine. Wine is so cheap there and SO GOOD! The hotel lent me a bottle opener, and it was nice to relax at the end of the day with a little glass.

Our plan to tackle the sights of Paris began with a walk down the Avenue Foch to Rue des Belles, which took us straight down to the Trocadéro and a magnificent view of the Tour Eiffel.

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We wanted to take full advantage of the weather, and so today was a walking day. We continued down and looking back at the Trocadéro:

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We continued down the Champ De Mars. They sell fresh popped kettle corn from little kiosk stands. Stop and grab a small bag. If you can manage to restrain yourself, it is a nice snack later on. Then we continued on to the Ecole Militaire. Not sure if it is an open museum, it wasn’t when we passed through. Museums vary their open dates there. You can read more about this museum ‘HERE‘.

It was just past lunchtime and right there on Avenue Duquésne across from the Ecole was a lovely little cafe called “Cafe des Officiers“. I had the Croque Madame which is NOT gluten free, but I was in France and when in France, Croque Madame is a must if possible!

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My gluten free daughter has the Risotto Parmesan. I tasted it, it was one of the best risottos I’ve tasted, and I make a killer risotto! If you are in this part of town, you will not be disappointed with a big bowl of this yumminess. The service was a bit slow, but that was fine by us. We were tired and just needed a place to sit a spell. (still jet lagged) We sat outside and found it lovely. Yes, there were smokers, but we sat towards the back by the restaurant doors and we really weren’t bothered by it.

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Then past the Hôtel des Invalides.

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Take a tour inside. Napolean is buried here, but the chapel was closed while we were there, so we missed out on that. We then crossed over the Seine, past the Grand Palais (which was also closed):

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But was able to tour the Petit Palais:

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enjoying the inner gardens as well as all the works of art:

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Walked down to the Place de la Concorde, and caught the Champs Elysées to walk back to the Arc De Triomphe. On the way, we stopped in to Ladurée, very famously known for their macaroons. Macaroons are gluten free, and we were tired, so we stopped to get a coffee and a sweet treat. My personal favorites were the Rose, and Orange Blossom Water.

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Back to the room to rest, refresh and find dinner. After putting 12 miles on my FitBit, we stayed close by.  L’Auberge Dab, right on the corner of Avenue de Malakoff, across from the Place de la Port Maillot with the Centre des Congrès de Paris in view was a spot hard to beat. This is a big higher priced restaurant, but the service was impeccable, the food fantastic and the decor reminded me a bit of a boat! Lots of highly polished and beautifully varnished wood. Outside the front door is the seafood preparer, and you were able to see the wonderful assortment as you went indoors. When I inquired what they had in that was ‘very good’, she recommended the ‘tiny shrimp, very sweet’. Well, tiny….they were. Creeped out…was one of my daughters!

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My oldest had the duck, ordered MEDIUM!

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My youngest played it safe with fresh cod over rice and greens:

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I had a naturally Gluten Free Scallop dish with a saffron Risotto.

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Following dinner, we made a quick stop at the grocery for the next mornings yogurt (stored in the hotel fridge) and back to our cute abode. This wraps up eating gluten free in Paris for Day 2.
Next:  Day 3.
(Don’t forget to check out Day 1)


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Gluten Free in Paris, France – Day 1

My youngest and I caught the red eye from the states to Paris, where we were to meet up with my oldest daughter, who is doing study abroad in Italy. You can read about our eating gluten free in Florence by clicking ‘HERE‘.

A couple of tips:

1. Find out if your airline will serve you the option of Gluten Free. We pre-ordered and Delta airlines was extremely good about serving us gluten free. (I discovered on our return trip home, that we had a MUCH nicer afternoon snack than the regular passengers do) Along with the GF meal we were served a pre-packaged of Udi’s dinner roll for the dinner flight (I am assuming here, the airlines have consistency among the red-eye meal choices, and are similar from flight to flight), which we stuffed into our bags which came in very handy later on. (see my post on Versailles)

2. Pack some protein bars, nuts or dried fruit. As I mentioned in ‘Gluten Free in Italy‘, there really is no street food for grab and go meals, and La Guardia really had nothing but a Starbucks fruit&nut bar. It was handy to have protein bars as an emergency back up, instead of walking around starving. Also, being stranded on a ‘transfer’ flight is stressful enough without having to try and find something to eat in a foreign country, with dietary issues in a limited amount of time between flights. You can put some in your luggage, but also keep a couple on hand for emergencies.

We arrived at our hotel, Residence Hotel Foch, which was cozy, comfy and quaint, having excellent service. Natalie, at the front desk brought us a cafe au lait while we waited for our room, which they kindly were letting us gain access to early! While we waited for my oldest to arrive, we cleaned up and then took a brief tour around the neighborhood. This is a lovely neighborhood, very close to the Arc De Triomphe, and Port Malliot with RER, Metro, and airport transportation buses. Its’ more residential, so it was blissfully quiet at night, perfect for a restful nights sleep after long days of walking the city.

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(the view from our room overlooked a quiet courtyard)

When our third member arrived, we headed off to walk up the Arc De Triomphe, and then sat down for an early dinner. We stopped at a little bistro on the Champs Elysée called Le Touring (appropriately named, since it was surrounded by motorcycle & bicycle shops), and they were very accommodating of our need for Gluten Free. They served us potato chips instead of bread, which was just fine by us. Hang on to them and order the Paté de Fois Gras as an appetizer! They will bring bread for those who can eat it, but my daughters used their chips to eat the paté. (I apologize that these food photos here are dark, as I was just learning how to use my new camera, and out of respect for others dining experience, I don’t use a flash)

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We then ordered Duck:

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This duck was served with a green peppercorn sauce. Be aware, this sauce is NOT gluten free!! Above it is served on the side, but to be safe, I would just request no sauce, or sauce on the side. Typically anything from the hollandaise family are ok. Bernaise is fine as well as Meunière. You will find most french sauces off limits, since they use flour to thicken. Also, I found that in all over Paris, “medium-rare” is blood rare. I had to send my duck back to be fired off a bit more. If you like American medium-rare, order medium and it will be perfectly pink on the inside but not raw.

My most sensitive daughter ordered chicken. French roasted chicken is delicious!:

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Another plus, in France, they don’t flour their Pommes Frites!! (french fries) So they are perfectly safe to eat. Just check with your establishment, but my daughter ate them everywhere we went and had no issues. (Those who are sensitive to frying oils shared with floured items might want to steer clear. But I doubt much that much, if anything, fried in the fryer had flour. The french just do not have American fried food as an option. Their starters are pates, steak tartare, smoked fishes and cheese plates. I don’t recall seeing any jalapeño poppers, chicken nuggets or chicken wings of any sort. And my daughter cannot eat food fried in a shared fryer and she was fine. Like I said in my previous posts, if you are celiac, please check in advance of leaving as to what your options are)

And then our third dish was pan seared Veal Chop, YUM!

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The sauces were off limits for the girls, but my point here is to show you foods you can eat. Just be sure to request your dish with no sauce unless you are absolutely sure. Many establishments in the city understand ‘Sans Gluten’ and will work to be accommodating. Also, many dishes in Paris have fries as a side, sometimes salad, but are more often – a la carte. So, be sure to order greens.

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It was a good start to Paris. A yummy, that is for sure.

Traveling in Florence? Try the Lampredotto!

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Traveling in Florence? Try the Lampredotto!

Traveling with my daughters, we pretty much stuck to sitting down to eat, due to the difficulty of finding any gluten free street food. It just doesn’t exist. However, while in Italy, my daughter was telling me, an adventurous eater, that I would enjoy trying the Lampredotto, which is sold on the streets in the piazzas around town. So, we made a point in our exploration of the city to stop at a street side kiosk. I bought mine in the Piazza della Signoria.

If you question whether boiled cow gut can be delish, yes it can! If you like beef short ribs, with the unctuous and savory gelatinous cartilage, you will love this. It isn’t quite gelatinous like cooked cartilage can be, and it definitely has a soft, but chewy texture. The vendor asked me how I wanted it, I just told him to do it like the locals eat, that means with the green salsa and chili sauce. I’m always astounded at how simple food can be so incredibly complex. The pairing of the savory, soft and chewy Lampredotto was balanced out by the sharp, green and fresh taste of the salsa and the very slight bite of the chili. The bread was crunchy crispy on the outside, but soft and sturdy on the inside, sturdy enough not to fall apart while walking and eating.

I marvel at the talent and resourcefulness of other cultures who do not let any part of the animal go to waste, taking what we Americans see as discards or only fit for dog food, and turning it into a cultural treat. Centuries of testing out culinary methods to make tripe terrific is a testament to the people of this town! (well, not exactly tripe, tripe is the first stomach, Lampredotto is made from the last stomach in the digestive tract)

So if you get to Florence, which is known for this simple street sandwich, I recommend giving it a try. If you click on the photo, it will take you to a youtube video of a chef explaining how to make one.

Mangia!