Just thinking back to the food in France makes my mouth water. That’s why when my French roommate and his girlfriend (who is also French) told me that they enjoy eating Chez Maman‘s French, Provencal-style food, I knew I had to head over there immediately. I’m so glad I did!

This place gets super packed and there’s almost always a line so our strategy was to get there early and it was a great idea to do this because we got seated right away and immediately after that a line started forming. Once inside, I knew that I would have to wait in line at this place because while quite attentive, the staff is not pushy at all and really let you take your time to order the courses/dishes you want to try. We ordered one dish at a time and enjoyed every single one of them. Of course the bread was delicious and even the butter was softened. Then we had their famous French Onion Soup, which was super cheesy. Next we tried the Endive Salad, which came with pralines, stinky cheese, and a caramel dressing. Last we ended our meal with the Provencal-style mussels with french fries. Oh what a meal!


Bread and softened butter


French Onion Soup


Endive Salad


Les Moules


French Fries

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After leaving the greater Paris region, I headed south on a train (wow, French trains are amazing) to Lyon. My time in Lyon was short, but I liked it because it is still quite a large city, but without some of that capital city air. Most of my time was spent in the Vieux (Old) Lyon area, where I saw the Cathédrale St-Jean then climbed/took a cable car up to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière where not only you get to visit a beautiful church, but enjoy views of all the Lyonnaise red rooftops as well. Nearby are some ancient Roman ruins – the Roman Theatre of Fourviére. These were the first of many Roman ruins I would see while traveling through central and southern France.

I think one of the reaons I loved Lyon so much is because there are so many bridges. These bridges are a must due to the fact that both the Rhone and Saone Rivers run through the City. The Presqu’ile District of Lyon is particularly nice to visit because it takes up the strip of land between these two grand rivers.

The other major attraction coming out of Lyon is its Lyonnaise cuisine. Lyon is known for its Bouchon (restaurants). These serve very traditional, very rich and heavy Lyonnaise foods and only a certain number are certified to be true Bouchon. In the end, I’m not sure if the place I ate at ended being a certified Bouchon, but the quenelles (ground fish dumplings) I ate seemed pretty delicious nonetheless.

Read more about our France adventures here: french voyage day 1 french voyage day 2french voyage day 3seine viewfrench voyage day 4french voyage day 5french voyage day 6sunset

A French Lyonnaise voyage photo adventure:

Chez Panisse is one of those fancy places in the East Bay that I would have never visited on my own accord, but since I was invited, I decided that it would be an interesting once in a life time kind of experience. Their lunch prices are more like dinner prices, which make it not too ridiculous, if you’re considering this meal to be your main meal of the day. Dinner is based on pre-determined 3-4 course dinner sets that cost way more than I would ever be willing to pay for a meal no matter how good it’s said to be. Anyway, I’m glad I got a chance to visit during lunch and eat in their upstairs café. Chez Panisse is unique because it was opened by Alice Waters in 1971 and focuses on fresh seasonal flavors and ingredients. Back in 1971, this type of thinking was quite ahead of its time! According to its website, “a neighborhood bistro, it is named after Honoré Panisse, a character in Marcel Pagnol’s 1930s movie trilogy about waterfront life in Marseille (Marius, Fanny, and César), as an homage to the sentiment, comedy, and informality of these classic films.” Take a look at this fancy meal!

A fancy chez photo adventure:

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As it’s become a huge international hot spot, Antigua now has an abundance of different type of food places. One of the few restaurants I actually visited in Antigua was called Luna de Miel Crêpes. It serves amazing “French” crêpes that have a distinct international and perhaps a little bit of a Guatemalan twist. I really liked this place not just for the crêpes though because they also had amazing fruit smoothies that were absolutely delicious to drink on a warm night.

We sat upstairs, which would have been nice except for the fact that there were only low tables with bean bags left. This didn’t work out well for me because I was a little too short to sit comfortably on a bean bag and feel like I had enough reach at the table. This meant I was adjusting my bean bag a lot more than I would have liked. Aside from that small factor though, the food was amazing, the smoothies delicious, and the ambiance, while dark, very nice!

A nighttime crêpe photo adventure:

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I remember when The Elephant Walk first opened. There were lines out the door for this place. I also remember there being a location near my grandmother’s apartment. I used to ride my bike past there on my way to driver’s ed classes. Even though I lived rather close to this location, I never ate there until this trip. All I knew before we stepped in the door is that they offer interesting Cambodian and French fusion cuisine.

In the end, I don’t think it was the most amazing fusion food in the world, but definitely worth a visit and a taste. I ordered some Cambodian seafood rice dish that I no longer remember the name of, but it was quite delicious, and I’m told, quite Cambodian-tasting. There were hints of coconut and intense spices. Yum!

An Asian and European fusion photo adventure:

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