Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Vegan Paris

Stephanie Dreyer in Paris eating vegan
VeegMama in Paris!
My husband surprised me with a trip to Paris last month in honor of our 20th anniversary together  (still can't believe it has been 20 years).  It was a quick trip by European vacation standards (4 days in Paris with a day on each end for travel), but it didn't diminish the quality or splendor of the trip in any way.

I admit I panicked at first learning we were going to Paris.  What was I going to eat in the home of cheese and rich cream sauces?  But my hubby had that figured out too.  He gave me a copy of Vegan Paris that I devoured and marked up with places for vegan croissants, green juices and veeg friendly meals.  In the end though, I decided I didn't want to spend my four fabulous days at little holes in the wall, especially when I wanted my husband to enjoy the carnivorous French experience.  I relaxed my need to control (somewhat) and ended up going with the flow.

Appetizer at Morrocan restaurant for lunch
Morrocan appetizer

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really had no trouble eating my way through Paris.  Everywhere we went offered vegetarian options and almost all places had vegan offerings.  My favorite salad there was the haricort verts and champignones (string beans and mushrooms).  I ate that three times during our four days there!  Couscous and vegetables was also popular there (I had that for lunch once and dinner our our first night).  We found this really great Moroccan restaurant our first day there and ate a wonderful lunch.  This is a picture of the appetizer plate that everyone received at their table.  Delish!

Since we were celebrating a special occasion, we dined at nice restaurants every night, including Pershing Place in the George V district (where I ordered Thai style noodles and wok grilled vegetables), Le Georges in the Pompidou Center (where I ate penne pasta with a marinara sauce and an herb salad), and Le Florimond (a wonderful restaurant where I ate a puff pastry with beets and coucous with veggies).  Cafe Marley right outside the Louvre is the only restaurant I "cheated."  My truffle ravioli came with a cream sauce that I decided to overlook.  I also admit that I ate my fair share of croissants and indulged in a macaroon, but otherwise I was able to keep to my diet and ethics the whole trip.

I had to get creative at some of the restaurants, creating my own meal (like at at Pershing Place) or calling in advance to let them know of my diet (like at Le Florimond, where they happily obliged) or looking up the menu ahead of time.  But that really is no different than what I do here at home.

I did insist we stop at one of the mentions in Vegan Paris - L'As du Falafel, which claims to have the best falafel ever.  After waiting in line for 45 minutes (see below), I would have to agree.  It was my favorite lunch there, walking and eating falafel while shopping the streets of the Marais neighborhood.

L'As du Falafel
L'As du Falafel

As you may imagine, it was a wonderful trip.  Je taime Paris!