From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Fast Food, Fast Review: Gustave

In my opinion, long weekends in Paris (when the weather is nice) are for being outside! If, however, you can’t find a coveted spot on one of the sunny terrasses, then getting some food to go and eating in one of the closest parks is always a great option, especially if you’re in a hurry! This long weekend I discovered Gustave, a trendy new sandwich joint in the always trendy South Pigalle (SoPi) neighborhood. Gustave serves up their own creation called “claps”, which are whole wheat flour tortillas (or thin pitas) stuffed full of a variety of yummy ingredients, folded up tightly into a square, and then grilled until toasty.

gustave_paris_exteriorThe little shop is located on rue Henry Monnier, a total foodie street, just across from Buvette Gastrothèque and Luz Verde. It is tiny inside, with a few chairs and small bar table along the window, and decorated with only a deer’s head and some tattoo art on the wall… for that hipster touch. The menus is simple: claps are 7,80 Euros, a claps and drink are 10 Euros, and a claps, drink and dessert are 12 Euros. They also have a selection of baguette-style sandwiches (4.50-6.50 Euros), for people who like to stick to something a little more traditional, as well as soups and salads. When I arrived with my friend M, there were already a couple sitting on the two-person bench outside and to their left we saw the chalk board menu with the list of fillings to choose from.
gustave_paris_menu_carteThere were so many choices (including a daily special), but after reading them all carefully and consulting with two guys who were self-proclaimed “regulars” we decided on 1) marinated chicken, bacon, cheddar, honeyed confit onions, apples, arugula and tomatoes and 2) pastrami, coleslaw, Emmental cheese, tomatoes, confit onions and lettuce. I have been back since (yes I know…twice in a space of 72 hours! But I was in the area!) and have also tried the one with chorizo, feta, grilled veggies (big chunks of eggplant, red peppers and potatoes), tomato, lettuce and confit onions.

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gustave_paris_chorizo clapsWe took our carefully bundled sandwiches, walked up to Abbesses, and sat on a bench in a little park just behind the Métro with the “I love you” wall in front of us. We unwrapped them like presents and were instantly drooling over the colorful display in our hands. At this point I am going to have to say: Warning: They are VERY hard to eat without “food juices” from the dressing and marinades dripping all over you! So, if you are about to go to a job interview in your best suit and you need a quick lunch, I wouldn’t tempt fate with one of these. Similarly, if you’re not totally comfortable with the person you’re with, then choose something else. But, if you want something full of flavor and don’t give a s#*@ about how messy things might get, then you are sure to enjoy these sandwiches! My fave was the chicken and bacon (total perfection) followed by the chorizo (which was the messiest to eat, if you’re wondering, thanks to all the yummy veggies). The pastrami was also good, but I have to admit that I’m used to having some sauerkraut or pickles with the salty meat, and the coleslaw just didn’t cut it for me. All of them were really filling, and as crumbs and sauce dropped to the ground, the little birds of the park agreed with us that these sandwiches were the real deal!

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gustave_paris_birdsA great place for a low-carb lunch or dinner (as they are open until 10 pm), Gustave is definitely worth a try!

Restaurant Details:
21 rue Henri Monnier, 75009 Paris
+33 (0)1 48 78 96 52

My Rating :

3.5 tasty and low-carb sandwiches out of 5

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Travel Fun: A break in Barcelona

Okay, so I know this has nothing to do with Paris, but I was in Barcelona last week for my friend M’s wedding, and I thought I’d quickly share a few photos from the streets of this lively city in a post I will call “Travel Fun” (because why not)! They’re from all over the city, and they all make me smile for different reasons! I’ve also reviewed two yummy Spanish restaurants at the end of this post, for those of you who are in need of a good recommendation!

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Looking up at the beautiful buildings in the Gothic Quarter

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A gorgeous walkway

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Sagrada Familia’s organ, pointing to the heavens

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Pigeon graffitti

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Amazing mosaic tile street art…Gaudi would be proud!

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The beautiful Spanish bride in the streets of Barcelona

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Lemon trees and the Catalan flag, which was hung everywhere around town!

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Chicas walking towards Barceloneta beach!

The weather was not the greatest while I was there, but I managed to walk around the city and see the Mediterranean before catching a cold! It was also cool to be there on Sant Jordi Day, the Catalan equivalent of St. Valentine’s day. Apparently the tradition is for men to buy women roses, and for women buy men books (a little sexist, but so are many traditions), which is why there were vendors in the streets everywhere selling roses and books. A little boy even offered me a rose while we were walking around Park Guell, which I thought was really cute. Okay, Ill be honest when I say that a rose in a book would have been even better, but I won’t complain!

Finally, for those of you who are thinking of visiting Barcelona soon, and want to find some good food (because there are lots of tourist traps that you should try to avoid), I MUST tell you about these two restaurants that really impressed me:

Sagardi BCN Gotic: We actually dined here twice, once for the wedding reception dinner and then on another night because we were desperate to try the steaks that we had previously seen cooking on their huge grill! This place is divided into two parts: a crowded pintxos bar and a classy restaurant. In case you don’t know, pintxos are small snacks that usually consist of a heap of yummy ingredients (such as Iberian ham, crab meat, goat cheese etc.) on a slice of bread, and held together with a toothpick. They are spread out along the bar and you can select these artistic creations as you like. The steak and fish dishes (the turbot in a butter, garlic and parsley sauce was my favorite) were equally mouth-watering and were ordered to share between two people. Service was exceptional. I will definitely go back for a third round next time I’m in town. Dónde: Carrer de l’Argenteria, 62, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

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Koska Taverna: Located in the El Poble-Sec neighbourhood, I really enjoyed the authentic and fresh dishes served at Koska. The waiter was super friendly (and tattooed) and we sat outside in the bar-filled pedestrian street of Carrer de Blai with (what I think was) mainly hip but laid-back locals.  For the first time since we had arrived, I felt like we were in a non-touristy zone and I loved it. The food was equally delicious, featuring a good selection of tapas and pintxos (displayed on the counter inside). I ate fresh anchovies like I had never tasted before, delicious octopus on a thin layer of creamy potatoes and tender beef cheek cooked in a tasty sauce. For my last meal in Barcelona, it was definitely a memorable one. Dónde: Carrer de Blai, 8, 08004 Barcelona, Spain

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There you have it! A quick photo/foodie report from Barcelona. Hasta tarde amigos!