Travel Story: Paris Part II
by Vanessa Palencia
Editor's note: If you enjoyed Vanessa's previous post on the many delights of Paris, then you'll love the conclusion to the notes on her time in the City of Lights!
I knew that I needed to fit in Angelina’s famous hot chocolate (chocolat chaud) at some point in my trip. On Yelp, people claim that it is the best most intense chocolate that they have ever tasted. Being a chocolate lover, I just had to try it! You can’t tell me that something is the best thing ever and not expect me to go frolicking over, so I did what any sane woman would do: I dragged my son and my lover to the café. Nevermind that the wait to get inside the café was quite long and kept getting longer by the minute! If you’re a foodie, you know that if there’s a line out the door for a restaurant, you’ve hit the jackpot.
At first, my boyfriend wanted to take the hot chocolate to go, but after providing a sound argument that I needed pictures for this article, he gave in to the idea of drinking it inside. Obviously, this proved to be the better choice, because how can you give up the idea of being served hot chocolate and homemade whipped cream in a fancy pitcher and matching bowl? Long story short, when we served ourselves the hot chocolate, you could see the intensity of the chocolate through the thickness of it. First, you must realize that in France, they make their hot chocolate thick. In some cases, it’s like you are drinking melted chocolate. But at Angelina, they have made it a little thinner. The chocolate taste is very rich, but mixed with some of the whipped cream, it lightens it up and makes it more drinkable for those who aren’t necessarily the biggest fan of chocolate.
This café also serves some amazing Madame Croque. The bread was crisp on the edges and the inside was so soft, it literally melted in your mouth. The cheese was unbelievably creamy and the egg was perfectly cooked. My boyfriend, Nick, ordered their Beef Filet, and my son ordered their scrambled eggs and ham. Neither of them was disappointed, and trust me, they are picky eaters. If you have a limited time in Paris, put this café at the top of your list and plan accordingly as the line can get long during the afternoon.
Le Musee Gourmand du Chocolat (The Chocolate Museum):
What can I say? I’m such a sucker for chocolate, I even made a trip to the Chocolate Museum. Fourteen samples of chocolate during the visit? I’m there! Now, let me warn you, if you aren’t a big fan of chocolate, then this place might not be for you. This museum gives you the inside scoop of how chocolate came to be and allows you to see how chocolatiers create their chocolate. Because the duration of the visit is relatively short, it can be ideal for people with kids who don’t want to endure a long and boring lecture of the history of chocolate. My son enjoyed being able to taste a variety of chocolates, and he isn’t the biggest fan of chocolate the way I am. But if this is your first time in Paris (and you aren’t a huge chocolate lover), then you can definitely save this place for another time.
Besides the Eiffel Tower and the other landmarks in Paris, the city is known for its cafes and patisseries. Loads of people will try to tell you where you can find the best croissants, but this is Paris! There are amazing croissants everywhere! If you plan on visiting Paris, you need to make sure you grab a croissant (DUH!).
However, on this trip I discovered the pure deliciousness of the kouign-amann. On our walk back from the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, one of the biggest flea markets in Paris, we stopped by a patisserie and grabbed a few - okay maybe more than a few - croissants for the walk back to our hotel . The boys grabbed the traditional croissants, but I was intrigued by the chocolate-filled kouign-amann. It had slivers of almonds on top and a caramelized edge. I’m a huge sucker for caramelized edges, so I had to try it, and it was the most amazing thing ever!
In the end, as said by Miss Audrey Hepburn herself, a trip to Paris is always a good idea. There are so many things you can do and see while you’re there. This list is simply to provide a general start if you’re an indecisive person like me. So whatever you choose to do, make sure you plan accordingly, but leave room for spontaneity! That way you don’t leave with regrets about the things you didn’t do.
So bonjour and happy traveling!