The Layover – Paris – In Review

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Yesterday we talked about The Layover in Chicago.  On Monday Episode 2 of this season aired with Tony going to Paris.  Now I understand if you have a 48 hour layover in Chicago… but if you are flying through Paris and end up with that long of a layover to begin with, WHY NOT JUST STAY???  I mean it is Paris after all…  But anyway, let’s look at Tony’s trip to paris.

“The vacation gone wrong in Paris is almost always because you try and do too many things.”

-Anthony Bourdain in The Layover – Paris

I think Tony makes a great point in his open statement in this episode.  We often try and cram too much in too little of an amount of time and we end up tired, cranky, hungry, and standing in line all day.  Well the beauty is that with such a short time frame as 40 hours, which is what Tony is given (if we are to really believe the on screen clock), you don’t have the luxury of enough time to over plan your trip.  Whatever you do it needs to be a quick but exciting and authentic experience.

…or you can be like Tony and buy a duck press while in Paris!  I guess he’s missing Emilia-Romagna! Anyways…

The Notable Places Tony Goes (I attached the Yelp links so you can see the review, price, etc… and its in english!):

1) Le Pure Cafe  – Tony stops in for some coffee.  The real Parisian experience involves getting a cup of coffee and milking that cup for as long as possible so you can sit and people watch.  As Tony puts it, “Coffee culture is dead beat culture.”  But I think I’d like this coffee shop over one full of laptops and headphones!

2) Au Passage  – Tony is a big fan of the French Bistro but as times are changing, so too are traditional bistros.  Tony visits Au Passage with a French foodie (literally… he works for a magazine called le foodie) to partake in this renaissance, or revolution, of the French Bistro.  This place offers a set meal everyday that includes appetizer, main dish, cheese dish, and desert. They change daily and reflect what is in season, something very common in Europe and foreign to most of us Americans.

3) L’Avant-Comptoir‬‬ – A cheese and wine bar in Paris where Tony meets up with the French film maker Fritz Lang.  It’s a standing room only bar where they are ending the “tyranny of the table” in Paris.  Not really a spot for a full fledged meal, but a nice place to stop and get some quick food.

4) Bistrot Paul-Bert – This is bistro much more reminiscent of the classic parisian bistros.  It is a restaurant (and restaurants like it) that Tony feels will be relevant hundreds of years from now because of its importance in the Parisian daily life.  A little more expensive than L’Avant-Comptoir, this restaurant offers full meals and tables… which is a nice change!

5) Du Pain et des Idees – The daily life for a Parisian is incomplete without bread and luckily for us Du Pain et des Idees is considered to be among the best bakeries in all of Paris.  Tony meets up with owner Cristoph to enjoy some delicious breads and bread products.  Interestingly enough, they do not sell pastries, but instead focus a ridiculous amount of energy into ensuring the highest quality bread available!

6) Le Camion Qui Fume – These food trucks do something I bet most Americans wouldn’t expect to see in Paris…. Burgers!  On top of that, Tony claims that it is the best burger that you can get in Paris.  The secret: they don’t try to make it fancy.  They use choice beef.  They use great bread.  French cheese.  And voilà a delicious cheeseburger.

7) Le Dome – Probably the most expensive restaurant featured in this episode, Le Dome is probably a restaurant I’d only look glassy eyed through the windows at and never actually order anything in.  Tony gets one of the most expensive bottles of wine he can find and the biggest platter of sea food they have… Tony may have just died and gone to heaven, but all I can see are dollar signs!

8) Urfa Durum – Paris has seen a lot of cultural mixing over the years… something that goes un noticed by most because of our propensity to want French food in Paris… I know, crazy!  But Urfa Durum is one such restaurant that specializes in a cultural mix that is loved by all.  A durum, I believe, is a type of Turkish Sandwich and this is the place to go in Paris to get some!

What do you think about expensive restaurants when traveling somewhere like Paris?

How much are you willing to pay?

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4 Responses to “The Layover – Paris – In Review”
  1. I love the quote about trying to do too many things. As I plan my own trip, I often find it hard to balance between wanting to see everything and wanting time to just sit and wander or do whatever I feel like. I am usually a planner so I tend to want to have a time for everything. However, this is EUROPE! I should be taking it one day at a time and enjoying the culture more than anything. Thanks for the post!

    • For sure! I completely agree. I tend to try and plan hour by hour schedules, but I’ve never been to Europe! I don’t know if I’ll like something or not… there’s no way to really plan out hour by hour, because I know I will eventually mess up the schedule (probably by sleeping in). Then the whole trip would be off…

      • Yes, I did a very well-planned out schedule for my honeymoon in Hawaii, including driving times with directions and everything. Although we didn’t follow it exactly, I still felt like I didn’t enjoy every hour that I could have if I didn’t have a schedule at all.

        As I have been planning my Italy trip, I decided I will not do that again! I have a list of places I want to see, as well as what days they are closed. But I think I will just do a general idea for the day when the time comes, “tomorrow I would like to go….” I hope it makes the time more enjoyable!

      • Justin says:

        that seems like a good way to do it… never cramming stuff in, but just going with the flow!

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