Sunday, June 22, 2008

An American Breakfast in Paris

Ahh...Paris...images of delectable French cuisine come to mind - foie gras, escargot, etc - all those rich, fat-laden dishes that break a dieter's will and wreak havoc on his regimen (ahem). My brother P. and I spent most of our 6 days in the City of Lights devouring crepes, croissants, baguettes, steak, duck confit (only me, actually :-D), and of course, "chien chaud" (hot dogs). One morning, in search of something that would tide us over spending the entire day at Roland Garros watching tennis and not having to line up at the concession stands, we consulted my guidebook and decided to hit Breakfast in America, which fortunately was just a couple of blocks down Rue des Ecoles from the hotel.

Brightly lit and decorated like a typical American diner (much nicer than Tick Tock diner in Jersey!), BIA offers home-sick expats a taste of food back home, and crazy tourists who insist on eating American food while abroad something to blog about (laughing at my own clever self-referential joke haha). I liked the decor - perched atop the ledge on the periphery were objects that invoked Americana - a football helmet, a plate with the familiar "Route 66" sign, an old cash register, a blender (why?) - to name a few. Picture frames of movie scenes set in a diner, most notably Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan at Katz's Deli (never been there...shame, shame) in "When Harry Met Sally" (never seen the movie...duh), adorn the walls as well.

I chose the Veggie Omelet with cheese which made me feel irrationally self-satisfied, knowing that I had somehow resisted more artery-clogging breakfast options (steak and eggs! Is this Denny's or what?!), ignoring the cholesterol-laden eggs and cheese on my plate. The portions, as expected, were super-sized. And after days of ordering trop cher espresso in those miniature cups, a familiar bottomless mug of cafe Americain provided the caffeine fix to start the day on the right foot. Service was superb - not only were the staff attractive, but for once I dropped any effort of blundering with tourist French, and simply addressed the staff in English. Now that's something I could get used to - feeling right at home in Paris.

1 comment: said...

I never even knew they had an American style diner in Paris! It's always interesting to see how much of the American culture is evident even in your international travels.

And the mushroom foie gras soup sounds SO good!