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Alan Wolfe

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Late notes from Paris in September

by Alan Wolfe » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:53 pm

I know that many of you are much more familiar with Paris than I, so I won't make this a travelogue. A few observations:

Every day on our way back to our apartment, we passed through the Rue Daguerre, a pedestrian shopping street about 4 blocks long. It seemed fairly large to us and has a wide selection of shops and restaurants. At least one and perhaps more of the tourist guides I've read has said that rotisserie chicken was French comfort food and, never having tasted rotisserie chicken and seeing them prominently displayed, we decided to try a French one. It was very tasty, good but not great, and we thought worth the money (about five euros).

When we got home, we tried rotisserie chickens from Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Kroger, Foodland and Food Lion. I every case, without exception, the American rotisserie chickens were better than the French one. This was obviously not a thorough trial, but I was a little surprised.

On the same Rue Daguerre we discovered freshly made ravioli and tried several varieties. When we got home, we found that the fresh ravioli at Sam's Club was much better than the stuff we got in France. Also surprising.

We had breakfast one morning at a place on the Place Contrescarpe called Cafe Delmas. For me, Eggs Benedict and a glass of the house white. The Eggs Benedict were the best I've ever had, the orange juice freshly squeezed and the house white more than just acceptable. Cafe Delmas is said to be a little touristy and a little expensive, and perhaps so. 13.5 euros for the Eggs Benedict (also Eggs Norwegien for the same price).
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Jenise

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Jenise » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:04 pm

As a counterpoint, the best rotisserie chicken I ever had was in Paris. The vendor was Asian and working a corner not for from our Montmarte hotel, and the chicken had a bit of Asian five spice kind of flavor to it, which I personally love, and where the fast all leaks into the bottom of the rotisserie machine? They had billiard ball sized red potatoes bobbing in the deep fat and each chicken came with a few--they were to die for.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:52 pm

We've given up on rotisserie chicken here. We used to get some that we liked from a couple of local supermarkets but they seemed to shift to a saltier product.

Never had one in France, though.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

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Alan Wolfe

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Alan Wolfe » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:54 pm

Jenise said:

" ... the fat all leaks into the bottom of the rotisserie machine?"

Yup! That sounds exactly like what we experienced. Can you narrow down the address of the place you got your chicken, Jenise, and how long ago was it?

edit: We're going back in October and might take the time to look it up.
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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Jenise » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:20 pm

Haven't a clue where it was Alan--I can't even remember the name of our hotel! And even if I did know, wouldn't count on the same street vendor to be in the same place after all these years.

Btw, here in the U.S., I actually like Costco chickens, ever try one? They're very good. But don't at all like any of the local supermarket versions. I've given in twice, I think, at two different stores, and they just taste like artificial flavoring.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Alan Wolfe

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Alan Wolfe » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:40 pm

We don't have Costco here, Jenise, although there is a great deal more available here (Eastern Panhandle) than in the much more rural part of the state we've been living for the last twenty-odd years.

With respect to artificial flavoring, your palate is much better than mine and unIess the artificiality was quite pronounced I'm not sure I'd be able to tell.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Paul Winalski » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:43 pm

Alan,

Neither rotisserie chicken nor ravioli are things I would have thought of as peak cuisine points in Paris. The price for the chicken sounds good, though. Croissants, baguettes, foie gras, and pig's trotters, on the other hand.... And that Eggs Benedict sounds exquisite.

I agree with Jenise's assessment of Costco's rotisserie chickens. Very tasty, and a cut or two above the usual American supermarket offerings.

Salut,

-Paul W.
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MikeH

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by MikeH » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:18 am

I'm not a chicken expert, but the rotisserie birds from Costco are very tasty. And at $5 a pop, reasonably priced.

We made our first trip to Paris in September, spent three days there. By accident, discovered a one or two block long stretch of Rue Cler that was just delightful!. Nice bistros, good food and wine, and live street entertainment! Highly recommended....
Cheers!
Mike
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Frank Deis

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Frank Deis » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:23 pm

We buy Costco rotisserie regularly.

In Paris -- I had the impression that it was nearly impossible to find a "bad" restaurant but that probably had something to do with the way we ordered. Even a little hole in the wall is likely to offer foie gras with that raspy dry toast and a decent red wine. We always ordered stuff that interested us -- at a fish restaurant we noticed that they had rhubarb as a vegetable, and let that amuse us as we ate it. It was delicious. At another place I had some kind of hot sandwich that involved duck breast and Saint Agur cheese melted on top. I've been buying Saint Agur ever since -- it is a remarkably flavorful blue cheese and it's an interesting conversational point that it as invented only in 1988!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Agur_Blue

It does help to be a bit comfortable with the français...
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Ines Nyby

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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Ines Nyby » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:15 pm

Just have to jump in briefly here. We were in Villefranche Sur Mer in September and walked over to St. Jean Cap Ferat and picked up a rotisserie chicken for lunch, along with a large jar of white beans cooked with tomatoes and goose fat. As I recall the cost was 13 Euro for both items as well as a fresh baguette. This was a truly delicious lunch for 4 people and I think the chicken was far superior to our Costco or supermarket versions. Just my personal impression.
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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by Dale Williams » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:27 pm

I've never had rotisserie chicken in Paris (now,I have had the poulet de Bresse at Allard, that's special!). I've also never had rotisserie chicken from Costco, but that is easily remedied. A couple of times a year I grab a rotisserie chicken from Stop and Shop (local supermarket), generally moist, but they must have been brined as they are very salty.
I've always eaten very very well in France.
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Re: Late notes from Paris in September

by wnissen » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:27 pm

Dale Williams wrote:I've never had rotisserie chicken in Paris (now,I have had the poulet de Bresse at Allard, that's special!). I've also never had rotisserie chicken from Costco, but that is easily remedied. A couple of times a year I grab a rotisserie chicken from Stop and Shop (local supermarket), generally moist, but they must have been brined as they are very salty.
I've always eaten very very well in France.

Dear Dale,
Was that pre- or post-Ducasse? I've never had volaille de Bresse, but it might be worth trying one at the right place, even at ?74 for the bird...
Walter Nissen

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