I’m having one of those “crap” days today where a couple of days ago I ate something to which I have a secondary intolerance (hopefully temporary as I continue to heal). My reactions are physical ones, such as headaches, achiness, and fatigue, as well as MOOD ones! The mood ones are the “tip off” to me, but not always obvious to me at the start.
Are you one of those women who, once a month, suddenly start to feel crabby, think, “WHY on earth do I feel so crabby?” then happen to look at a calendar and say, “Oh….. Yeah.” I did this for years. PMS would sneak up from behind, grab me by the shoulders, and I would jump in surprise each time! My food reactions have been similar: elusive, could have other reasons (but, I am learning, often don’t), and every time I find myself in a grouchy mood, I think, “Ugh! Why do I feel so yucky?”, then remember I tried a new soy yogurt-type dessert a couple of days ago, say “Oh. DUH,” and then resolve to not eat it again (except there are three more in the fridge and they were not cheap). Same thing. Taken by surprise by what should now be obvious to me.
Except today I *know* it was the soy yogurt-type dessert as well as the vodka and lemon and vodka and grapefruit juices I had the other night at The Monkey Bar (or “Monkey’s” as it is officially called, but I like calling it “The Monkey Bar.” Sounds like a piece of playground equipment for adults, heh).
THE MONKEY BAR
Lieu : Monkey’s Groovy Bar & Funky Food
Adresse : 68 Bd de la Villette
Ville : Paris 75019
Métro : Belleville
They serve burgers there, and while I did not eat any of them, I was looking at the menu and noting that one could probably easily get gluten-free grub here. If you are in the 19th, it’s a cute place to have a burger and beer, or, if you are like me, a vodka or three (no gluten in vodka [well, maybe not: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_there_yeast_or_gluten_in_vodka] and it is low in sugar, too). Oh heck, I just checked and not all vodkas are grain-free, aparently: http://gfkitchen.server101.com/GFAlcohol.htm#Vodka **sigh** No wonder. Here’s more info here: http://www.celiac.com/articles/222/1/Gluten-Free-Alcoholic-Beverages/Page1.html and here: http://www.celiac.com/articles/11/1/Which-alcoholic-beverages-are-safe/Page1.html
Sugar is bothering me a lot, too, in all its forms: sucrose, glucose, lactose, fructose…. Alcohol, even allegedly gluten-free kinds, is problematic for me as I react to its changing to glucose in my system. I’ve been pretty much alcohol-free for the last four months because of its physical and emotional effects on me, but I had been feeling like trying on a vodka to see how it fit and learned that I am better off without it. It was like going into a store where a great skirt is on sale (it was Happy Hour Wednesday at Monkey’s), buying it without trying it on, thinking, “It’s going to be great!” only to find upon trying to wear it the next day, it’s too small. And there is a “no returns on sale items” policy. Yeah, one day that skirt may fit, but not right now.
So, I am sitting here in my Paris apartment kind of in a funk, feeling blah, and even feeling blah about this blog. As I research things about Paris and see other blogs and writing “out there,” I keep thinking, “Oh wow. What do *I* have to offer that is not already posted, often in much better form that I am doing here!” and “Will this amount to *anything*?”
I guess this is the thing that I have that maybe others do not: I am a real person here, one that gets easily freaked out by living, moving, and having my being in this city. It is NOT a place I always dreamed of traveling, I barely know any French (although I can still order in Chinese in Chinese resturants here, or I could back in the days when I could eat Chinese…), I am just so NOT into having to see every famous site here and visiting a new museum every week… Basically, I have found myself here having to confront life and myself in the city that happens to be Paris, and making the best of it. I knowwwwww!! There are a lot of you that would cut off your left pinky toe to be here! I am so sorry. I’m starting to catch a little of your enthusiasm, though. It is partly this, why this blog exists: I have been having to teach myself to CARE about this city and find what it is in it for me, I’ve been having some success at doing that, and I wanted to share it with anyone out there who wants to be bothered to read.
My unique angle is also that I learned while here that I am gluten-intolerant. Gluten-intolerant in a city that is based on the almighty baguette and famous for its wheat-laden pastries. Heh! That’s karma for ya! Not only has it taken me a whole year to begin to feel friendly towards this city, but now its a kick in the pants from her that I cannot partake of a major part of her fame: the cuisine. It’s so typical of a French woman (as PJ would attest having been married to and dated a few of them): they can be really manipulative and vengeful. Kind of bitchy, those French women.
Oh god, now I have insulted a slew of my (potential) French women readers. I have found, though, that once a woman can be friends with a French woman, once she passes her tests and hurdles, they are most kind and beautiful.
Read this blog by a French man for more on this topic: http://askafrenchman.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-are-french-women-such-bitches.html and this: http://askafrenchman.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-have-heard-that-french-women-are-not.html
Let’s just sum this up by saying that I have desired to enter a friendship with Paris, on her terms and mine, too. It’s taking a while for the both of us to warm to one another.
LE PUIT de LEGUMES
I did warm at my experience here: Le Puit de Légumes.
On 4 July, 2009 (Happy Independence Day!) I lunched with my friend, Tess, at the Les Puits de Legumes at 18, rue Cardinal Lemoine, 75005, Paris. A vegetarian, macrobiotic restaurant with gluten-free dishes as well, the Les Puits de Légumes was a *delight.* Friendly, warm, accommodating, and very home-like, I was served large portions at a reasonable cost. I was allowed by the management to take photos, and so I did.
It was a delightful lunch!
From Google Maps
A customer review here: http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=15504 (English)
and here: http://www.fra.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/le-puit-de-legumes_200090813/Avis-Lieu?comm=326165 (French)
Photos of the restaurant interior:
The wonderful rooibos/hibiscus tea I drank. Such pretty cups!
YUM! Lovely soy vanilla cream dessert! Yes, I react to soy, but I thought I would try it anyways. Soy just mostly makes me achy, and I can tolerate a few aches for something this delicious.
My friend Tess enjoying her dessert tart.
Me, about to dig into the vanilla cream…
I had the Entrée salade aux avocat et pamplemousse (a lunch-sized salad with avocado and grapefruit) for 7 €, une bol de riz complet (a generous bowl of brown rice) for 5 €, jus de pamplemousse (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice) at about 4 € 50, I believe it was, crème soja vanille san sucre (a soy creme dessert without added sugar), 3 € 80, and thé rooibos à l’hibiscus (roobois and hibiscus tea), 4 €.
The proprietaire was very aware of the need for some to eat gluten-free and aware of food preparation to accomodate, she was most kind and helpful, spoke a small amount of English (plus my friend, Tess, is pretty much fluent in the language), and I loved the experience of not having to worry about what to eat!
Le Puit de Légumes is open from noon to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday.
Please, please eat at Le Puit de Légumes! They deserve to be in business for a long time.
PLACES TO SEE IN THE 5Th
The restarant is located in the 5th arrondissement, and is close to these locations for touring/sighseeing:
ANOTHER MINERALOGICAL MUSEUM
Not to be confused with the mineralogy museum above, and in the 6th arr., but not *too* far from M° Cardinal-Lemoine, on the west side of Le Panthéon and just to the east of Le Jardin du Luxembourg is the Musée de la Mineralogie (English information here: http://www.eng.cityvox.fr/visit_paris/musee-de-mineralogie_31198/profile-place ). You can hop back on line 10 from Jussieu or Cardinal Lemoine and go to M° Cluny la Sorbonne or Odéon and walk from those stops, or hop on the RER B and get off at Luxembourg. It’s in the l’Ecole des Mines de Paris (like, *really* inside. You go in the main entrance off of 60, Blvd St-Michel, follow the signs (or ask someone who is in the halls, as we did). It’s on the 1st floor (which is the second floor, after the ground floor, which is “how it is done” here). It’s a little gem (heh, heh) of a museum, and while not big and sexy like most of Paris’ museums, it is a working museum (researchers were doing research as we looked around) and feels like something out of a movie with the old display cases, beautiful windows, and amazing examples of minerals. It looks like a place where Indiana Jones might have worked when not off on an adventure. Okay, well, the geologist version of Indiana Jones.
I hope to blog about this museum separately as I brought my “belle-fille” (almost step-daughter) there one afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and we were delighted with the museum. I thought I would list it here briefly as it is not too far from Le Puit de Légumes.
(Sadly, I have not yet uploaded the photos from the Musée de Mineralogie as of today, but I will get there!)
The restaurant is close to a lot of other Left Bank (Rive Gauche) sights as well (Le Panthéon, for example), but I have been to these four places and have photosets of pictures I have taken at my Flickr page.
I’m still trying to remember that Rive Gauche is to the south of the Seine. Tess and I were debating about how it is “Left” (facing from *where*? Isn’t “left” or “right” relative to some point?) while we happened on a brocante (http://www.brocantesfrance.com/ and http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2006/09/la_brocante.html) after our lunch.
Thanks for tuning in!
Over and out.