Paris, Day 2 – Notre Dame, A Mouse, Friends, & Food (Obvi)!
Before we get started I want to reply to Estefania, who emailed me yesterday.
Estefania, thank you so much for your lovely email! I replied but my email to you bounced back so I don’t think you received it! Yes, I’d love to meet you and have a meal with you before I leave Paris. I’m only here until tomorrow afternoon. If you happen to read this before dinner tonight, please let me know, we’ll be at Le Potager du Marais in a bit! xo :)
Moving right along…
We started day two with a beautiful meal at Voy Alimento, a vegan restaurant that was recommended to us by my lovely friend, Aurelia d’Andrea (award winning journalist and author of Living Abroad in France). Aurelia also met up with us here as this is one of her favorite vegan restaurants in Paris. And as it turns out, this restaurant is by far the best one we’ve been to in Paris so far. The decor is cozy, the service is wonderful, and the food is…I don’t even know how to describe it other than to say…unique, creative, healthy, wholesome, filling, and delicious. Magnifique!
They also sell take-away items, which can be purchased right in the restaurant (pics below, in the barrels). Our server, Carolina explained that the idea of Voy Alimento is to introduce unique and healthy ingredients, like aloe, jojoba, acai, urucum (shrub or small tree from the tropical region of the Americas), nopal (prickly pear cactus), lucuma (subtropical fruit of Andean origin, native to southern Ecuador, Peru, and Chile), and aguaymanto (similar to ground cherries) into meals, demonstrate how they are used, and provide these ingredients so you can then learn to use them when cooking at home. Cool!
Voy Alimento – 100% vegan & organic
23 Rue Des Vinaigiriers
Paris France 75010
Carolina (our server) was so kind and did a wonderful job of explaining everything about our food – what we were eating, how it was prepared, and where it came from. I honestly don’t recall all of the details, which is a shame, and the website is in French so I’m afraid I won’t be able to provide too many details about what we had. But I did squeeze in a few notes and hopefully Carolina or Aurelia would be so kind as to leave a comment below about the delicious, delicious food we had here! ;)
It was also neat to learn that Carolina is not only a server and chef at Voy Alimento, but she’s also studying Yoga while living in Paris, and has done quite a bit of traveling. You can read all about her adventures on The Global Yogini!
Let’s get to the food, shall we?! :)
We started with some samples of cactus, raw cacao, and a berry-like fruit. All very good!
Here we have a “vegan milkshake” (on the left) – acai, banana, and two other unique fruits (I think!). The flavor is really interesting and hard to describe. It was smoother than a traditional milkshake, not thick or creamy but more like juice. It was light and a bit sweet. Delicious! On the right is an amazingly tasty juice… oh man, I wish I could remember what it was called. Gah. It’s so good!
Each of us ordered a similar dish, which included a little bit of everything: some tofu, “cereal,” grains, beans, salad, sweet potato, and a mix of other absolutely so super delicious–I’ve never had anything like this before–ingredients.
Same thing goes for dessert–Carolina? Aurelia? :) — I’m pretty sure these tasty morsels were raw, definitely chocolatey, and certainly very good!
Chris is good at finding cats. Voy Alimento had two wandering around. Aurelia told us that it’s common for restaurants to have cats because they keep other critters away. And if you’re super touristy–‘OMG a kitty’–like us, it always helps to draw in new customers. Maybe. ;)
After our super filling and delicious meal we headed to Notre Dame. Woo! We walked around inside, on the first floor. Beautiful! Unfortunately the upper levels were closed but we’re planning to go back tomorrow to continue the touristy part. In the meantime, PICS! :)
Petite souris! Petite souris! While standing outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral I noticed a few people giggling and pointing at the ground. Upon closer inspection I saw this little fell’er. A little mouse!!!!!!! The growing crowd ‘ooh’d and aah’d’ over this lil’ guy for several minutes. Kids were following him around, people were taking pictures and video. Thankfully no one was out to do any harm but simply coo over this adorable creature.
Chris noted that this is a perfect example of how humans naturally interact to other animals – with adoration. We’re drawn to nurture, not to harm as much of society has taught us. When following our natural instincts we don’t think of these creatures as food. It’s just that simple. (I also have a short video of this little mousey. Will upload soon!) Look at those little toesies! Eeee!
After Notre Dame we met up with Rachael, another good friend of mine who is currently residing in Paris. Rachael and I both attended Emerson College in Boston for grad school. Following her own dreams, after grad school Rachael moved to Paris and is working on staying long-term. She also happens to be on the verge of veganism (go Rach, you can do it!!! :) and joined us for dinner, after some delicious wine.
Apparently dinner in Paris typically starts around 8(ish)…well, for the cool kids anyway. So after sitting for an hour or two, for pre-dinner wine, we headed to the next restaurant on our list, Saveurs Veget’Halles, known for its traditional French-style, vegan cuisine.
Saveurs Veget’Halles – 100% vegan
41 Rue des Bourdonnais
Paris, France 75001
The inside cover of the restaurant’s menu describes vegetarianism, veganism, and what it means to live a vegan lifestyle. Neat! Oh and I don’t know how I forgot to mention this in yesterday’s post, but “vegan” in French is “végétalien,” FYI. I just like that it includes the word ‘alien.’
We started with a light pate which I’m pretty sure was supposed to be a vegan version of foie gras. It was pretty good. Kind of reminded me of chilled veggie burger. The caramelized onions on top added a nice bit of sweetness. Everyone tried everyone’s food – for main courses we had a grainy meat-loaf style dish, brochettes de kebab végétal (chicken kebabs – my favorite of the three dishes), and chicken-like cutlets.
For dessert “plan d’accés,” we had the crème chocolat & noisette (chocolate mousse with creme), the gâteau au chocolat et banane (chocolate cake with banana), and a cheesecake-like strawberry dessert. Nom.
And finally, some more touristy pics! jouir de!
I’ve got another two days left in beautiful Paris. More updates to come!! xo