May 6th, 2009 06th

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Mes Que Un Club

Tonight was a crazy night. Those of you who follow the beautiful game will understand exactly what I mean. In the return leg of the semi final of the Champions League, FC Barcelona had traveled to London and managed to score a last-gasp goal to book their place in the final against Manchester United in Rome. There’s so much to talk about, it’s ridiculous, but I guess it’s better to leave that for another time.

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The fun part of it, for a neutral like myself that doesn’t really support either team, was that I was surrounded by a large group of Catalans at a bar in Mouffetard. It’s always a lot of fun to be amidst a group of Catalan-speaking football fanatics. And with the way the match ended, the entire bar and neighborhood went WILD. Even though the main idea of living in a city like Paris is to meet and get to know Parisians, it’s still rather entertaining to spend time with a group of people like that. After the game, we all went to another nearby bar for some drinks before I headed back home.

Another striking feature of tonight was getting to know a new area of Paris: Mouffetard and Place Monge – REALLY cool area. There are cobble-stoned narrow streets with bars and restaurant left and right. More importantly, and rather surprisingly, they are (relatively) cheap, which in turn draws a lot of the university crowd, making it an even more interesting area. It’s the kind of zone that surprises you, because you realize what this city is truly capable of. There’s so much to live here, it’s over-whelming.

In an earlier post, I talked about Bip Bip Pizza, who earned my acknowledgment as the best creperie in town. While I stand by my word, I must say that he’s facing tough competition from AUP’TIT GREC. This place is famous and has people lining up to pick up crepes. Don’t bother with the sweet crepes, they’re just as good as in most other places. What makes this place special, are the salee crepes, offering various ingredients including Feta cheese, Mozzarella, and mushrooms. All crepes come accompanied by free onions, tomatoes and lettuce, converting the crepe into a full meal. To top it all off, they’re rather reasonably prices, so it’s definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss.

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So I think everyone should visit the aera at one point, and pick up a egg and cheeses crepe, for example, from AUP’TIT Grec. To get there, just catch line 9 to Place Monge, walk one block down until you cross Rue du Mouffetard. Enjoy!

April 20th, 2009 20th

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Where To Get The Best Crepe In Paris

It’s a pickle, there’s not doubt about that! Probably the toughest question to answer, but when you’ve done your research like I have, you might just find yourself in the position to dare and make the bold and contraversial statement “I have found the best place for crepes in Paris”. I must have had over 20 crepes from 15 different places, and I make accurate observations with each transaction.

Firstly, let’s go over the basics; A Nutella and banana crepe can cost anywhere from 3.50 to 5.50 Euros. And while you can get one practically anywhere, there are a few aspects that you need to pay close attention to when you’re ready to make the investment:

  1. Price: You should not be paying five euros for a crepe, that money should be spent on lunch or on a late-night supper. So stay away from the touristic areas with the high prices
  2. Freshness: A crepe that’s already been made and is piled up and waiting to be heated should not be called a crepe. Take a good look at the joint you’re about to do business with, and make sure he or she doesn’t have a bunch of already-made pies waiting to be sold
  3. Size: Very few areas will actually dare to amend this vital column of the crepe structure, but I have come across it before, and I hope to God no one has to go through the same. Make sure it’s a full crepe, not a two-thirds or half a one
  4. Contents: There’s nothing worse than a full jar of Nutella that only spills a spoonful, that’s something you CANNOT be stingy about. Also, if you’re having bananas, take a peak at the bunch, make sure they’re ripe
  5. Dough: This is actually impossible to tell until you try it yourself, but some places have perfected the mix more than others

Without futher adu, I am proud to anounce the winner of the once-in-a-lifetime Crepe Au Shalaby award: Bip Bip Pizza

bipbippizza

Before you laugh off at the name, or at the fact that it’s a pizzeria, and not a creperie, believe me when I say it is THE BEST crepe you can have. A unique mix, fresh and firm, unlimited Nutella and a full ripe banana (Their egg and cheese is awesome as well), and above all, a rare Parisian smile from the old man as he passes you a piece of heaven, wrapped in a paper envelope and a tissue. All for 3.60 Euros (nuts included) which breaks the record for the cheapest as well.

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Getting there is easy. Just catch the metro to Jussieu (where you’d get off to get to the impressive Arab Institute), and you will find it right infront of you as you exit the station.

You will thank me for this! In fact, I don’t think I should be telling anyone, but I have faith that the old man will stick to his authentic and delicious recipe, without going commercial and over-charging.