Boy, howdy, is it good to be back in the good ‘ol US of A. My wife and I got back from France last weekend around 10pm on Saturday. Crazy, crazy adventures, let me tell you, and most of them were in the airport on the way back. That’s another tale for another time, though.
Paris itself, though was awesome. Great food, great sites to see, unbelievable. However, it was a little colder than this thin-blooded Floridian would have liked. 36 degrees was like the HIGH. Seriously. I mean, penguins don’t live in that kind of craziness. BRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!
Anywho, The Eiffel Tower and the Louve museum are both immensely more impressive in person than anything you would expect. But there are many other, less well-known things to check out while you are in Paris. How about their version of fast food restaurants? Seeing the French version of a McDonald’s Happy Meal…how can that NOT put a smile on your face? How about crazy French supermarkets? They have so much cool crap we don’t get. This is what I’ll show to you in today’s article, a few things that maybe you wouldn’t notice while bopping around the City of Lights.
The first cool place I’ll talk about is the French Supermarket. When we went there, a place called Mona Prix, I found a kaleidescope of items that I’d never seen before. Alot of those items being cheese, but not all. Check out the lovely ladies in the picture to the left. Pretty little maids (i.e. foreign sodas) all in a row. As you can see, Diet Coke is called Coca-Cola Light outside the US. I’ve talked about this phenomena before. In the picture on the far right you can see Coke Light with Lime, which is still available in the US (but not for long). Second from the left you can see Coke Light Sango. It’s orange flavored Diet Coke and it was just released in France. The idea of an orangy aftertaste in Diet Coke is actually orders of magnitude cooler than the actual taste. Have you tried Listerine’s Natural Citrus flavor? That’s what this tastes like. Imagine grabbing a big bottle of Coke Light Sango after walking all over Paris. It’s hot, your thirsty, this orange flavored Diet Coke is gonna taste gooooooooooooooood…until you up-end the bottle and it comes cascading down your throat. It will take a few seconds, then you’re brain will register that you are chugging citrus-y listerine and start gagging and you begin spit-coughing the drink all over yourself. At least, this is what happened to me.
You can also see Pepsi Max and Pepsi Max Citron in the picture. Pepsi Max is just the foreign version of Pepsi One. Pepsi Max Citron is a lemon lime flavored Pepsi Max (obviously). Not bad, but not great.
Our first evening there we were walking down one of the more popular streets, Champs Elysees, looking at the sites and wondering where to eat our first meal. We weren’t ready to sit down in a cafe and order as we were still jet-lagged and unsure of ourselves in our new surroundings. So, we decided to walk into a little pre-made sandwich place called Pomme de Pain and get something quick. Even though this place probably amounted to the French version of Subway, we thought it was cool. Let me tell you, in France, they love their Jambon/Fromage sandwiches (Ham & Cheese). That’s almost all they had on the menu, so we got it. When I bit into my sandwich, though, I had to do a double take because my mind detected something else in my sandwich besides ham and cheese. WHAT WAS THAT, I asked myself? I DON’T KNOW, I answered. So I opened up the bread and I could see that they put butter on the bread. WHAT?! BUTTER?! Let me pause for a moment to let that last statement sink in. Mull it around, consider the implications, CSI-style. Are you finished? Good. That’s right, I said BUTTER was on my ham & cheese sandwich. Why didn’t I think of this? Buttering my ham sandwich? Holy crap, this is GENIUS! Like Edison inventing the electric light or Einstein tinkering with the equation for energy, this is something that can change the course of recorded history. It rocked my totally American face right off my body. If I took a picture of my head right now, you wouldn’t see a face because it was ROCKED clean off my body. For reals.
The next cool thing I noticed was France’s version of a McDonald’s. It’s called…..wait for it……….wait for it…………..Quality Burger Restaurant. Yes, you read that correctly, the Quality Burger Restaurant. See a pic here This particular location in the picture sits right next door to the infamous Moulin Rouge. The coolest thing they have on the menu? Sandwiches they like to call the Double Effect! (see pic to the left) These sandwiches are like two burgers fused together into one. It looks like two burgers french kissing (awww, how appropriate). And you can get different versions, like the Chicken/Fish sandwich, the grilled/fried Chicken, Burger/Chicken sandwich and many other variations. Those French are nothing if not clever.
I really wanted to eat at a Quality Burger restaurant but I had to question the logic in flying to France in order to eat at a fast food burger place. Speaking of, at the French McDonald’s, they had a breakfast menu item called the McCafe. It’s a cup of hot coffee with a raisin pastry rod on the side. Very American-French, like a beret, or French dressing, which, by the way, is just called Dressing in France. haha…just kidding.
Stay tuned, I’ll have more France themed posts in the future.
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