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I had the pleasure of meeting Lou for the first time at this snazzy little joint, right in front of the Gare de Lyon. It’s a bar that looks like any other, a brasserie, filled with beer lovers, hungry people or people waiting for someone special at the train station. However, L’Express de Lyon isn’t just like every other brasserie… they’ve got heaps of delicious beer on tap.

We gave many a try, going from light to dark, and I just wanted to try them all. Alas, we were reasonable! As for the beers on draft, there are some that are more and more common to find in France, like Rogue, was on the list at L’Express amongst various other European beers (Belgian, French, Danish…). I was particularly excited to discover the Outland Brasserie, a microbrewery in Bagnolet (Eastern Paris) and their American Pale Ale, Home, this evening, which was refreshing and delicious with just the right amount of smooth. We gave Mikkeller’s Wheat is the New Hops a whirl, which was mighty tasty, and some of the Rogues: Hazelnut Brown Nectar and the Double Chocolate Stout (the kind of beer I always find myself savoring for the end).

I have a lot more to learn, but I am loving discovering some of the French and Ile de France breweries these past few weeks. More adventures to come, and stay tuned for my homebrew adventures.

L’Express de Lyon
1 Rue de Lyon, 75012
Tél: 01 43 43 21 32
Métro: Gare de Lyon (1, 14)

camion-qui-fume-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-01Burger Trucks, and other trucks, took Paris by storm last year (or maybe before? I don’t remember exactly when). I think they are fantastic. I’ll admit I’ve been loyal to the Camion Qui Fume (the first food truck in France) because it’s spots for lunch just happen to coincide with where I am. I have had the luxury of having them for lunch several times at Madeleine, where there are many hungry workers like myself, and also at the Porte Maillot stop one weekend. The line is always insane, and part of the experience is indeed accepting that you will be hungry, waiting for a burger for quite some time. Speed doesn’t seem to be a part of their philosophy, but boy are their burgers delicious and well worth the wait. It’s always a win at Camion Qui Fume.

I look forward to the sun rays when the long line won’t matter because being outside in the sun is so lovely. On the steps of Madeleine, at the Point Ephémère on the Canal Saint Martin or at the BFM…. bingo.

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They also have a book!

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Lately I’ve been slightly drowning a bit. Transitions are in the happenings and I’ve been trying to find motivation to get out and do things on the weekends, to maintain the social aspect of my life and discovering cozy new places in this fantastic city. I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to go to places that are just good at what they do. Places I can go away from home where I can just enjoy myself with no expectations of awesomeness or from hype. Just genuineness. It’s not as easy as it seems, eh? I find myself going somewhere because that is where everyone is going and sometimes after I leave, I think to myself, “I wonder if I’ll go back there”. How sad is that? Marlette stood out to me in many ways for its genuineness, so I had been quite anxious to check out their café for a little while, especially since I find their mixes so precious and clever. This particular day in question was filled with sun rays and surprisingly warm temperatures, so rolling out of bed to go and stroll through the 9th and see some girlfriends seemed like a bright idea.

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Café Marlette is a the new kid on the block of the rue des Martyrs, mand seems to be on everyone’s “to stop by” list lately. Marlette is at its origins a little brand sold across Paris, with little kits for baking delicious things (including gluten free kits!), created and run by 2 sisters. Their café features a section with all they’ve got to offer, and also a place for a delicious little breakfast. Lali, Faye, Anja and I decided to go one weekend morning.

We saw that it opened at 10am, so gave ourselves rendez-vous at this time (I am that asshole who is totally not in the mood to wait at a busy place), but we quickly found out that the kitchen only opens at 11am (not sure if that was communicated somewhere? I couldn’t find it). This little misunderstanding actually turned out for the best as the little fresh as can be breakfast menu was just perfect : a hot bevvie (coffee from Coutume), fresh juice, a fromage blanc or other little sweet treat, and a pastry of choice for 12 euros. I’ll just mention here that their banana bread is what the French would call a “tuerie”, incredibly delicious. As 11 o’clock rolled around and the wave of brunchers came in, we realized that the little breakfast was just we needed and that the brunch actually didn’t really seem worth it’s buck.

I’ll save my brunch frustrations in a later post.

I’d like to go back to Café Marlette for a goûter, a little snack and coffee with a dear one. The space is illuminous and minimalistic, cozy and modern, with precious finishing touches every left and right.

Check out Lali’s review on Café Marlette here.

Café Marlette
51 rue des Martyrs, 75009
Tél: 01.48.74.89.73
Métro: Pigalle (12/2), Saint Georges (12)

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Gratin is one of my favorite things. I love casseroles. Basically anything involving heaps of flavors cooked with cheese has always been my calling. I’m pretty sure it all started with discovering broccoli cheddar casserole at Thanksgivings. One weekend for a game night at home with friends, Olivia threw together a casserole with some veggies from the in-law’s garden and it was magic.

Gratins are easy dishes that just require only an oven and all of your favorite ingredients. That’s another reason I love them, they are so simple! For this recipe we went with kale, butternut squash and potato, topped with cheese, obviously.

What you’ll need :
A pan or two
Butter
2 handfuls of kale
1 sweet potato
1 zucchini
2 medium-sized potatoes
3 cloves of garlic cut up
Grated cheese (I prefer Emmental or Cantal)
Salt & pepper
Spices (Paprika, Herbs)

Directions:
Cook the butternut squash, zucchini and potatoes prior to baking. Chop the squash, potatoes and kale up. Butter your pan and layer in the ingredients (I always start with potatoes). Throw in your garlic, salt, pepper, and spices in between the layers. You can also put cheese in between layers if you’re a cheese lover. Once approaching the top of the pan, leave at least 1cm to pile on some cheese to bake and add that extra gratin goodness. Bake the gratin until all cheese is melted and the top is golden brown. Serve while hot, and enjoy.

Cooks for 6-8 hungry people, plus leftovers (I’m bad at judging quantity). It’s easy to go overboard, but it saves well for a couple of days.