Saturday, June 5, 2010

French Filling

Some people make it a point to get to Paris every year. In the absence of that possibility, I make it a point to get to Nicole's in South Pasadena whenever I want a taste of France.

Now, before anyone outs me I'll admit I practically starved in Paris. I didn't know how to order what I wanted. It's scandalous to say so, but I'm not crazy about a lot of French foods. (I once told this to a foodie friend and it made her cry.)

But I can handle French bread--lots of it. I love macarons--in fact, just about any French pastry will be fine, merci beaucoup. And you won't hear me complain about French chocolate.

Nicole's has all these things, plus sandwiches, coffee and a little French grocery, too. Though it's a bit too far from the Louvre to be perfect, I've never left there hungry.

27 comments:

Gunn said...

We have a French speaking Arab in Stavanger who import French cakes. It is a popular place to go, but sometimes the cakes are still frozen or they are very dry.... Anyway, I still think the best French food is in France..... or a couple of places near "The Royal Academy of Arts" in London.....

feliciaelena said...

It STILL makes me cry ;) But Nicole's is our virtual Paris. And to love them is to redeem my tears. Their pate is so luscious.

Petrea said...

Hi Gunn. Your French speaking Arab sounds like a good guy and you're fortunate to have him. We're lucky to have Nicole, too. She imports many things, and she makes the pastries here.

Ha ha, Felicia, you recognized yourself! I do love Nicole's. The first time I went there was for your springtime lunch! Everyone I know loves their paté but me, but that's not saying anything--I don't like anyone's paté. They have a spectacular beet salad, though. Carrot salad, too.

Greg Sweet said...

MMM! French Fries.

Actually, I was once sous chef to a Frenchman in the Bay Area and I asked him what his favorite food is. Without hesitation he said "McDonald's french fries." We cooked the fancy stuff, but we didn't eat it.

J+P said...

"The Grande Armée travels on its stomach," but Napoleon only made it past the Maginot Line because it didn't exist yet. Give me the potatoes of Stalingrad before a torte vapeur.

Katie said...

Such an enticing photo! Just my sort of shop as I'm a sucker for sweets. Funny that as French macarons are starting to become popular in the US, cupcakes are becoming the hot new trend in Paris.

Virginia said...

Ok, confession is good for the soul. Here's my dirty little French secret.......I don't like paté. None of it! And for the record, they can't (don't) cook a hamburger worth a damn either. That said, fill up my bag with bread, cheese and wine, and toss in some pain au chocolat and I'm a happy Parisian camper.

We're off to Nicole's on my next visit!
V

mark said...

I think I shall join you for lunch.

Petrea said...

I just want you all to imagine what it's like to be married to someone whose every other word challenges you to run to the dictionary or the encyclopedia.

I didn't know cupcakes were hot in Paris.

Virginia, I wish I liked the cheeses. I like a lot of cheeses, but unfortunately not the French fromage I've tasted.

Bellis said...

Your photo is beautiful - I wish I could afford to try all those delicious looking desserts. There's another place close by that has lovely macarons for a fraction of the price - Trader Joe's. I can eat a pack of 12 all by myself.

Your husband made me turn to Google Translate for torte vapeur, but it didn't help. And let's not forget that Napoleon is responsible for margarine.

Lisa Carosa and Tim Sivils said...

Ooooh, that looks good. May have to take a drive out there soon! ~ Lisa ~

altadenahiker said...

Trade you my macacrons for your pate and brie.

Mister Earl said...

Yes, I could manage on pate and brie for awhile, although I don't know what my arteries would say. Got some nice brie samples at Bristol today.

WV: hydroma. High drama.

Paula L. Johnson said...

If I'm thinking of the same place, there is a great cheese selection. Of course, I recently found out Whole Foods carries Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, so I'm doomed.

Ms M said...

Looks heavenly! I think a sampler plate with just a taste of each would be superb, along with a glass of good wine.

J+P said...

Bellis, it's my own portmanteau -- literally, "a cake of steam [or gas]," a martial delicacy invariably served to the stooges on the front line whenever they're called to again become hamburger for the state. C.f. croque du merde.

Karen said...

I adore Nicole's! Bistro de la Gare, next door, is fantastic also, though you might not like it if you don't like French food, Petrea.

Nicole's sells bags of frozen pastries, like apple and chocolate turnovers and croissants, that are to die for. You just pop them in your oven or toaster oven for 15-18 minutes and it's like you made your own flaky, delicious desserts.

I've never seen these anywhere else so I'm thinking they make them in house.

Petrea said...

I like Bistro de la Gare. I can always find something on any menu, as long as I can read it. And I do know some French, but I need to learn more food words.

Hiker, maybe you didn't have the caramel with sea salt. That'll change your tune.

Bellis said...

J, I read marital delicacy instead of martial and wondered what you were serving Petrea.

J+P said...

Yes, well, there are some conversations you can't draw me into, virtual or no.

Shell Sherree said...

I was tempted to leave Bellis and J with the last word, but I can't look at this French-ness and not say anything. So... I'm glad you can have a little piece of your Paris dream by visiting here, Petrea, to tide you over until you get back to the real one.

Petrea said...

Oh, and I especially miss Paris today of all days, Shell, with our friends from Paris Daily Photo getting together beside the Seine for a picnic!
http://www.parisdailyphoto.com/

Virginia said...

Oh there you go. Bring up the picnic that everyone in Paris was unwilling to postpone for a week of so till I could get there. I'm having to work through all that with my therapist, Pierre! :)

And just a little teaser, I happen to have some HOMEMADE macarons in my frig thank you very much. Perhaps that photo will run tomorrow for all my dear sweet Frenchies.
Virg

Petrea said...

I would have waited for you, Virginia. They don't know what they're missing.

Haddock said...

Ha ha ....would like to meet that foodie friend who cried (cried?)

Petrea said...

Hello, Haddock! Welcome. Meet Felicia.

Natalie said...

This picture is making me drool. I have such a sweet tooth right now.