Yoony Eats Paris: Falstaff Bastille
Boy and I arrived in Charles de Gaulle airport all bundled up and ready for the cold weather. After lugging our luggage around the busy place, busing it to the metro, then transferring, then transferring again, we finally arrived at our last stop - Bastille. As fast and effectively as we could, we rolled our fat luggage over the small sidewalk, making sure not to run over any pedestrians, to our flat which was only a block away.
When we got to the door there was a piece of paper addressed to us taped to the door - a quiz for the passcode to open the gate door. The first clue: "The San Francisco __ers". 49! Whoa, I got that one right. Impressive. Second clue: "First and second letter of A's last name". My mind was well onto a Jeopardy fantasy when Boy pulled out a piece of paper and said "I think we got the code right here". Trivia dreams shattered, I stepped inside the gate to a quaint courtyard with a cute lil shining Christmas tree and a cute lil orange kitty walkin around. Tres adorable! Je t'aime beaucoup!
We walked through the courtyard excited to finally arive, making loud unintentional noises caused by our luggage rolling over the stony ground. Suddenly a window on the second floor flung open and N greeted us with a "bonjour!" [Possibly that was a "hi guys" but we'll go with "bonjour" to keep it frenchy].
The flat was charming with warm tones, painting of all sorts, and kids bedrooms. Maybe a little dusty and dingy but nevertheless charming. I believe the building itself was made in the 16th century or so. It was lovely how the residential area was kept to itself inside the secret courtyard, separated from the street by only a metal door to unassuming passersby. It reminded me of a travel show episode on Lyon, which has all sorts of secret passageways and streets that also house residences. Simply, it's just so cool! I like the sense of mystery and romance to it.
Anyhow, after quickly nourishing ourselves with a biere blanche and British crisps we picked up at Heathrow airport where we connected from, we headed out for dinner. Wow was Boy excited when he found out that the highly beeradvocate-rated bar Falstaff Bastille was right down the street. After a short minutes walk we arrived at the bar. Quickly looking over their menu that was displayed outside I saw croque monsieur on it. Croque monsieur by the way is a French ham and cheese sandwich made with ham, gruyere and bechamel. A croque madame is just that but topped prettily with a fried egg.
I've made it two times now. The monsieur back in November '05 for a dinner party I threw for my brother. And a madame for Boy's recent birthday dinner. But I've never had it anywhere else so this first chance to try it in Paris, where the dish first popped up on a menu back in 1910 (answers.com), was quite exciting.
When we walked in it was crazy smoky in there. Then the beer menu came and basically blew our mittens off when we saw their prices. I ordered the Hoegaarden Grand Cru which was 9 euros which came out to about $13!!! The witbier was delicious though with flavors of coriander and warm spices. Its ABV is 8.70%, much higher than its originial Hoegaarden White Ale whose ABV sits at a modest 4.9%. The flavor of Grand Cru reminds me a lot of Unibroue's La Fin du Monde, except that it is less coriander-y. Delicious! Boy ordered the Grain D'Orge Biere de Garde for a whoppin 13 euros.
(sorry for the horrible picture. not only was the place smoky but we were put in a really dark corner)
Sadly the croque madame I ordered was just okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the delicious mouth-watering croque madame I was looking forward to. Ok maybe I set my goals too high for a place that is supposed to be a good beer bar, not a good cafe or bistro. But it did its job to fill up my hungry and well-travelled tummy. I was more partial to the delicious Hoegaarden Grand Cru though.
Here's Boy's review of Falstaff: click here.