vendredi, mai 25, 2007

Carla&Friends Day 7: Repairs and Bistro Food

NOTE: I also went out to La Scène Bastille for a techno event, but I'll blog that in a separate entry, since it may take me a while to have that one ready.

I hauled my ass out of bed early to head over to the girls' apartment, since the repairperson was supposed to come between 9am and noon. I got there just after 9, with Carla the only person awake. We hung around the apartment, checked mail, drank tea, and generally killed time. Once the rest of the team was up, they began debating what to do during the day. As before, this was a rather complicated discussion.

A short while later (and surprisingly early), the repair guy showed up at our door. I took him into the kitchen and showed him the washer/dryer. There wasn't much to say or explain, and the visit was pretty short. He looked and the handle and said, "Yep, it's broken," and then pronounced that he needed to order the piece and come back. Yay. In the meanwhile, however, he managed to pry open the laundry machine, which still had a good amount of my clothes trapped, and then ran some twine around the door latch to create a makeshift handle. After a few minutes of practicing opening the door and digging up the warranty, the repairman was on his way.

My laundry had been sitting in the machine, half-moist, for several days, so it clearly needed another wash to remove the musty smell. I sent the girls off to do their day of tourism at the Tuileries and that whole area, and I settled in to do laundry and work on my laptop (which I had rather wisely brought with me).

By the time the dinner hour rolled around, the girls had returned and we began planning dinner. One of the group was too pooped and headed straight to bed, but the rest of us headed off in the direction of métro Faidherbe-Chaligny to find something to eat. There was this well-known Argentinian steak house called Unico, which I really liked; however, it's become too well-known, since it won an award on LeFooding, so we weren't able to get a table. We headed further up the street to look for Bistro Paul Bert (another venerable bistro), and they were closed for renovations. I finally looked for Vieux Chêne, but the place was nowhere to be found (I later learned that it was on another side-street), so we settled for a place near the métro station called Le Baradeur.

The food was surprisingly good, considering the rather kitschy cuban-nostalgia décor. Carla and our other companion shared a warm chèvre salad (goat cheese), while I had a ham quiche. After that, Carla got a bavette a l'échalote, which is a strip steak that is cooked and then covered with minced shallots just before serving, which sweats the shallots and gives a particular flavor. In this case, they brought out the meat unseasoned with the shallots on the side as a sort of cream sauce. Our other companion got the pork chop with a camembert sauce, and I got a simple faux-filet (sirloin) with fries. The fries were the real celebrity of the bistro, which were crispy and golden and fresh.

By dessert, we were pretty full and I wasn't in the mood to stuff myself with food (had to go clubbing later), so all three of us shared a slice of tarte tatin (Frenchy apple pie). From there, we headed back to the subway and back to the apartment. From the apartment, Carla and one of her friends decided to walk me to the subway station. About halfway there, a low-lying dark gray cloud rolled over our heads and turned off the sun. The wind started picking up, and we began to see lightning in the distance. At that point, Carla and her friend decided that it would be best to turn around. By the time I was one block from my station, the heavens opened. I made it to the station only mildly wet, but that was mostly thanks to my deft ducking between awnings and outcroppings. On the métro train home, I saw people getting on the train who were sopping wet, and by the time I got out at my station, things were a complete mess. I waited a few minutes for things to clear up, then gave up and made a mad dash. I headed back to my place, changed into more dance-friendly gear, waited until around half-past midnight, and then headed back out towards Bastille...

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