It felt like my computer was sick. But I scanned and no virus. During one of the more sluggish checkups I ran across the street to grab a baguette – and worried over both it and my computer for the whole day. By dinnertime I'd eaten the whole thing – without even really being conscious of it.
Oh sure I was aware that it was a good baguette – regular, not too well-baked, crispy crust, chewy interior – I think a good baguette has more in common with a good bagel than just about any other kind of bread you can find in the States.
But by dinnertime I needed more carbs – I'm sure this is freaking out the Atkins people – I needed more comfort carbs.
This whole thing with my computer had me so at a loss – I was mentally preparing myself to lose two whole years of work. Not that I would – I have been backing up. But not in the last few months – I know stupid. Lesson learned.
So comfort carbs – Paris. Another baguette? Pommes puree? Buttered noodles? No – fries. Not frites – not bistro frites – like pommes Pont Neuf – named for the bridge where they were supposedly once sold as street food – the thick-cut, twice-fried fries – golden and crispy on the outside – tender and moist in the inside. But fries – French fries – McDonald's French fries.
Grace was in the middle of packing so Karli and I offered to walk over – the nearest one was at La Motte Picquet-Grenelle – and bring it back.
Karli and I cut across the Champ de Mars – and were followed by a runaway yellow Lab boy dog. His owner shouted at us to stop. When he caught up – rather than thank us/me for stopping – he explained to us that we had needed to stop otherwise his dog would have followed us. When he asked me "Comprenez?"- in that imperious way that translates worldwide as "Did you understand that – you little Asian peasant girl – you?" I shot back – yeah, I understood. I understood that he and his dog needed a leash – and to learn how to behave – and that next time he should thank someone who stops so he can catch up to his ill-behaved dog. Thinking back at it now I guess someone was feeling a lit-tle bit cranky. We both went running off – leaving them both in our dust.
Got to McDonald's. Again – another reason I love this country – I can walk into McDonald's with my dog. Get with it Starbucks! I order a Big Mac Maxi Menu for Grace – which is basically a supersized meal – a Royale Cheese for me – we all do remember Pulp Fiction I'm guessing – a hamburger nature for Karli – a plain hamburger – a 20 piece Nuggets and an extra order of fries. Hey. It's not often I go to McDonald's so give me a break on the McNuggets.
The plain hamburger always throws them off – around the world – not just France – so Karli and I busied ourselves gathering napkins and straws. It's a rare treat to take as many napkins and straws as you want in Europe.
Our order's finally packed and they hand over two little shopping bags. I check that we have both the Sauce Moutarde and Orientale for the Nuggets and we're off.
We duck down into the Metro but it's not coming so with the heat quickly dissipating from our food we practically run back across the park – and get home with just enough retained heat to avoid the microwave.
They gave us plenty of Sauce Pommes-Frites – which is kind of a relish-y mayo – but I forgot to ask for ketchup. Luckily we have our own Heinz – but in any case the ketchup in France tends to be a lot less sweet than that in the states – not not as good but not what I want in a ketchup.
There's a promotion going on right now for different kinds of cheeseburgers – I think it was emmental last week – I should have gotten that. The Royale Cheese was thick and meaty – much more so than I remember Quarter-Pounders in the States – but the meat was gristly in an alarming mystery meat kind of a way. Ironic too because in French gastronomic menus royale refers to something that has foie gras in it. Need I say that this did not? The Nuggets and fries suffered most from the walk – not nearly hot enough to enjoy the primary reason for eating them – that they're deep-fried.
What wouldn't I give for In-N-Out sometimes – cheeseburger – no spread – with raw onions – fries well-done – Neapolitan shake.
Next time – I should just take the Metro over to the 5th and get a sandwich Grecque avec frites – which is a gyros sandwich piled high with fries. With the pita – now that's serious comfort carbs.