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Back from Paris, where we had a busy but spectacular couple of days this week…there may be no prettier city than Paris at Christmastime. We weren't feeling particularly like we were in the Christmas spirit until we took a stroll up and down the Champs d’Elysee…

And by the way, let us put to rest the notion that all Parisians hate Americans and that they are cold and haughty even on their best days. From cab drivers to hotel clerks, from people in stores to waiters and waitresses, we found everyone to be absolutely delightful - and we don't speak any French aside from "merci" and "bonjour." But you'll hear no complaints about Paris and Parisians from this quarter…

As for the food and wine…we didn’t have a lot of time to eat and drink, but we did go with friends to this wonderful restaurant, Brasserie Balzar, next to the Sorbonne on the Left Bank…

There we had oysters with a vinegar and shallot dressing, followed by Andouillette with unbelievably creamy mashed potatoes and spinach. Now, for those who do not know (and we didn’t until this week), Andouillette is tripe sausage…and just wonderful. We washed the whole thing down with an amazing bottle of Beaujolais, a 2002 Chateau des Tours Brouilly…and dessert (definitely not on the Atkins Diet) was Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce.


Last week we were eating chilaquiles and drinking Pinot Noir at Francis Ford Coppola's café in San Francisco. This week, it was Andouillette and Brouilly on the Left Bank in Paris.

If we ever complain about our life, people should just smack us around. Because between this stuff and actually making a living as a writer, we are having entirely too much fun to ever complain about anything.

By the way, because we were curious about the Brouilly, we did a little research and found out that this wine is different from the ubiquitous Beaujolais Nouveau that we see this time of year in that it has been aged, and it comes from one of ten villages in France where the wine is considered so exceptional that they carry the village's name, not the region's.

And, in case we've captured your imagination, you can out more about the tripe sausage at:

Cheers! And have a great weekend.
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