Monday, November 21, 2016

Paul, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris

Paul is a chain of bakery-cafes in France.  I saw them on what seemed like every other street corner in Paris, nearly as prevalent as Starbucks in the US.  Given the large selection of tiny, local bakeries, I had no intention of actually going to a chain like Paul, but on our last night in Paris, we stayed at the Sheraton at the airport since we had an early morning flight, and our dining options were a bit limited.  If this story sounds familiar, that is because I also went to McDonald's there, and actually enjoyed my Croque McDo!

The afternoon before our grand McDonald's adventure though, Ojan wanted a easy lunch to take up to the hotel room, so he went down to the terminal, and came back with a sandwich and a salad from Paul.

Only after he came back, did I do a little research. Paul was started in 1889!  Now that is an impressive chain history.  They have locations in many other places now, including all over Europe, China, Japan, and a few in the US.  They have >400 worldwide now.

Paul serves cafe basics like sandwiches, soups, and salads, plus French classics like quiche and crepes, and an assortment of viennoiserie, cakes, tarts, and macarons.  Oh, and a lot of bread.

I was a bit disappointed that Ojan didn't come back with baked goods, but he tends to be the responsible one when visiting a bakery.

It was better than I expected.  Certainly not mind blowing, but better than what I'd imagine to be similar establishments in the US, and the bread quality was high.
Salade PAUL.
"Chicken, parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing, garlic croƻtons, salad, chives."

The salad he picked was the signature salad, the "Salade PAUL", which you and I know as a chicken caesar.

The dressing was all in the bottom of the container, which I think is actually nice, since it didn't make the entire thing soggy.  Keeping it separate however would be an improvement.

The lettuce wasn't really very fresh, lots of brown edges.  It had assorted types of lettuce, not just romaine, perhaps what makes this something other than a caesar?

There were two types of cheese, one was the promised parmesan, large shreds.  It was good enough. The other though, seemed to be tons of shredded generic American ... or white cheddar ... or mozzarella seeming cheese.  It had no real flavor.

I didn't try the grilled chicken since I don't like chicken.

So far, nothing interesting here.  Except, the croutons.  They were small little croutons.  Well seasoned.  Super garlicky.  Super oily.  Incredibly flavorful.  Delicious.

Ojan never ended up eating this salad, as he got way too much food, so I devoured all the croutons with the shredded parmesan.  Oily, garlicky, delicious.

The salad was also insanely large.  I can't say this is worth getting, but I really enjoyed the croutons.

It was served with a chunk of baguette, also pretty good, but more on that in my sandwich review, as it was the same bread.
Sandwich Savoureux.
"Pain paulette nature (150g), rosette, beurre, cornichons."

Ojan also got a large sandwich.  He opted for the Sandwich Savoureux.  It was a simple sandwich, a classic baguette, filled with huge pats of butter, salami, and cornichons.  Oh so French.

And also, really quite delicious.

The bread was soft inside, crusty outside, and actually better than a lot of the bread we encountered in Paris (not that we were really seeking out basic baguettes for the most part, besides the baguettes from Boulangerie Paul (not Paul, Boulangerie Paul.  You'll see that review soon).

The butter was standard for France, far better than what we get in the US.  The salami was tasty enough.  I loved the cornichons, they were salty, and added a great crunch.

It was simple, it was a sandwich, but, I enjoyed it.
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