Excitement lives in the air that you breathe on the street of Champs Élysées….every step, every sight, every sound….
A day’s tour and I got the sense of why it’s the most famous street in Paris. Apart from the fact that it holds the monumental Arc de Triomphe, the amount of shops and restaurants on both sides of the road would blow your mind….from casual to high end.
I had to indulge in the restaurant culture even though my friend/ Paris guide (TheFrenchKid) already sounded a warning about things here being generally pricey since it is home to tourists. After browsing through a thousand outside menus with my €40 budget, my taste journey began…..
Léon de Bruxelles was an instant attraction as their adverts are everywhere in Paris….bus stops, train stations….
A Belgian restaurant true to their roots with a first degree in making french fries and mussels.
I got settled in and glanced through the menu with my heart dancing for joy about their lunch deal!
My mouth was first awakened by pretzel crisps.
Then of course I was having their speciality, mussels and fries which came with a bowl of salad and basket of bread. Oh happy day! A few moments must have passed as I admired the arrangement in front of me, had the waiter leave the lid on.
It’s not every day you have a pot of mussels to yourself! Then I finally opened it up savoring each steam-y moment, it was indeed filled with these glorious looking creatures….
Dripping from each shell was a sauce of butter, shallots, white wine and parsley which earned some bread soaking. Yes, this meal was worth whatever hype….couldn’t think of the words to do the explanation justice but it was simply fresh, juicy and flavorful. Using both hands, I devoured each piece lovingly.
The french fries were another delight, believe me when I tell you that achieving perfectly fried potatoes can be difficult but Léon did me a bucket filled with all perfect ones….pretty color, creamy interior, crunchy exterior. Even though I couldn’t finish it all, I took a bite of every single strip to confirm that they lived up to my expectations. As a not so big fan of salads, I only used the veggies as a break in between my favorites but I must say, the dressing was tasty.
Up next was dessert….My first crème brûlée in France and every spoonful was a reminder that it was indeed a French classic.Let’s take a moment to appreciate the caramel layer. Just when I thought that was the best part, I slit open the hardness and my spoon slid into the smoothest custard, very rich, very delicious. The urge to order another bowl was suppressed by a reminder that I needed to experience other things.
A few details apart from the food made my Léon experience an amazing one….The very relaxed restaurant layout and colorful design. Peep the traditionally dressed women on the wall….I was left with imaginations of Belgium in the early times.
The bread was definitely freshly baked, such comfort.
The wet paper towels I got at the beginning of my meal, packed two to go. *wink*
My super efficient and nice waiter…. asked where I was from and when I replied Nigeria, I believe the niceness doubled.
Have you ever eaten at Léon? What was your experience like? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
My next taste journey led me to a café where I had an even more delightful dessert….watch out for that post!