Today it’s about the food. The quality and pure goodness of the food.


— Hmmmmm. How to do justice to the hot chocolate in words. A tip from a salesgirl led me to Cafe Angelina on Rue de Rivoli. “The best chocolat chaud in all of Paris,” she said. How does one pass that up? The atmosphere was lovely, very classy without being stodgy. I got a seat near the window, ordered a salad first. Then, my reason for being there. It came in a little white pitcher. It was thick and rich. There was an accompanying bowl of whipped cream (or as the French say, chantilly). The next thing I knew I was talking to myself, exclaiming the joys of the taste experience out loud. I came away thinking I may never have hot chocolate again. Exquisite.

— Continental breakfast. As one who eats very little bread in “real” life, it was truly foreign for me to see how much bread is served with the food there. But I couldn’t have imagined how easily I would dig in after ordering a continental breakfast and finding this array before me — a pot of tea; a glass of orange juice so fresh squeezed I was picking out the pits; a basket containing six slices of bread, a roll and a croissant the size of Texas; and the topper, five big jars on a tray with treats to slather on all the bread (strawberry preserves, apricot preserves, Nutella, peanut butter, and some sort of vanilla spread. Oh, and did I mention butter?). Pure insanity. I had brought my journal to write while I ate, but decided this presentation deserved my full attention. Bring it.

— Loup. That’s Loup de Mer or “wolf of the sea.” It’s a type of European sea bass that apparently has quite a voracious appetite. Superbly prepared, accompanied by fresh zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and lots of fresh herbs and lemon.

— A meal I adored for its simplicity: a baguette, a fresh cucumber, cherry tomatoes that looked like they’d been polished for a photo shoot, a jar of black olive and mustard tapenade, and a bottle of water. A nice grassy spot great for people watching and reading a good book. Very relaxing.

I could go on. Several excellent salads. Gelato arranged like a tulip on a cone. An Italian meal in the smallest restaurant in Paris. Pure insanity.

And I lost weight on the trip. Lots of walking. Go figure.