12 November 2010

Two month anniversary | Another Delicious Discretion

Today marks the two month anniversary of my departure from the States. I can hardly believe it's been that long. I haven't forgotten about any of you guys yet, so maybe it's not been long enough? (Totally kidding!) What better a way to celebrate than with some French food? Maybe it's just a personal celebration but I need an excuse for eating completely out of character last night. I don't know what got into me... Oh wait, I do... Vodka. 

The night started with un apéro at Aude's apartment, when I politely accepted her offer of a vodka and juice cocktail. Someone who drinks only once in a blue moon should be advised not to drink on an empty stomach. Enter paprika flavored Bugles. Yes, Bugles, the chips I loved as a kid. Paprika flavored things need to catch on more in the states. To say I was drunk would be a slight exaggeration but I had a strong buzz going after a double (which I had to add Citrus Fanta to to dilute). My dad and sorority sisters would be disappointed in me. Now I remember why I stopped drinking... I don't enjoy the taste or the feeling. 

Starving, we arrived at a quaint restaurant in Vieux Lille called La Vieille France. The decorated theme of an old French school house offered a warm and cozy environment for very a very traditional norther French meal. On the back of each of the chairs (the same chairs they used to have in actual schools), were childish insults and the walls were covered in posters, multiplication tables, and maps. 

 Throwing all my food rules out the window (I think for a minute the vodka made me forget), I ordered a highly recommended dish and forgot to ask for vegetables or a salad rather than frites. The menu description is as follows: "Poulet au Maroilles: belle cuisse de poulet cuisinée et gratinée au Maroilles" which is basically a chicken thigh cooked in melted Maroilles cheese. Maroilles cheese a very pungent soft cheese that comes from this region (Nord-Pas-de-Calais); it may be stinky but I actually really like it. We had some at the apartment for a while and it made everything stink. However, in this dish, the flavor isn't as strong. After the plate had been sitting out for a little bit, I started eating just chunks of the cheese that had congealed a little bit. That sounds gross but believe me, it was delicious.
Poulet au Maroilles: belle cuisse de poulet cuisinée et gratinée au Maroilles 
Delicious forkful of Maroilles cheese. 
I was ready to call it a night by this point. But Aude's raves over one dessert in particular had me sold (plus I was thinking of Danielle's encouragement to try more sweet treats). This is a celebration, right? So, "Moelleux au Chocolat Maison avec une boule de glace Côté d'Or" is was - and my god was it heavenly. This piece of heaven came in the form of a still steaming cross between a brownie and molten lava cake (minus the lava) with a cold scoop of chocolate ice cream and whipped cream flanking each side. I savored each tiny bite, taking over a half an hour to destroy it. (This is how I eat anything sweet, in several TINY, slow bites.) 
Moelleux au chocolat maison avec une boule de glace Côté d'Or  
Moist, hot, chocolate heaven. The only thing that could make this better would be melted peanut butter.
That's love. (And sadness that it was all gone). 

By the time I was two bites in, I was ready to burst. But there was no way I wasn't going to finish this baby. If you're at all jealous, you should be. Except for you can revel in the fact that I spent the rest of the night feeling awfully stuffed with a terrible tummy ache. This is why I have food rules for myself and don't drink alcohol. But damn was it worth it! Cheers to two months abroad and several more to go! 

un apéro (un apéritif) - before dinner drink 
Vieux Lille - Old Lille 
La Vieille France - Old France
Une cuisse de poulet - a chicken thigh, drumstick
cuisiné - cooked (the verb is cuisiner means to cook)
gratiné - au gratin (the verb gratiner means to cook au gratin)
Une boule de glace - a bowl or scoop of ice cream

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