Saturday, February 28, 2009

La Cachette getting its first star in the upcoming Michelin Guide France 2009? (Yes, they did it!)

The above-picture was taken at La Cachette in Valence, my home town, a few weeks ago, during a delicious and inexpensive lunch there with my parents (more on this later). The rumor has it that the restaurant and his chef-owner Masashi Ijichi could get a first Michelin star when the 2009 guide for France is released this coming Monday. It would be well-deserved. Flaveurs, also located in Valence, is also expected to be awarded a star. I haven't tried this one but it is on my radar screen for my next trip in December. Overall, it would bring Valence to a total of 5 stars (Pic having already 3). Not bad for a 65,000-people city...

Update (June 2009): La Cachette was actually awarded a Michelin star by the Red Guide in 2009. I'm also uploading below the pictures of the lunch I had there earlier this year. At 26 EUR, the lunch menu is a steal (the others are fairly affordable as well). Not to be missed if you stop by Valence some day.

La Cachette
16 rue des Cevennes
26000 Valence, France
Tel: (33) 4 75 55 24 13

Sunday, February 8, 2009

L'As du Falafel, Paris

If you stop by le Marais, forget about all the addresses you might have read / heard about or all the overpriced and overrated brunches that abound in the neighbourhood. Just stop by l'As du Falafel, order a falafel sandwich to go and enjoy it with your friends standing in the middle of the street (remember the way you did it back in the days when you were in college) and watching the restaurant's hawkers joking and taking the orders of the soon-to-be-dazzled customers.

Falafel is a fava or chickpea fritter. It is served at l'As in a pita bread stuffed with a crunchy cabbage salad, fried eggplants and hummus. I like it with "sauce blanche" or white sauce (made from tahini or sesame paste). Although my pictures, taken with my BlackBerry camera, do not do it justice entirely, the falafel is superb, i.e. crunchy on the outside and smooth inside, and the toppings make it even better.

As is the case with all things delicious, it takes some patience before getting the coveted sandwich as you might have to stand in line for long minutes. But this is worth every bit of your time as it is one of the best fast food / quick bite experience you might have in Paris (and beyond) and certainly a great bang for the buck at 5 EUR. As their sign rightly says: "Often imitated but never equalled".

L'As du Falafel
34 rue des rosiers
75004 Paris