My apologies for how long it has taken me to post again! My husband, Eric, and I got back from Europe in the wee morning hours Wednesday and have been trying to get back on schedule ever since. We enjoyed three days in London and seven in Paris and were able to see most of the popular tourist sites in each city.
Like I said in the post prior to our departure, I would not attempt to stick to a vegan diet because I’m not a confident vegan eater yet and didn’t want to add unnecessary stress to our vacation. However, I did do my best to choose vegetarian options whenever possible. Mainly because of my picky tastes, even prior to my decision to become vegan, I do not eat pork, any seafood, or much beef. I knew I would likely have to be open to choosing chicken or turkey options when dining internationally, but by far, the most difficulty I had was in Paris. The Parisians love pork, beef, and seafood. I very rarely saw vegetarian or chicken options and I don’t believe I ever saw turkey except when offered in paninis. We used public transportation and a lot of walking to get around the city. Because of this, it was often frustrating for myself and my travel companions to have to keep walking down the street, stopping at every restaurant, and trying to read their menu in French, in hopes of finding something I could eat.
A few factors seemed worth noting about my experience. First, Eric and our friend Harmony, whom we met up with in Paris, were very patient when on the search for a restaurant. Second, our accommodations were each conveniently located near a small supermarket, where we could purchase snacks and water.
Also, in Paris, we stopped into a Subway and found that they offer a Steak Végétarien, which is really similar to a Boca burger, but meant for a sandwich. I do not know if the “steak” has eggs in it, as some veggie burgers do, but the rest of my sandwich was vegan. It was a good substitute for meat in a sandwich that can be kind of wimpy if you’re picky about your vegetables (as I generally am). If they sold it in the US and it was vegan, I would definitely order it again.
In London, while walking from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, Eric and I needed a somewhere to relax for a little bit and refuel. We stopped into a sports bar called Abbey Pub. We were really disappointed with their service, but I was happy to find that they had a Sweet Potato and Bean Burger on their menu. The burger was very tasty, but a little dry since I didn’t add the supplied mayo to the burger. I was expecting it to be black beans, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there were whole garbanzo beans in the patty. I wondered if it was vegan and, having visited their website and gone over their food allergies list (very helpful!), I have found that the burger has both eggs and milk in it. Coincidentally, my sister in law pinned a very similar recipe on Pinterest that is actually vegan (recipe here). I’m eager to give it a try myself, especially with the roasted tomato on it – yum!
On our last day in Paris, we went to a cute little restaurant called Au Bon Couscous, located on a pedestrian street in the 5th Arrondissement, just across the river from Notre Dame (7 Rue Xavier Privas to be precise). Their menu was, as you probably guessed, mostly cous cous. You choose a meat (or vegetarian) and they bring you all elements separately for you to combine as you wish. You get your meat choice, a small bowl of garbanzo beans, a bowl of raisins, a pot of chili paste, a huge bowl of plain cous cous, and a similarly huge bowl of chunky vegetable soup. It was so much food that Eric and I could have easily shared one serving. If we ever find ourselves back to Paris, I will definitely be stopping by Au Bon Couscous as it is a great option for Dual Dining.
While we were disappointed to have to end our vacation, we are very happy to be home. Our cats missed us so much, they have been begging for attention more than ever. I am also happy to be back home, where I can prepare food for myself. I had missed fruit so much! We didn’t see a lot of it while eating out at restaurants and such. I am really excited to be getting back on track and look forward to posting my progress here. Thanks for reading!
I leave you with a photo of the most beautiful place in Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg.