First croque madame of the season

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Cafe de Flore lives up to its reputation as a French institution.

Oh, hai. Didn’t see you there.

Well, after a horror 48 hours of too much flying and not enough sleep or G&Ts to make it all OK, I am finally here, in PARIS. Sweet Jesus, bet you’re jealous… but settle down, kids, it’s a family holiday, and less than 8 hours in Paris and I’m ready to chuck my infuriating mother into the Seine.

It’s not ALL bad. After we dropped our shiz off at our gloriously central apartment, our first stop was Cafe de Flore. As soon as dad stopped showing off his self-proclaimed ‘proficient’ French language-speaking skills (“five people have asked me if I’m French today, Loz. Five.”) it turned out to be a great experience.

Sure, I may be biased due to my current jetlag-induced delirium and the fact that this was my first meal in Paris after a myriad of miserable plane food, but this place is a delight. Teeming with locals and enigmatic waiters, Cafe de Flore boasts authentic French cuisine and an opportunity to people-watch at the same time.

I ordered the hot chocolate, Viennese coffee and croque madame. There is not much to say about this simple meal other than it was so French and so perfect. There is a precision about the way the French approach cooking that I haven’t experienced before, even in the culinary hub that is now Melbourne. The egg on the croque madame boasted a firm white and runny yolk and was perfectly balanced in that it was creamy with bechamel, salty with ham, oozing with cheese and crunchy on its golden outside. The waiter spilled coffee all over my jeans but with the flourish of his cloth and a charming “je suis desolee”, he won me over and all was well. Besides, he was wearing a bow tie and thick-rimmed glasses that teetered precariously on his bulbous nose. How could I hold anything against him after observing that?

In a busy and beautiful Parisian street and with classic fare au Francais, Cafe de Flore is definitely worth a look-in – if only to marvel at the eclectic clientele and how much the French love their dogs (seriously, people, it’s insane. Get a grip. Have children.)

Anyway, I hear a great hunk of brie calling my name so I must depart.

Apologies if this post seems a little scattered – I’m jetlagging up a storm over here!

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