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Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

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Tampa, Florida
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Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Last 2 days of our 8 day trip- Paris!

We got in very late and checked into the very cool Hotel St. Louis Marais. Our room was a triple and it was a bit small, but oozed charm. The wood beamed celings, the narrow winding staircases- we loved it. There was the cutest bakery right down the street where I saved money by getting rolls every morning instead of paying $10 per head for the breakfast of american cereal, rolls and yogurt. at the hotel. I woke up early both days to get breakfast and watched the procession of really adorable kids going to a nearby school.

Day one we had quite the agenda. We headed right to Notre Dame and encountered lines! Waited for about an hour to get in. We had no regrets with the wait, it truely is a must see.

We went to a small french resteraunt for lunch, and the trouble began. I'm a fussy eater, and nothing quite appealed. So, to be safe I ordered a hamburger with no mayo. The waitress arrived with a hamburger that had some kind of sauce, and onions. I knew I was in trouble - this was an $11.50 hamburger that I was not going to eat. I took a deep breath, and told her that I was sorry, but I could not eat the hamburger . She pointed at it with a good deal of anger, and said " No mayonaisse!" I politely said, " Yes, I know and I'm sorry. I should have said plain" . She took the plate, stalked off and returned with a plain hamburger. Slamming the plate down for emphasis, she made her displeasure with me quite known to everyone. And guess what- I still could barely eat it, as it was almost raw, and I had no nerve left to ask them to cook it more. No more hamburgers in Paris.

Next the Batobus to the Louvre. The Louvre was crowded, but the lines were not as daunting. We headed right for the Mona Lisa as it seemed to be the thing to do. We stood around for several minutes gazing somberly at the Mona Lisa, which was much smaller than we thought it would be. We went to about 3 other sections, and enjoyed them all.

We headed to the Batobus to get to Champs Elysees. When we arrived at the Batobus line, it was quite long. We waited while one Batobus loaded, and 2 of the 3 of us had birds crap on us while we waited for another. When that one came, and we still couldn't get on , we decided to walk to Champs Elysees. But first I made the mistake of asking for a refund. All I can say is, don't ask for a refund in Paris.

Stolled the famous street, were awed by the Arc De Triomphe, and ate at an Italian resteraunt, again playing it safe. The only shocker there was the 5 euro soft drinks, but at least I could eat and not anger any more Parisians.

Got to the Eiffel Tower, and lines! We didn't think we would make it before it closed, so we decided to try again the next day.

By the way, this was one of the best days of my life, even with a couple confilcts. I only report the conflicts to help others .:-)

Day 2-

Woke up nice and early and arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled opening time for St. Chapelle. As we got in line, a woman came running out yelling " No! No! We are not open until 10 am! " I pointed at the sign that said 9:30, and she firmly shook her head and said, "10.00." We wanted to go to Versailles, so we did not wait.

Versailles. Lines again, but never mind. It is worth it.. What a stunning tribute to excess this place is. We had thought about doing Disney Paris on Day 2, because we are huge Disney fans, but I am so glad that we went to Versailles instead. Amazing.

At the station, we needed to figure out where to transfer to get the Eiffel Tower station, so I very nicely asked the ticket person what stop I needed. She tells me the station, and I can't understand her. I nicely ask again. She tells me. Can't get it. So I pull out the trusty notebook, smile, and start pushing it toward her to have her write down the stop. She throws her hands up in disgust, and calls someone who speaks english to tell me the stop. Still can't get it. So the girls and I studied the map and finally figure it out.

We arrive at the Eiffel Tower, where the lines are much shorter than the night before. After waiting about an hour, we were on our way. We get to the middle section, and were greeted by the coldest , windiest conditions ever. Stunning views, but winter conditions. After debating whether to go all the way to the top, we decided that we might regret it later if we don't go all the way. Freeze our tushies off for another half an hour while waiting to take the lift to the top. Get there, look around , congratulate each other on our bravery, and get back in line to go down. I don't think I have - ever - been- this -cold.

The experience of going to the top of the Eiffel Tower when it is cold is one that I have decided is much like childbirth, while you are doing it there is no escape, and you say " I will never do this $#@^&%!!! again! This is $%#^%$ ridiculous! I hate whoever's idea this was! ".

Then when it is over, you kind of gradually forget how uncomfortable you were, and just remember the reward. My freezing ascent to the top of the Eiffel Tower is now a sort of triumph, we conquered it, and it seemed a fitting way to end an interesting and sometimes challenging two days in Paris.

By the way, I would visit Paris again. We loved Paris, sometimes it didn't love us, but there is still much to explore there for me.

.

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1. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Beef is not cooked well done as it is in the US unless you go to a chain like Quick or MacDonalds as examples. However, the waitress' attitude was very poor.

Montreal
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2. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Well, I wouldn't draw conclusions about Parisians from that one waitress encounter. That can pretty much happen in any restaurants where the waitress has to explain to the cook why she's returning a plate.

Glad you enjoyed the overall experience.

Denmark, Europe
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3. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Next time bring a restaurant guide / menu translator. I am sure you MUST be able to find something to eat in Paris besides hamburgers and pizzas ???

I have recently bought from www.amazon.com "Eating and drinking in Paris" (3rd edition revised) - and I plan to use it all the time. It is a gastronomical lifesaver (read = will save me from having steak-frites most of the time), especially if one is a bit sceptic about what to eat.

Loire Valley
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4. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

I could make a comment about being a typical American and being afraid of flavour...........

However:

What you did get as a "hamburger", was chopped, good quality beef, cooked rare to preserve it's juice, with no filler (meal or flour), as opposed to the waste from the carcasses of feedlot beef with added flavourings and filler. Whats more, it was served the way a hamburger would have been served in the USA before McDonalds got their hands on it.

If you want to eat American food, dont order it it Paris - especially if you want it cooked the American way. Read some books, order local food. You will find that Italian food in Italy doesn't taste the same as what you get as Italian food in the US Nor does does French - or Mexican, or Thai - and most certainly not Japanese food - taste the same in the US (or anywhere else) as it does in it's home country.

This is logical. This is common sense.

Whats more, If you wanted a plain hamburger why didnt you ask for it?? If I was in the US and wanted a hamburger I wouldnt say "no mayonnaise" if what I wanted was "nothing on it".

East Anglia, UK
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5. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

WizardofAus - before your post gets removed (as I'm sure it will) I quite agree!

Denmark, Europe
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6. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

OK, I didn't get that "without mayonnaise" in fact means "without mayonnaise or anything else". How should the poor waitress be able to know that - not being a trained mindreader ? She brings you a bifteck haché with sauce and onions, but no mayonnaise, so you got what you ordered.

Wiz, yes your post will most likely be removed - but l couldn't agree more.

Dunfermline, United...
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7. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Oh dear! A hamburger in Paris is not the best thing to order unless you go to McDonalds or Quick as has been pointed out.

Perhaps ordering a steak would have been easier. One of the great things about travelling overseas is trying the local cuisine.

Let's hope it was beef and not horse!

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

In my defense, when I ordered a hamburger in London with no mayo, I got a hamburger with lettuce, onions, etc but no other kind of sauce . So I wasn't expecting any sauce. I could have picked off the onions, but the sauce had permeated the bun, and I was staring down an $11.50 burger that I wasn't going to eat. And I wasn't the least bit rude, even after the waitress made a scene. I never said it wasn't my fault, as a matter of fact I acknowledged it was. I was just trying to get something edible out of my $11.50 investment. I posted the hamburger incident as a service to others who might be fussy eaters like me, but if you all want to tear me apart, have fun doing so.

As far as eating Parisian food, my daughter has spent the entire semester in Scotland, trying to eat their food, and she wanted to eat american style food as much as possible, because she misses it. So no, we did not go out of our way to sample Parisian food.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

Hi Vderon

Great trip report and I particularly liked your description of your experience on the Eiffel Tower. Dont be embarrassed about expecting a hamburger to be well done, most people do expect that but I agree with you it is not the sort of meal you are likely to order next time you are in Paris! I am pleased that these little irritations did not detract from your enjoyment of Paris.

Cape Cod, MA
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10. Re: Paris trip report -don't order a hamburger

I do think that Vderon was most upfront and honest with regard to taking responsibility for not having been clear about exactly how he/she wished the hamburger be prepared and served. We all make mistakes...No?... and I myself, did learn something from the post.

What does come to mind for me, though, is one of the "famous" contributors to this site, and I am sorry, I don't know at this moment who it is, who says....and always...appropriately so...

DETAILS MATTER!!!!

- Tre