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terrified about eating in paris

Georgia
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terrified about eating in paris

my problem is I have all sorts of weird food sensitivies - basically I can eat fish, fruits, veggies and most carbs. very little dairy (and absolutely no cheese), no chocolate, no other meat but fish, absolutey no msg, no alcohol of any kind. These foods give me terrible headaches. Soooooo - I am looking at paris restaraunts and getting more nervous everyday. This is compounded by the fact that my husband doesn't have any of these limitations and so I can't limit us to vegetarian restaurants and he doesn't really like indian/lebanese/etc. In addition, although we aren't going on a shoestring budget, I would like to keep our eating budget to app 50E/pp/day - 100E total. We are getting breakfast in our hotel, so that will be one less meal. Anyone think they can allay my fears?

quick run down on the areas we will visit, typical tourists - ile de cite, ile de st. louis, latin quarter, eiffel, arc de triumphe and champ, louvre, etc. My husband wants to go up the montparse (sp) tower at night for pictures and we will be visiting pere lachaise cemetery.

Edited: 01 April 2013, 03:32
New Hampshire
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1. Re: terrified about eating in paris

You really will have no more trouble making selections from Paris menus than restaurants where you live. You'll find just as wide a variety of offerings.

Though, you would definitely find a food glossary useful. Google Patricia Wells for a comprehensive one in pdf format you can download and print booklet style to carry with you.

You could also get a copy of "Eating and Drinking in Paris"...with detailed explanations of common foods, preparations, and a decent translation guide.

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2. Re: terrified about eating in paris

Do not expect that the servers will understand your restrictions. They will serve dishes as they are usually prepared. There will be plenty of fish dishes in any restaurant. I don't think you will have a problem finding something you can eat, just know that you will be on your own to figure out all the ingredients in a dish.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: terrified about eating in paris

You will manage main courses OK with fish and probably entree (the first course) and vegetables will be OK, but many things will be cooked in butter and oh, dear, the desserts, no chocolate, no cream, no ice-cream, no custards. You should find fruit desserts in many places, but not all.

I just had a look at the menu for Les Ombres, as an example. You could certainly choose from an entree and main.

Here the roughly translated menu

http://tinyurl.com/c6jwnj8

or again, from Les Bouquinistes

www.lesbouquinistes.com/bouquinistes/index…

These are rather higher end places, not your local bistro.

Will you eat mussels? Moules frites (mussels in the shell with chips) is a popular dish though they do tend to use white wine as the liquid. Most of the alcohol dissipates in the cooking.

All places will have the menu outside so you can check in advance.

I recall one hot day I had vichysoisse (cold tomato/vegetable soup) tartare of salmon (tiny dice of raw salmon) and nougat ice cream (cream based I'm afraid) so mostly approachable for you.

It was at La Casita where the menu does have a fish of the day at the moment.

www.lacasitaparis.fr/la-cuisine/au-menu/

New Hampshire
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4. Re: terrified about eating in paris

Menus are posted outside every establishment.

Many include detailed descriptions of the offerings, their ingredients, preparation. Some do not.

For ingredients you positively must avoid, Google for those laminated cards you can order to carry around and present.

Most waiters don't have the time or patience (except at the priciest places that will do just about anything for you) to work out what you should order. But, they will gladly advise what not to order or if what you've chosen has any of those ingredients and you should choose something else.

You'll have a far easier time and more enjoyable meals if you do some homework ahead of time.

Familiarize yourself with common preparations, since wine is a common ingredient in things like Boeuf Bourguignon and Coq au Vin...

I could live nicely on the tartines (various toppings on sliced baguette popped under the broiler) and the composed salads, for you - sans fromage...

Again, get yourself a good food glossary and familiarize yourself with the French words for foods you have to avoid.

Paris, France
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5. Re: terrified about eating in paris

French people do not have long lists of food restrictions, and so French restaurants are unaccustomed to accommodating such restrictions and do not have much patience for them. You might consider buying food at a supermarket and preparing it yourself, which will give you the opportunity to deal with virtually any restriction, as long as it is not too exotic.

New Hampshire
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6. Re: terrified about eating in paris

While I'm planning to take advantage of the glorious fresh foods and do quite a bit of cooking (though simple dishes) during our upcoming visit, that does not solve the problem of what to order when out and about...

But, if you want to do a lot of picnic-ing, there are plenty of resources for prepared foods with the ingredients listed (in French, of course) on the labels.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: terrified about eating in paris

If I had those allergies I'd be paranoid also... at least at home there is no language barrier. I can offer no advice other than suggest you cancel the hotel and stay in an apartment... at least for your main meal you can have some control.

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: terrified about eating in paris

I am not seeing it as that difficult. You can eat meat, like fish and chicken. Those are common dishes. You say you can eat most carbs, so spaghetti and tomato sauce is also very common. You can eat breads and pastries, you can have salads, seems like you have actually have a lot of things. One of my favorite lunches out is a nice salad composee ( a green salad, with a variety of veggies on it , some cooked, some raw, so say corn, radishes, tomatoes, green beans, a hard boiled egg sometimes etc).. you can just ask for one with no cheese ( some may have goat cheese so just don't order that one) .

I think you will be fine. Just read menus before you sit down in a place to see if they have something that interests you. By law all places must display their menu outside .

Paris, France
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9. Re: terrified about eating in paris

All of the same foods are available in France as in the United States. If you are able to go to restaurants at home, I cannot imagine any problem going to restaurants in Paris.

New Hampshire
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10. Re: terrified about eating in paris

<<All of the same foods are available in France as in the United States. If you are able to go to restaurants at home, I cannot imagine any problem going to restaurants in Paris.>>

Well, I did mention that...but knowing a bit of necessary French would be quite useful.