Tag Archives: DC

#39. enjoy a French brunch

I’m a bit of a Francophile. And by a bit, I mean a lot. I consider myself French though I don’t have an ounce of French blood running through my veins. But I am fluent in croissants, good wine, delicious cheese, French jazz, French art, French films and la joie de vivre.

I will be going to Paris for the third time in just 8 short weeks (this time for my honeymoon!), and as this will only be my third trip abroad, needless to say there’s just a je n’ai sais quoi about the city of light that keeps pulling me back and keeping me from seeing the rest of the world. Maybe it’s because all that is perfect and wonderful in life is found right in Paris.

One of the reasons I fell in love with D.C. was because of its resemblance to my favorite city in the world. And it’s no coincidence either! D.C. was designed with the help of famed French architect Pierre L’Enfant. Throughout the city you can find broad-sweeping city streets and sidewalks, grand and intricate building facades, all an homage to Paris. There are also a good amount of amazing French restaurants in the city, so I thought it only appropriate to take a stroll down memory lane by including “enjoy a French brunch” on my 213 in 2013 list. Why brunch? Because it’s the best meal of the day obviously.

French art adorns the walls of Bistro la Bonne.

French art adorns the walls of Bistro la Bonne.

To make checking this item off the list even sweeter, I got to go to brunch with my study abroad BFF who happened to be in town visiting for the weekend. She and I tore up the streets of Paris for four weeks, so I found it only appropriate that we reconnect at a quaint French bistro for some Sunday morning brunch.

I chose Bistro la Bonne for our rendez-vous. It was quaint, and simple, and it reminded me of any number of bistros you’d find lining the streets of Paris. I didn’t go with Le Diplomate because I wasn’t interested in Disney Paris when I was abroad, nor was I interested in it now. I just wanted authentic, honest French food, and Bistro la Bonne did not disappoint in the slightest.

I know this looks like ordinary french toast, but its actually some of the best french toast in the world.

I know this looks like ordinary french toast, but its actually some of the best french toast in the world.

For the next two hours (because time is of no issue when dining like the French do), we sucked down bellinis and caught up on life, from new jobs to new cities to old memories while dining on the most incredible french toast I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, topped with fresh berries and Chantilly cream. And we piled on more carbs with garlicky, cheesy, butter potatoes au gratin, perfectly crispy and salty pomme frites and of course, a big ol’ plate of escargot.

Carbo-loading.

Carbo-loading.

How about a little snail for dessert?

How about a little snail for dessert?

The food was delicious. The drinks were bottomless. The company was the crème de la crème.

Overall, it was the perfect French brunch. I can’t wait for the next one – and this time, it’ll be in Paris.

hey world — be my friend!

Remember the awkward days of middle school lunchtime? You don’t really know anyone, so you make a few laps with your tray looking for an open seat at a table where the people look friendly enough to welcome you in. Instead, you fail to muster up the necessary courage and you find a seat at a table by yourself, hoping that someone else who’s feeling a little lost and left out too will come join you. Or was that just me?

I’m kind of weird. For many reasons… but mainly because I’m painfully shy when meeting new people, unless I’m with someone I already know. Once I get to know you, you’ll have a hard time shutting me up but you’d never guess that from a first encounter. In fact, I’ve had many of my best friends tell me they hated me at first because they mistook my quiet demeanor and standoffish nature for bitchiness. Oops.

But the good thing about middle school, and high school and especially college – it’s so easy to make friends. From the classroom, to student organizations to dorm rooms… you’re surrounded and connected to others at all times.

I wish I had gotten the memo that making friends after college isn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped it would be. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to move to DC was to take myself out of my comfort zone. I had lived in Philly for the last four years and knew the city and the people like the back of my hand. As much as I loved Philly and the friends I had made, I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in the same place, knowing the same people. All of those sayings that people Instagram and pin on Pinterest? You know the ones – “Carpe Diem,” and “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Well, I actually wanted to live them.

So now I’m here, in this new city that I’m slowly starting to call home. I’m still learning all the neighborhoods and districts. I can’t quite get a grasp on the city grid yet either and get lost quite often. I’m not sure where the best hangout spots are or where I can find the best slice of pizza. Nor do I really know how to go about the middle -schoolesque awkwardness of finding new friends. Well… I do, but I guess you can just say I’ve been too afraid to try.

I’m well aware of different professional and social groups in the area that meet up on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve penciled in quite a few of these gatherings on my calendar only to come up with some excuse as to why I couldn’t go. “Oh, it’s too far,” or “I probably shouldn’t spend any money,” or “the traffic is too bad.” Ok – that last one is actually a pretty viable excuse for anyone who knows what traffic is like in the DMV area.

So I guess I really have no right at all to complain, or whimper or whine. I’m not in middle school anymore. Nobody is going to bring their tray to the table to sit with me and be my friend, as much as I’d like them to. Yes it’s going to be uncomfortable. Definitely even a little scary at first too. But that’s why I moved down here in the first place, and I can’t lose sight of that.

I guess it’s finally time I begin to “Carpe the diem” and get out of my comfort zone.

Isn’t that the only way we can grow?