Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Nouilles

It's getting colder here. Beginning of September and I'm already thinking about wearing stockings because I am freezing when I leave my apartment in the mornings. Even before August was done, I had to wear a trenchcoat in the morning. I was not happy, especially having just returned from the warm and sunny good old US of A (especially the heat desert Las Vegas). 

I started craving noodles the moment I got back. For me, ramen, udon and any other kind of noodles are more of a winter dish - a little heavy, comforting, with delicious broth. I wanted a chewy noodle but not udon so genius idea - I'd read about hand-pulled noodles in Paris at Les Pates Vivantes. Good thing I called because they close at 730pm (I have learned my lesson recently by setting up brunch at a popular restaurant that was closed because of change of beforehand). That was too early but back in my days of apartment hunting, I had seen an apartment near the Pompidou and down the street called Happy Nouilles (Happy Noodles!). A quick google search told me they were hand-pulled and so my friend GT and I made it our dinner pre-going-out-to-fancy-cocktails-for-someone's-bday at Mama Shelter (even though its out of the way in the 20th, I suggest going once for drinks which, although weak, were good and the atmosphere was super fun and trendy-ish).

After a plate of dumplings, I got my boeuf epice aux lamen (noodles or ramen here = lamen unless its udon). Spicy beef with hand-pulled noodles (nouilles vivantes, or living noodles literally). 

I ate a piece of beef. Tasty. Spicy. Then I sipped the broth and things went down from there. OMG that thing was spicy like whoa. I didn't think they'd have such a heavy hand with the spices considering the French can't eat (don't eat? don't cook? have no tolerance for?) spicy things. No, this was the real deal. I choked up, started coughing and downed a glass or two of water. After my tears subsided I happily dug in again (although steering clear of slurping too much of the broth). The meat was tender and flavorful, and the noodles had that slight chew that is oh-so satisfying. And it was under €20 for two people. Now I want to try Pates Vivantes even more! Curse you early french closing times.

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