Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

You might have been wondering what became of me after my first Fourth of July in Paris since 1989, since I didn’t post anything the next day. I promise I wasn’t hungover, but I was sick. Somehow I came down with some sort of flu that had me completely debilitated yesterday. Thankfully, I’m over it now, just in time for a little weekend jaunt to London tomorrow night.

So, how did I spend my Fourth? Truthfully, it was a little disappointing … aside from the company, of course.

Continue reading Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

In Search of a Pancake

I’ve yet to find a restaurant in Paris where I can get really good American-style pancakes. (Not that I ‘ve stopped looking, mind you.) Of course, France is home to the crêpe—arguably the most amazing pancake ever invented—and I do love a good crêpe (or two) every now and then. But sometimes, you’re just jonesin’ for a stack like they have back home.

Continue reading In Search of a Pancake

Sugarplum Cake Shop

Don’t let the name fool you, Sugarplum‘s not just a cake shop. It’s a self-described “real deal—a genuine, bona-fide, authentic American Coffee Shop” nestled between Paris’s super cool Latin Quarter and the Mouffetard district. There’s real American-style filtered drip coffee (with free refills!), cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls … but, in my humble expat opinion, it’s the cake that will bring you back. Unfortunately, there are no free refills on that!

My personal favorite is the carrot cake: four layers of moist, spicy carrot cake like your mom used to make, slathered with a cream-cheese icing like you can’t find anywhere else in Paris! I mean, take a look at this and tell me your mouth isn’t watering:

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

I know, right?!

But wait! There’s more! There’s …

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

That’s right. Real cheesecake. No need to go to Starbucks when you have that craving.

The owners, two Americans and a Canadian, opened Sugarplum a little more than a year ago, and they pride themselves on the quality of their products: all the baked goods are homemade from all-natural ingredients, with no mixes or preservatives, baked onsite in Sugarplum’s big, bad kitchen (which you are invited to take a peak at through the windows of their courtyard). And they have fair trade coffee and organic fair trade tea. All of this is served up with a smile and free wifi.

So, the next time your sweet tooth is craving a taste of America, stop by Sugarplum. You will not be disappointed.

Sugarplum is located in the cinquième arrondissement, between Place Monge and Cardinal Lemoine Métro stations at 68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine. Sugarplum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12pm – 7pm.

P.S.—They also make some amazing cakes for weddings and other special occasions.

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved