It was one gloomy, winter afternoon in Paris and I decided to have my lunch before heading out to see Gare Saint Lazare. Since I have been dining at the nearby restaurant for the days, I gained the confidence to, maybe, try something new.
The past lunches were salmon and chicken paired with usually fried or mashed potatoes and a side salad. So for this day I told myself, “I want to have a sumptuous lunch, and I won’t mind paying a bit more.” After all, it’s not every day that you are in Paris. A good food is never a waste of money, OR so I thought…
I browsed the menu. Gave it a second scan, just in case I change my mind. But nope, I know what I want. This beef tartare seemed to be calling my attention. Sure enough, I waved to the waitstaff and uttered with confidence,
“I would like to have beef tartare, please. And a cup of Americano. Merci!“
While waiting for my order, I was already dreaming of how good my food will be and even thinking of taking a photo so I will send it to him and tease him on how lovely my lunch was despite dining alone.
Then, my order was served.
I was surprised. Yes, I was! and if you were near my table, you can see how my eyeballs almost popped out and you might say to yourself that this woman doesn’t know what she just ordered. True enough, I do not have not any idea what a beef tartare is! I did not know that it is RAW! (facepalm)
Photo courtesy of popkey.co
I want to shake my head in public for the stupidity that I did, but I decided to give the dish a chance. It was flavorful and had an interesting taste. Could be because the raw beef and how I can taste the capers and the rest of its fresh ingredients as they rolled on my tongue. It’s not so bad, but I cannot finish it. I only ate a quarter of the serving and that’s the best that I can do. When we talk about raw foods, I can only think of sashimi and while I enjoy my medium rare steaks, I decided that the tartare is not for my taste buds to love.
The humor (and embarrassment) that I got out of this experience is surely one of the most unforgettable memories of my trip to Paris. My mistake of not researching first taught me a valuable lesson. But on the other side, I also see it as an opportunity to try and appreciate the culture of the country through food.
And yes, beef tartare, I won’t forget you!
It’s only embarrasing if you care what people think.