From: Anne Lloyd, owner of Nolavore, a full service catering company and commissary kitchen located in the heart of New Orleans.
Anne Lloyd is a creative genius who shared her recipe for this New Orleans/Parisian dessert that will knock-the-socks off any crêpe fans who love bananas. You may want to have company over, or not!!! Could make a great dinner for one – or maybe two, if you feel like sharing a little.
Many of you have eaten Anne’s cuisine over the years. She has had a career in the restaurant and food service industries for over 30 years, 25 of which have been in New Orleans. Anne has managed some of New Orleans’ favorite spots, such as the Bluebird Café and Lola’s Restaurant. She has worked under the famed Brennan family, as well as Susan Spicer of Bayona. Anne owned and operated a Caribbean-inspired restaurant, Mango House, in the Riverbend neighborhood until 2005. And, in 2010, she opened Nolavore.
Want to see Anne Lloyd in person preparing these crêpes?? Visit the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival™, Saturday, May 4, at 11:30 a.m. at the Food Heritage Stage 2019, to watch Anne make sweet magic on the stage.
Address: 2139 Baronne St., New Orleans, Louisiana (in the Faubourg Livaudais) Official website: https://www.nolavore.net
Anne Lloyd’s Bananas Foster Crêpes
Servings: 4 servings, 2 dessert crêpes per person
Prep Time: 15 min + 1 hour
Cook Time: 12-15 min
Cuisine: French/New Orleans
For the Crêpes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons clarified butter
For the Banana Filling:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/4 cup dark rum
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
Step by Step Instructions
Make the Crêpes
Measure flour into a large bowl, then slowly whisk in milk and water.
Strain the batter through a sieve to remove any lumps.
Whisk in eggs, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the butter.
Let the batter rest 1 hour.
Make the Filling and Plate
In a frying pan combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. Cook until the banana sections soften and begin to brown, remove from the burner and add the rum.
Tip the pan slightly towards the burner flame and ignite the rum. (If you do not have a gas stovetop, carefully ignite the rum with a match.)
When the flames subside, use a slotted spoon to lift the bananas out of the pan, placing two pieces inside each crepe. Roll each crepe, placing two on each serving plate. Spoon warm sauce over the top and serve immediately.
The traditional way of serving Bananas Foster in New Orleans is with vanilla ice cream. Why not add some on top?
How can we all help Paris after the devastation of Notre-Dame? Visit and enjoy her delights. (FYI – I put up a post on Notre-Dame de Paris, but it was so engrossing and depressing last week, I just couldn’t email it out to everyone.)
A balm for our spirits could be French food. And, what better delight than enjoying plate-licking delicious French food! Are you ready for an eating marathon at intimate and authentic French bistros? It really is not such a gluttonous idea if you consider the walking all day long. And, if you can keep yourself from devouring the incredible bread before the meal arrives. (Plus, I have really decided the bread in Paris is different. It doesn’t make me feel bloated and full. Imagination?)
Here are five restaurants that will complement a week-long visit to Paris. Gratifying and all-out pleasure – French bistro dinners. That’s right, choose healthy and light or go full bore to revel in cream sauces and foie gras! Or, balance it all out by enjoying a little of all of the bountiful variety that keeps French food lingering in the memory for years.
The photos are much better at explaining the atmosphere of each place than I can describe. So, take a look.
Le Comptoir in the Hotel Relais Saint Germain
What many people used to call a “nouveau” bistro, but now it is known for solid bistro dining. On the weekdays, Le Comptoir has a set menu with a choice for the main course. On the weekends get in line and dine choosing from a menu. Yves Camdeborde makes the menu each day after checking what is available and in season. They are generous with the delicious food coming out of the kitchen. Seating outside is delightful in good weather and completely manageable when the weather is cool.
Studio apartment sized dining room of Le Comptoir.
Did someone say cheese board after dinner???
Hmmm, makes me think of, “you can use every part of the hog, except the….”
Josephine Chez Dumonet looks exactly like the classic bistro that it is. Through the door is a zinc bar on the right and tables to the left and filling the rest of the restaurant. The host is super friendly and ready to help. Like many places, the restaurant’s reservations are kept in a big, thick book on the bar. Generous portions, so you may consider ordering a half portion if available.
In the vintage dining room, order slabs of foie gras, morels stuffed with foie gras, beef bourguignon, steak tartare…. For dessert, a Grand Marnier soufflé that is over the top perfect – and enormous. Plus, an apple galette that is as thin as a crepe and perfect for dessert if you just want a taste of something sweet after dinner. Enjoy the locals enjoying this oh so Parisian restaurant.
Welcome….name for the reservation, s’il vous plait?
Foie gras, did you say??? One slab or two?
Perfection… if you can only have one more paper thin morsel.
Petit ami at Josephine Chez Dumonet
Josephine Chez Dumonet 117 rue du Cherche Midi 75006 Tél.: +33 (0)1 45 48 52 40 Métro: Duroc Telephone to make a reservation, or ask your hotel to telephone on your behalf. Only open on weekdays.
La Bourse et La Vie
With a tiny footprint on the street, you can easily miss this jewel. But, simply turn back if you miss it and you will not be disappointed. In the small plush dining room with green velvet everywhere, you will have attentive and patient service. Daniel Rose and Hugo Richier create some modern takes on the classics. Like pot-au-feu, leeks in vinaigrette, sweetbreads… Intimate, quiet and delightful.
Find the best butter ever right here on the tavern tables. That is why it is nearly impossible not to eat a whole basket of bread! Basque cuisine in the center of Paris. High energy, tables interact, waiters are fun, super nice and they encourage the fun. From the open kitchen, you can hear chef yelling. But, that is because he wants the food delivered to the table immediately, so you, the diner, can enjoy it – NOW! The atmosphere here is relaxed and fun with lots of wood and brick and close tables – often seems communal. Always changing menu depending on what Chef Stéphane Jégo finds appealing.
What to choose first… And, look at that butter!
Oh my, scrumptious steak, with a bite of boudin blanc on the side for good measure!
Chez l’Ami Jean – Stéphane Jégo 27 rue Malar 75007 Tél.: +33 (0)1 47 05 86 89 http://lamijean.fr/en/ Métro: La Tour-Maubourg Can reserve online
Although l’Assiette may be off the typical visitor’s path, it is worth a visit. It is a neighborhood restaurant that welcomes visitors. David Rathgeber performs in this kitchen now and the dining room is simple, yet elegant with painted glass panels on the ceiling. The host and waiters could not be more accommodating.
L’Assiette is a very French restaurant serving generous portions of French favorites. Try cassoulet, escargot (with lots of garlic and butter perfect for the bread on the table!), rillettes, and sweetbreads. For dessert, order the crème caramel au beurre salé (custard with salted caramel sauce on top) and watch your friends’ eyes roll back in their heads.
Cassoulet – for 3? Order appropriately!
It may look unassuming but watch for eyes rolling back in the head.
When it opened in 1958, Publicis Drugstore offered Parisians a more chic (and adult) version of our old drugstores with soda fountains. After a recent makeover by Tom Dixon, the interior is sexy and comfortable. Request seating outside – even in a bubble when it is cold – to gaze at the Arc de Triomphe while dining. Peruse the fancy cocktail list and order from friendly staff. The experience is kind of like stepping into a James Bond movie, or dining with Don Draper. Probably more Don Draper…
Unlike other places, ask for a cocktail and “Finger Food” first, then the waitstaff comes back for the food order. Quick delivery after order of healthy portions. Although there are plenty of Americans who are loud and do not try to speak French, Parisians make up a gentler percentage of the patrons. Our waitress said all desserts are made in house and what we tasted was excellent!!! By the way, beautiful bathrooms. Le Drugstore is especially convenient if you are going to the Lido for a show after dinner. Or, it stays open so late, dine after the show.
Arc de Triomphe from the bubble.
Enter through the drugstore – buy pens, paper, posters…. all on the way to your table.
This is a super simple salad that really matches well with the 4-Spice Pork. The citrus is bright and clean, and because the oranges are skinned, it makes this salad kind of special. Black olives are rich with deep flavor. Olive oil, salt, and pepper round it all out into a delicious salad to eat before or after a main course. And, if you happen to have a fennel bulb around, add that in, too.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Meal: Lunch or Dinner
2-3 oranges, skinned and sliced
10-15 oil cured black olives, sliced in half
thinly sliced fennel bulb, optional
Step by Step Instructions
Skin the oranges with a knife removing all of the fibrous material around the segments. Thinly slice the oranges and remove any white from the middle of the slices.
Arrange the sliced oranges on a plate and sprinkle with black olives.
Drizzle generously with good quality olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
If you want another layer of flavor, sprinkle with slices of fennel along with the olives.
This is a full-flavored hearty dinner. Although it could seem like a lot, take your time to plan and it could be a weeknight meal. Or, if you feel like impressing your friends or family, this food is good enough to make for a Sunday afternoon meal or for company on a Friday or Saturday night.
Pork with Four Spices (Porc avec quatre épices)
Quatre épices is the name of a spice mixture that flavors patés and other dishes. It resonates with deep, earthy flavors. Here, I have used it to season a pork butt in a simple recipe. It starts on the stove top and finishes in the oven. You could use a slow cooker as well. But, you would need to brown the pork to develop some of the flavors before putting it in the slow cooker. Simple sides are best because the intense flavor of the pork will overpower nearly any other flavors on a side.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Method: Dutch oven
About 7 lbs of pork butt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus additional
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat oven to 350º. Generously season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper.
Heat oils in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides.
Add remaining ingredients, place in oven and cook until tender, about 2.5 hours.
Remove from oven, pull the pork apart with a fork and stir it around in its juices.
Grate a little more nutmeg over the pork, stir again and serve.
When I was making this 4-Spice Pork, my friend Amy telephoned and I was telling her about it. She loved the idea of the pork and suggested this Orange and Black Olive Salad as a complement.
The pork also goes well with mashed potatoes (with lots of butter) and buttered asparagus.
Leftover pork? Don’t worry, recipe coming to turn the leftover pork into rillettes – a divine spread for a toasted baguette.
Each trip to Paris brings new insights into traveling. Both for traveling in general and for traveling specifically to Paris. This recent January trip was perfect! How could it not be? It is Paris, after all.
We were greeted with snow, then with rain on and off for a few days. The nights were chilly with low clouds, but then the sun shone through at times making the city sparkle. Generally, the weather does not affect my enjoyment of Paris, but it does determine how to pack and how to plan.
In addition to all of the information on traveling to Paris on this site, such as this packing list, here are a few recent observations. Also, a little tattle on myself for not following my own suggestions!
Map and Guidebook for Traveling
I forgot a map of Paris!!! And, a guidebook. I always bring them. Not this time. I completely forgot them while I was trying to get the dog to camp before starting to pack (so she wouldn’t be stressed). I always pack the night before or the day of the flight (not suggested), but I have always done it that way. As the trip approaches, I usually make a pile of things to put in my suitcase. But this time, I just forgot a map and guidebook. It is on the list I use to pack – but I misplaced my list the day before leaving! Not a good idea. Keep your list for packing with your suitcase!
G7 is a taxi service in Paris. A little while back, I downloaded the G7 app. It was terrific. It is quick and easy to enter the destination. Meaning no fumbling with using the wrong number in French or mispronouncing street names – all while the taxi driver speaks faster and faster French to you. Besides, it explained, in English, what kind of car was coming with contact information. Then, I could see the car on its way with an estimated time of arrival and more. Just like popular ride sharing apps.
One of my friends tried Uber and it was a 30 minute wait. Same when I tried it. In the past it has worked well, but not so great this time. Do not know the reasons why, but it is great to have options. Also, if you link the G7 app to a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange fee, even better. (Lyft is not in Paris yet.)
The Métro is always easy and super-efficient transport. As you work your way through the underground maze, make sure to look for the signs leading you in the right direction at each intersection. And, double check yourself each time. I missed a sign at one cross path, but Jennifer caught it. Of course, it wouldn’t have been terrible, but catching the right one saved time and kept us on track to our next destination.
Without my hard copy of a map, I used a map application on my phone a couple of times. I needed to confirm we were going in the correct direction. (I felt like I was cheating, but it was pretty useful!)
Although I advised my bank that I would be in France ahead of time, I still got a fraud call after using my debit card. Plus, I wasted time and had a lot of aggravation talking to a fraud person who was not really connected to my local bank. The big banks did not have these problems. And of course, American Express already knows you are there (somehow??) and knows you are spending money – so no problems with AmEx.
Poncho in Your Satchel
It rained on this visit, but it is Paris, so who really cares? I had ponchos in my satchel for everyone. One time it was really raining hard by Parisian standards so I broke out the ponchos. BUT, make sure the poncho in the little bitty sack from the drugstore is big enough to fit over you!!! Each of us had on a coat, some with sweaters underneath, and I was carrying my satchel. None of the ponchos fit over me. Another was so flimsy, and the wind was so strong, that it was constantly being turned inside out! Anyway, I was glad to have a little cover, but will be restocking with a little higher quality and checking the sizes before purchasing more.
Hiking Boots – Who Knew?
I was very happy that I brought lightweight, waterproof, hiking boots. I have never thought of bringing hiking boots to Paris before. But, it is lots of walking, sometimes on cobblestones, sometimes in the rain, and sometimes with a little slush on the ground. They were excellent. I even wore them when it wasn’t raining. So, I was very happy to have them.
Walk a Mile
Jennifer left her iPhone connected to internet service the entire time. And, if it is correct, we walked 7-8 miles each day. I was really surprised by that number! If it was a long way to dinner, we took a taxi. Most of this was really just walking in the day from Métro stops and in and around neighborhoods and a few museums. No wonder Parisians are fit looking!
Now, THIS is an Observation
And, one more….
Know When to Rest ‘Em
Everyone else took a rest in the afternoon, but I went to see more and walk around more. I have a hard time sitting still in Paris. However, the important part of this is that they NEEDED a rest so that the rest of their day would be enjoyable. IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHEN TO REST. On this trip, I was fortunate to need only about 15 minutes with my feet up before changing clothes for dinner. And, for all the places we ate dinner, I wore jeans, collared shirt and a sports jacket. Also, an outer coat and scarf for traveling to and from dinner.
Louvre Museum Shop Moved
The Louvre moved its ticket stations from right under the pyramid into the space where the gift shop used to be. Now, the museum shop is on the same underground level as before, but two parts, one either side of the wide hall leading to the inverted pyramid. It still has all of the great books, interesting gifts and walls of post cards.
Angelina on rue de Rivoli
Angelina has an outpost on the rue de Rivoli, next door to Hotel Le Meurice. The line was about 75 people long waiting to get in on a drizzly and cold afternoon. (Hint: Go to Café de Flore, instead. Or try practically any café with seating and you may be surprised by the hot chocolate.)
Stand Up Cafés Disappearing?
Cafés where one stands at the bar and orders coffee and a croissant in the morning seem to be fewer and farther between. Don’t know for sure, but we were having trouble finding them so we could duck in quickly for a shot of espresso. Will have to research more on this and be more observant. Maybe it is only the tourist areas that are filled with to-go shops.
Walk and Drink and Eat
Meanwhile on the streets of Paris, more and more Parisians seem to be walking around with cups of coffee in their hands. Quelle horreur! That is so un-Parisian to walk on the street and drink coffee. And, certainly completely unacceptable to eat while walking. Neither of these used to ever be seen.
Exercise Fanatics – In Style
Another interesting observation is that more and more joggers are all over the place – another sight that used to never be seen. They thought I was from the moon when I jogged in the mornings back in the 90s. Of course, Parisians have on matching running outfits (not just shorts and t-shirts) so they look good while jogging. The runners are everywhere, especially through the gardens and along the quais of the Seine.
January = Fashion Weeks
No wonder the hotels were not at a deep discount in January. Paris Fashion Week, both womens’ and mens’ are in January. Back-to-back. And, mens fashion week was happening when we were there. Another time to put on the calendar to check before booking.
Organ concerts at historic churches are an absolute must. They only last an hour and you don’t have to stay for the whole thing. They are a great opportunity to see magnificent architecture, and the sound from the organs can rattle your bones and the rafters. I saw/heard them at Saint-Sulpice, Saint Séverin and Saint Eustache. (I wrote more on awe-inspiring churches here.)
All incredible, but Saint Eustache may be a little more fun because the keyboard is on the ground floor. That means you can see the organist perform while listening to the music. At the others, the keyboard and the organist are way up by the pipes. At the end of the performance, they kind of peep out from the organ for their final applause. Choir organs, which are also beautiful, are played during many church services. But do not mistake them for the grand organs. The grand organs are the ones where you see the massive pipes above the main doors to the church.
For jet lag, I kind of tried the “not eating on the flights” way of thinking. On the way to Paris, the meal on the plane leaving Atlanta was at about the time I would normally have dinner, so I ate. I did not eat again until lunch in Paris at Cafe Nouvelle Saint Marie. On the way back, I ate a baguette sandwich at the airport terminal that I had bought near the hotel. Then, not again until dinner in Atlanta. Generally, my jetlag is really bad coming back from Paris. But this time, it was practically non-existent. Will try the not eating on flights again in a few months and report back.
My goal is to inspire you to enjoy the Paris of your dreams. If you are trying to take your first trip to Paris, or if you want to go without an organized tour group, then this blog is for you. If this kind of travel experience is what you are after, follow me and revel in all things Paris.
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"Paris is always a good idea."
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