Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dejeuner at Pourquoi Pas? Mais oui!

With my fall French language classes about to resume, I've been getting back into the spirit of all things française. One of my favorites: the food.

Many people associate French food with heavy ingredients, particularly butter, but that isn't always the case, especially if you're veg.

I had a little dejeuner at Westwood, New Jersey's Pourquoi Pas?, a charming little bistro. Going for lunch here, like many fine dining establishments, will cost a fraction of what it would for dinner.

A cheerful dining room. There are two tables outside as well. Bring your own wine: save a fortune.

J'adore le chien!

Who says everything's better with butter? We were given basil-infused olive oil with our bread, and asked if we would like butter as well.

Did the waitress telepathically sense a vegan? When saying the daily soup, she said it was dairy-free. A cup of the carrot, potato and leek soup (made with vegetarian stock) and a half of a roasted vegetable sandwich (hold the brie cheese), $9.50.

To share: pears poached in red wine, $6.50.

With pears now in season (the ones below are from Old Hook Farm), I can't wait to make one of my favorite fall desserts: Poire Belle Hélène. Check out the Urban Vegan's tempting version.

I asked the waitress if they had soy milk for their coffee. She said she prefers it herself, persuaded the chef to buy a container, and then no one ordered it. Always good to put in a verbal request in for soy.

While dining, a cellphone went off at the next table, and the woman not only picked it up, but actually put it on speaker so she and her dining companion could discuss her daughter's place cards for a wedding. Quelle horreur! Rudeness is getting out of control.

Want to learn a language or another hobby? Don't discard those community school fliers. They are a fun and inexpensive way to learn and meet others with the same interest. My course costs just $60 for 10 sessions (a course at FIAF costs $550. C'est trop cher!) It's not as competitive as a college class, but it's refreshing and fun to have a little French culture infused into my life after a long day.

Can't make it to Paris? Check out the stunning photos on everyday life there at ParisDailyPhoto.

Visit Pourquoi Pas? Bistro, 31 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, NJ.


Chessbuff said...

I know more French than Spanish which is not typical of someone from the Philippines. I love the language and a reading knowledge of French is required at my workplace. The best thing that to help one's French is to have a French-speaking sweetheart, but I didn't have such luck. However, I did have a flight instructor who was from France and I got in as much French as I could while earning my wings.

I am just curious. Have I met you before, at a fundraiser for Tom Rider and the elephants? At Veggie Heaven in Teaneck? Avec ta mere? J'oublie.

Vegan Good Life said...

Oui, c'est moi! I remember you telling me how easy was (I think I was just mapping out blogging at that stage). Merci mille fois! I am regular reader of On Loving Animals.

Someone gave me the same advice about a sweetheart. I have a co-worker who is fluent who I can practice with in between French courses. Some more time in Paris would help!

Thanks for reading (and for all the good work you do for animals at your shelter!)

Chessbuff said...

Forgive me for being unsure. I don't recall you taking a photo of your dish, but that was before you blogged. I hope your mom is fine, an elegant and charming lady. She spoke with an accent which now I presume is Swiss. But, Swiss could be German or French. And so you must have some exposure to these languages.

Paris, yes, I love the city. It's time to go back.

Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks for the kind words! I'm so lucky to have her as a mother. My parents are both from the German-speaking part of Switzerland, but my father does speak some French too.