Angelina tearoom/restaurant in Paris came very highly recommended. In fact, people raved about it to me. So Liebling and I just had to give it a try during our weekend jaunt to France’s capital city.
An appeal for Paris food/restaurant recommendations on my Facebook page showed Angelina to be a clear crowd favourite. Again and again people expounded on the merits of this upscale patisserie. As such, I hastily added it to my Paris itinerary, images of delicious baked goods and delectable sandwiches dancing in my head. Upon arrival in Paris, I checked the internet before leaving our hotel room and hastily scribbled Angelina’s address on a scrap of paper.
I was excited.
A long walk to view some of Paris’ best attractions and a few silly photos later, Liebling and I arrived at the popular restaurant, hungry and expectant. A long queue of tourists stretched outside the door. We were dismayed, but assured at the same time. If there were that many people waiting to eat there, it must be good. Twenty minutes later, we were lead through the beautifully appointed venue and seated at an intimate (read: small) table for two.
Then came the shock.
The prices on the elegantly done menu gave me a start. I know this is Paris, but there was no way that I was going to pay 20 euros ($27 USD!) for a club sandwich! My hunger has limits.
Liebling scoffed along with me and turned the page. But the other options didn’t look promising either. The chicken caesar salad looked tempting, but no way was I going to pay 21 euros for some lettuce and shavings of poulet.
“Mais non, Oneika, this is Paris!” you cry, “Food is expensive!” This is true, but I am cheap. Liebling can be just as frugal. And Angelina’s appeared to be out of our budget, which we painstakingly tried not to blow during a weekend trip to one of the world’s most expensive cities. But the situation was getting critical. After waiting 20 minutes for a table, the lovely server seated us in the din of the dining hall, and had already come by the table once in an attempt to take our order. Surely, we couldn’t simply get up and walk out, citing being too poor to sample the restaurant’s offerings? That would just be embarrassing.We turned to the dessert section.
Ahhh, sweet relief. The prices were more abordable, as they say in French: more approachable. The offerings seemed complicated culinary feats, crafted with fancy ingredients I had never heard of (I mean, what’s a “Tonka Bean”?). After some hand-wringing, a decision: Liebling would get the Millefeuille cake, and I, boring as they come, would get the lemon tart. The food arrived in short order and there was nothing left to do but dig in.
I’ll admit, we were not blown away. Not in the least.
The cake was light and airy and my lemon tart was, well, tart. The flaky layers of Liebling’s choice actually made me regret having ordered plain old lemon, though it was very good as well. All was very tasty. But. After all the recommendations we got and the long queue of tourists hoping to grace Angelina’s tables, we somehow expected more. An orgasmic, near-Nirvana like experience, perhaps. After all the buildup, we were a tad disappointed at the relative mediocrity of our orders.
We didn’t believe the hype.
Tasty looking indeed. But I wondered if their appearance far exceeded their actual taste. Perhaps I will have to return to Angelina during my next trip to Paris to find out.
Have you ever eaten at Angelina? Am I wrong in my assessment? Have you ever been to a restaurant that was too expensive or where you felt you didn’t get your money’s worth?
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