Sadly, since gluten and I don’t get along, I wasn’t able to enjoy any crepes or macarons in Paris. But I was able to buy a pretty decent gluten-free baguette at my favorite Parisian natural foods grocery store, Naturalia. Other memorable finds at Naturalia included organic cherry soy yogurt, chocolate soy milk, hazelnut milk, and unbelievably yummy gluten-free madeleines and little chocolate chip cakes!
In addition to our usual travel staples of Indian and sushi restaurants, we ate at a couple of great vegetarian restaurants in Paris as well. Le Potager du Marais, located at 22 Rue Rambuteau, is a fantastic little vegetarian restaurant. The menu was loaded with tantalizing options, but in the end I had an amazing quinoa patty with a creamy – yet vegan – mushroom sauce and Jeff had veggie chili. I really appreciated that when the waitress brought bread for everyone before the meal, she brought me my own plate of gluten-free bread (which was surprisingly tasty!). We also enjoyed a quick lunch at Maoz, a vegetarian falafel and salad-based fast food franchise restaurant.
As an aside, I also wanted to mention that we never experienced the stereotype of French people being rude, even though we were those supposedly maligned tourists who don’t speak French beyond bonjour and merci. I found our waiters/waitresses to be pleasant and attentive. Our hotel staff were downright friendly. And the Metro ticket saleslady, who didn’t speak much English, went out of her way trying to explain the ins and outs of how to use our Metro passes, even though we assured her we would be fine. People tend to avoid eye contact on the Metro or when passing on the sidewalk, but that’s typical in most big cities. When we were in Vernon, the men at the bike rental and the waiter at the restaurant were more brusque, and less proficient in English, but I still wouldn’t call them rude. So my conclusion from our experience is that if you, the tourist, are not rude, then the French will generally not be rude to you. Just like anywhere else.