me and Robyn at Ladurée
I live vicariously through Robyn’s blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything. She’s a New York-based food blogger whose blog I love because it has all these obscenely drool-inducing photos of desserts, and close-up at that! Robyn writes with flair and a lot of humor: she calls sandwiches “sammiches,” and the inner crumb of any baked goods, “innards.”
To say that Robyn and I met online implies some kind of creepy, this-will-lead-to-no-good friendship, but after communicating with her for over a year via email, I really feel like I’ve known her for a long time. Such is the connection of two people drawn together by food. When I read that she was going to Paris for a semester as part of her undergraduate degree, I felt that we were meant to meet since I was going to Paris too! (How cool is that!)
After a flurry of emails and fumbling text messages on Robyn’s part (she admits she’s not adept at texting), we finally meet up in Paris one evening. She’s waiting for me at the Métro station near Rue Cler, her back is turned, and I just know it’s her. I’m no shy person so I tap her on the shoulder and ask, “Oh my GOD, are you Robyn!” It’s a rhetorical question and we know it. With big smiles, we hug and begin talking animatedly.
Unlike two people meeting for the very first time, there are no uncomfortable silences between me and Robyn. Like I said earlier, it’s like we’ve known each other for almost forever. I mean, how cool is it that a food blogger from New York and Manila meet in Paris of all places?! One thing we do know a lot about are each other’s food preferences. We chat excitedly as we walk along Rue Cler looking for a place to eat dinner.
We end up at Café Du Marche, a typical French restaurant. While we are given English menus, Robyn peers at the large blackboard menu tacked on the wall behind me. “It makes more sense reading it in French,” she explains. Indeed, she orders a confit de canard, something that’s infinitely more melodious-sounding than its English counterpart: duck preserved in fat. It arrives as a plate of fried duck accompanied with sautéed potatoes and a green salad. There’s a garlic paste similar to an aïoli smeared on the crispy duck skin, garlicky enough Robyn says to “…clear her mucus membranes.” See, I told you the girl’s a riot.
I go for the salad which Robyn calls “a salad bar on a plate.” As I said in a previous post, I don’t know what makes salads in Paris so good. It could be the sheer number of ingredients that went into this one, and hardly counting the lettuce, mind you: cauliflower, green beans, ruby-red tomatoes gushing juice, shredded carrots, parma ham, couscous, and the pièce de résistance, a large slab of foie gras. Oomph.
Conversation between two food bloggers consists of what else – but the discussion of our respective sites; previous posts discussed – “Did you really drink that
pudding-thick hot chocolate from City Bakery, Robyn?” “I sure did!” She replies. We also trade barbs on who’s luckier: Robyn’s envious at all the good food I eat in Manila and I’m green with jealousy at the number of bakeries she has at her disposal in New York. There’s not a dull moment between us and we laugh as we simultaneously take out our respective cameras when our food arrives. Ah, food bloggers, we’re all alike.
It goes without saying that Robyn and I scout for a place to have dessert after we’re done at Café du Marche. Unfortunately, I don’t live up to my reputation as a dessert diva at La Tour Maubourg Café – I opt for a loser latte while Robyn shows supreme intestinal fortitude by ordering a tarte tatin. When it arrives, she grows silent and forks in little bits of the pastry into her mouth. Her joy is evident – her eyes are sparkling and her gushes of praise – this is so good, this is so good — are unceasing. I can’t help but take a photo of her delight. I realize that I only see this kind of reaction among people who really know how to appreciate food. I love watching these kinds of people eat.
It’s getting late and we catch a Métro home. Robyn and I are still chatting away – I’ve promised to bring her around Manila when she visits one day – “You must visit Asia, Rob!” – and she urges me to get to New York pronto – “It’s destiny!” She crows. As the train pulls up to my stop which is one stop before hers, Robyn and I hug and she tells me, “Thanks for being awesome, Lori.” A great happiness swells inside me at having finally met this incredible, food-obsessed person. You’re awesome too, Rob. I hop off the train and smile and wave goodbye.
Read Robyn’s post about our meeting up.
Robyn and I also met a second time to satisfy our mania for hot chocolate at