We talked about budget eating in Paris, so it’s only fitting to keep the foodie love going and share one of my favorite French specialties that fits a budget and can be found in Paris and beyond. Moules Frites, steamed mussels with french fries. So, what is all the fuss? Well, the mussels come with an endless varieties of sauces-creamy, lemony, vinagrettey, cheesy, and usually restaurants offer them à volonté, all you can eat!
My first taste of moules frites was the winter of our first year living here. We went to a restaurant specializing in moules frites with some friends. The flavor of the day-was tartiflette- cheese, bacon, and potatoes, winter comfort food in France, and the selection of sauces was endless with combinations including snails, four cheese, more bacon, and your basic lemon and herbs. Diego went big and ordered the tartiflette, I ordered a creamy basil sauce.
When the food arrived, we each received a huge bowl full of mussels and a spoon. Our French friends dug right in and were finished in half the time it took the rest of us. We tasted each sauce and tried to find the best balance between mussel, sauce and french fries. We had the option to make it all you can eat buffets-but the servings were so big that just finishing one was challenge enough.
Diego, born and bred in the seafood capital of Spain, Galicia, was a hard sell, but even he says we have to go back for more moules frites. Being a seafood newbie was completely sold-especially for those bacon, potato and cheese mussels. So, give moules frites a try if you have the chance; a very French meal that is good for the budget traveller…and go for the creamy bacony goodness!