Paris à la Carteby Julian Street
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Paris à la Carte, written by Julian Street, (1879–1947)published in New York in 1912. Julian Street was the Author Of "The Need Of Change," "My Enemy - The Motor," "Ship-Bored," Etc.. With Illustrations by May Wilson Preston. "Paris A La Carte" Originally Appeared In Everybody's Magazine. A charming account of the author's "gastronomic promenades" of Paris, as he expresses it, "principally in taxis." The volume is not a guide book to the restaurants of Paris, but is made up of entertaining and amusing sketches that will make enjoyable reading for those who have never been abroad, and helpful to those who intend going. (112 pages)
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...In the foreword to his "Gastronomic Promenade in Paris," published 1804, the eminent and capacious Grimod de la Reyniere expressed himself as follows:
..."The author will regret neither the cares nor the indigestions his researches have caused him, if the alimentary art owes new progress to this effort."
...In the account, which follows, of certain of my own "gastronomic promenades in Paris," conducted (principally in taxis) more than one hundred years after Grimod, the reader may miss the sweetly melancholy note of the old gourmand. I have no cares and but few indigestions to look back upon. Nor am I in the least concerned as to new progress of the alimentary art, which — as at present practiced in the agreeable city of Paris — meets with my more than cordial approbation.
...In making my researches I carried with me no sense of deep responsibility, no gloomy thoughts on the "decadence of the French cuisine," of which one hears in Paris. My principal accoutrements were, upon the contrary, an almost frivolous optimism, an appreciative palate, a roving eye, and a substantial set of banknotes. I may have also carried, upon some of my excursions, a pencil and a memorandum book, but the notes I made were not so interesting as those I spent. I did not make the notes I spent. They were supplied to me by the very kindly Editors of Everybody's Magazine, who, in the interests of science, financed my expedition.
...It is true that the Editors of Everybody's Magazine stayed at home, while the writer crossed the seas and risked digestion, even life itself, in the course of his explorations. But this fact does not justify a charge of cowardice against them. It is not given to all of us to take the field. Not all of us may go into action to the martial music of the Hungarian orchestra, may hear the hoarse orders of head waiters, the clatter of wine coolers being rushed forward into action, the heavy detonation of the magnums, and the incessant popping of the pints and splits. Not all of us may witness the swift, silent rushes and retreats of the light infantry of omnibus boys, and the flashing of steel blades as brave hearts and gouty hands surround the floral centrepiece and try conclusions with Sole à la Marguéry or Canard pressé. No, there must be unsung heroes, who, staying ingloriously at home, yet furnish the sinews of war. The writer therefore gives his thanks to the Editors of Everbody's.
...The present volume contains much material which, owing to the limitations of magazine space, to recent restaurant history in Paris, and to further information which has come to the hands of the author from various sources, did not appear in the original publication. One correspondent, after flattering me upon the thoroughness with which he is kind enough to say my original work was done, utters a mild reproach upon my negligence in leaving out his pet among the smaller Paris restaurants: Au petit Riche, in the rue Lepelletier, which he says is more than very good and less than very moderate. Another mentions Lucas'. I shall look forward to the Petit Riche and Lucas'.
...So there you are! And may your viands taste like magic dishes from some fire fairy's golden casserolle. J. S.
...New York, January, 1912.
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