Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pudlo for Paris

Hands down the best choice we made before leaving for our Paris trip this spring was purchasing the Pudlo Paris Restaurant Guide. We used this book for every restaurant choice we made. Before we left we used it to make a list of our desired dinner reservations to give to our concierge. On the trip we used it to look up places with great food that weren't too expensive, for our lunches.

The book is organized by arrondissement and uses symbols to give details such as fancy or everyday, expensive or affordable, and whether the food is exceptional for the amount paid.

Our best meals, with the most Parisian ambiance and very local feel as well as great traditional French food were chosen directly from Pudlo's best food for the money choices. The worst meals we endured in Paris were found when we went on our own without any Pudlo guidance.

The Pudlo book is similar to both the Zagat and Michelin guides. Similar to Zagat as it is written with authoritative opinion and direct quotes from the reviewers (Pudlo uses a team of people to review each restaurant). Similar to Michelin in the breadth of detail and local flavor given to the guide (you need to know the article for the name of the restaurant to find it in the index - le? la? l'?).

We ended up destroying our Pudlo Paris book during the trip. It was my husband's idea. Why not rip out the pages you need for the day and just put them in your day pack? This worked like a charm as the book itself is quite large and heavy. We tore out pages with abandon and left the tattered shell in the trash of our George V hotel room on the last day. The book comes out yearly, so clearly we'd need another one for our next Parisian adventure.

It's well worth the expense!

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