Skip to main content

Susan's Place, Paris, France.

Any American will tell you that one of the hardest things to do when living the expat life in Europe is to find decent Mexican food. Unfortunately, my partner and I get cravings for the 'South of the border' cuisine about 2 or 3 times a week! We had one of those last night and decided to make nachos (see picture). They were definitely not our best, for lack of quality ingredients mostly, but then again, when it comes to nachos, we've had more than our share of disappointments on this side of the Atlantic. When we first arrived in Paris in September 2003, my partner and I began our search for Mexican eateries in Paris with the help of a free monthly magazine called FUSAC (stands for French-USA Contact). And there it was, on one of their glossy pages, a small ad for a Mexican restaurant named Susan's Place, boasting nothing less than the best Chili Con Carne in Europe. I know what you're thinking, Chili Con Carne is not Mexican. Well, it's Tex-Mex. Close enough. One weekend, we decided to give it a try. It was lunchtime, and ours was the only busy table. We started with an order of nachos. Just one to share, because we wanted to save some room for more delicacies. When the plate arrived to the table, imagine our surprise when we discovered we could count the corn chips on it: there were 4. Shouldn't it be called NACHO (singular) when you get less than five chips in one order??!? It was accompanied by Chips and Salsa, or as we called it afterwards, Stales and Ketchup. The rest of the meal was just as bad. Amazingly, the restaurant is still open, though in a different location. And judging on the feedback left by recent customers on various websites ( and others), the cuisine has not improved one bit.


Popular posts from this blog

Mandarin Chicken

So much was lost when Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Lives, homes, jobs,... but also the little things that we hold dear to our hearts: photo albums, treasured heirlooms or beloved recipes. The Times-Picayune collected and published some of the latter that people went looking for in the years that followed Katrina. Mandarin Chicken was one of these recipes.  This clipping was sent to us by my partner's stepmother a few years ago. Since then, we have received nearly a hundred requests to share this recipe. Note: Every Chinese restaurant in New Orleans has its own version of Mandarin sauce. It seems to us that this one needs a few pinches of Chinese five spice in the sauce. Also, it is usually served with crushed peanuts and chopped scallions sprinkled on top.
This recipe comes from Fong's Chinese restaurant in Kenner.


Egg Batter
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 eggs
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Accent
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking…

Torta Caprese

Last year, one of my coworkers came back from Naples, Italy with an original dessert created on the island of Capri. It is a flourless cake, both rich in flavor and light in texture. It is normally enjoyed "as is", but a little bit of Chantilly cream on the side never hurt anybody!

6 oz. (170 g) dark chocolate (I used 64% cocoa)
3/4 cup (160 g) unsalted butter, cut in dice
3 large eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup ground almond meal (I used 125 g)
1 tablespoon amaretto (or any other almond liquor)
Confectioner's (icing) sugar to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Butter and line an 8-inch wide (20 cm) springform pan  with baking paper.
In a double boiler (or in a microwave oven), melt the chocolate and butter together. Let cool.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with electric beaters until the mixture turns a pale yelllow and triples in volume.
Using a spatula, gently fold the chocolate mixture, alternating with the ground almond meal and amaretto, into the egg mi…

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

Here in Menton, la FĂȘte du Citron (Lemon Festival) is almost upon us. This year's theme is Broadway Musicals. A couple of years ago, the citrus structures were inspired by a famous Jules Verne novel, Les tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (Tribulations of a Chinaman in China).

And when life gives you lemons, you make... lemon desserts! My partner found this amazing lemon mousse recipe online, which I tweaked slightly to match the ingredients I find here. The original recipe can be found here:
For my version of it (less sweet, but same silky smooth texture), keep reading.

Yields 6 to 10 servings.

1 cup crushed Speculoos cookies (brown sugar cinnamon cookies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon (42g) butter, melted

2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon water
3 sheets unflavored gelatin (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder gelatin)
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Yellow foo…