Today Liz and I met a couple other friends at the Louvre and headed over to the Marais, the gay-Jewish neighborhood, according to Liz. We were on the hunt for some good falafel. We found it at Chez Marianne, where I constructed the following delicious plate of falafel, hummus, kefta, eggplant, tahini, and liver mousse. Yum.

My original plan was to eat at Racines, as I read in the latest issue of the Art of Eating that it was one of the few places in Paris where I could get my hands on an andouillete de troyes. But not just any andouillete de troyes – one of the few to be awarded the elusive AAAAA rating which is the highest distinction the sausage can achieve. The five A’s stand for the Association Amicales des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique, a group of food writers that convene every two years to taste all the andouillete’s de troyes and dole out the distinctions. The andouillete is a sausage made of pork intestines, stomach and a little seasoning. Their quality can range severely given the delicacy of the ingredients, so I was determined to find one of the good ones. Apparently there are only 8 producers right now that have the five A’s and restaurants will always advertise this distinction on the menu. So as we walked from the Marais to Sacre Coure my eyes raced up and down every chalkboard outside the bistros looking for AAAAA. I had several false alarms, as there were a couple bistros that had the andouillette de troyes but did not note any A’s.Since I speak no French, and Liz speaks only a bit , I had to assume that they were not up to snuff. The only phrase she could come up with was “Who does your sausage, sir?” and needless to say I did not feel comfortable asking that. After 30 or so minutes of walking (and a stop for more macaroons), my diligence paid off. Somewhere in the 9th I spotted it. Of course, no one else was hungry at this point since we just had lunch, but I convinced them to sit down and have a glass of wine while I ate my sausage. Here it is in all its glory.

It was served with a dijon mustard sauce and some fries. Upon cutting into it the smell of intestine hit me and everyone else at the table hard. The taste was not as sharp, though, with just a hint of stink. The andouillette typically does not hold together well and this was no exception. The bits spilled out, as you can see. But it was incredibly tender and really quite tasty. I was very happy that I stumbled upon it.

No dinner out tonight. Friends from yesterday had us over for some yummy foie gras on toast and veal roast. Tomorrow night is la piece de resistance – dinner at Astrance, currently #11 on the San Pellegrino list of the world’s top 50 restaurants.