In November 2010, French cuisine was hailed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO as an “intangible heritage of humanity.” The UN’s cultural arm had been making the list since 2003, y gathering cultural practices from across countries it deemed worthy of preservation. France’s gastronomical tradition was included in the list for its emphasis on “togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.” Any restaurant in the world can whip up a boeuf bourguignon or a fillet mignon, but nothing beats experiencing that “pleasure of taste” in its original environment.
A French food trip tour should always include the spa town of Enghiens Les Bains in one’s itinerary. Situated 13.4 kilometers from Paris, the town is never/ lacking in places visitors can go to but without the hustle and bustle of a city. The Hotel du Lac Enghiens Les Bains is popular for the relaxing view of the Lake Enghiens it affords guests. Built beside the lake, too, is the Casino Barriere, the oldest card and slot gaming accommodation in the Paris area. It houses the only slot machine room in Paris, with 488 slot machines. With 44 card dealing tables, the gaming hall of the casino is also the biggest in the country. This makes Casino Barriere a fitting venue for the 2013 World Poker Tour–Europe, which will be held in October. Poker, blackjack and roulette are all of French origins. Poker, for one, originates from its predecessor, the ancient French card game poque. It was brought to America by the French settlers in Louisiana. The card game played by originally four players became the game of choice in saloons and gaming houses in the 19th century. A century after that, poker has become the most popular card game in the world. In France, online poker sites like Partypoker.fr are becoming popular. The online poker sector attracted 1.7 million new players in 2012.
Like poker going online, the French favorites like pot a feu and veal blanquette are given a modern and healthy treatment by the chefs of Le 85 Restaurant and Bar inside the Grand Hotel Barierre with ingredients being posted online. Created with dieters in mind, the dishes in the menu are divided into categories: fit, figure and detox. Only the freshest ingredients are used for these “well-being” dishes.
The La Taverne is another restaurant in Enghiens Les Bains that is racking up excellent reviews. Guests often come back for the steak in blue cheese sauce, as well as for the aubergine and feta mille feuille. The strawberry tartare also won’t disappoint any sweet tooth. The price of the dishes is also something foodies would praise. You get an entire meal, from kir to dessert, costing only €27.