A Very Vegas Birthday

A Very Vegas Birthday

Anyone who knows me understands that I take birthdays very seriously. I’ve always celebrated the entirety of my birthday month, and in attempt to get my way when it comes to small, unimportant things, I’ve said to Skyler no less than a dozen times this month, “Come on, it’s my birthday month!” I fully acknowledge that I am over-the-top in how much I care about my own birthday.

But Skyler has risen to the occasion each and every year. Two years ago, he surprised me with a trip to Nashville to visit my best friend. Last year, he surprised me with a wine-filled weekend in the Finger Lakes. But this year, he bragged, would be my best. birthday. ever. 

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Best Escargot In Town.

Best Escargot In Town.

Francophile: (n.) an individual who has a strong positive predisposition or interest toward the government, culture, history, or people of France. This could include France itself or its history, the French language, French cuisine, literature, etc.

That word describes me perfectly, especially when it comes to French cuisine. Having studied French for over 10 years, and spending a small amount of time in Paris, I consider myself to be French food snob. (Probably unreasonably so.) But I just could not bring myself to eat escargot. I mean, come on… it’s a snail.

That changed two years ago, when I was sitting across the table from my aunt in a restaurant in Baltimore. (I can never remember if it was her rehearsal dinner or her reception, but I do know that her wedding was involved in some capacity.) Her appetizer smelled delicious, like a hearty butter. She offered me a bite on her escargot-sized spoon, and the rest was history.

My adoration for this cuisine has followed me back to Pittsburgh, where I have been searching for the best escargot in town. I found it at Paris 66.  I decided on this restaurant after some great reviews from our friends, and I quickly ordered their Escargot Bourguignon. My date wrinkled his nose, as I once had, but I promised him that those little soaked snails would win him over.

They arrived at our table on an indented metal tray, dripping with garlic, parsley, and anis butter. I devoured one instantly, but noticed he was still apprehensive. After a little coaxing, he bit one in half — an escargot no-no — and swallowed. Unlike me, he didn’t immediately fall in love.

Too bad for him, more for me.

(Photo by Taste of Pittsburgh. Read her review of Paris 66 here.)