Saturday, April 02, 2005

Couscous gratuit!

I was in the midst of deciding what to make for dinner, which proved more difficult than normal as my biggest pot is in the fridge with my left-over Jarret de veau. I decided I wanted something spicy, perhaps Middle-Eastern or Indian, so I was all prepared to head down to an awesome spice shop near home when I got a Texto on my phone from Kym, a Canadian friend from my acting classes (which start again on Monday!). "Couscous gratuit ce soir," it read. Free couscous? On a Friday night? With friends? That satisfied all my requirements and more (except that I couldn't go to the spice store, but ah, well).

After many more Texto's, we agreed to meet two other girls and Kym's sister at a Metro Station where Marie (who actually told us about the couscous in the first place) would lead us all to Free Food. Kym, her sister and I were late, then Marie, the only Parisienne, got us lost (it was in the 11e, which is a quite confusing area). Finally we saw a bar with a small blackboard outside reading "Couscous gratuit, vendredi et samedi soirs." We went in, waited for a half hour and then finally, after much shuffling around, settled down at two small tables pushed together. We ordered drinks (necessary for free couscous, apparently) and waited for a food.

While not the best couscous I've ever had, and without serving the superfluous amounts of grain the Boy and I are used to, it was surprisingly good. It came with a big ceramic bowl of vegetable stew and a plate of stewed mutton--a little stringy, but I liked it. Needless to say, we cleaned our plates. I actually wouldn't have minded a little more food, but, for couscous gratuit, it was perfect.

There was live music behind us and a not-bad bottle of wine. Also, The Mummy (the new one) was being projected onto a wall, mute with French subtitles. In general drinks at this bar are cheap (2,50 for a kir although by 22h00 last night they had run out of white wine) and there are fun faintly Middle Eastern lamps hanging from the ceiling (which Kym kept banging her head against). All in all, a very enjoyable evening.

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