Food & Drink - Tiki Lounge and Taco Hunt
It was a warm Friday night, just after midnight, the sun had set less than 2 hours earlier and Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud was still buzzing with life. The further we meandered into the depths of the 11th arrondissement the less dense the groups of smokers and drinkers occupying the sidewalks in front of each bar or brasserie got until it was just 2 standing in front of our destination. At night, one would hardly be able to make it out with little exterior lighting and it's tinted windows. Le Tiki Lounge. Upon a google map survey of our neighborhood, I knew this was a place we had to check out.
Opening the door let out a cacophony of 50's & 60's rock, very reminiscent of the Elvis my grandmother loved. We made our way to a magenta-lit corner in the back and claimed a spot in rattan lounge chairs padded with floral cushions where we poured over the menu. No more than 12 drinks, all what you would expect—with copious amounts of rum. I made my way to the bar to order a round, after floundering my French he graciously switched over to English and we had a chat as he poured, and poured, and poured. The drinks we're shaken and beautifully garnished with basil and a mini tiki carved oar. Soon we would be approached by Cedric, our host for the evening, the owner of this fascinating establishment. As we chatted and finished our drinks he proposed we have something off the menu, Emma not being a fan of rum had a gin based drink with fresh raspberries and I had what amounted to 4 shots of rum with creme de coco.
We chatted with the bartender and Cedric a bit more, trying to capture as many suggestions as we possibly could about spots in the neighborhood. Cedric suggested that if we like live music we come to this show below a restaurant the following evening. He scribbled down the time and location and poured just one last shot before we departed. (Don't worry, you'll hear about the basement show another time)
At this point, Emma and I had lost sense of time. We wanted tacos though. I remembered there being a spot just around the corner from our apartment on Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud — La Dona. Timbaud still reverberated with life as we walked towards La Dona. We went immediately to the bar looking for food. "The kitchen is closed" ...NOOOO. We ordered a round of mezcalita's and started a conversation with another expat, an off duty member of the La Dona staff from Mexico City. As the night went on we went from talking about local establishments to politics, movies, and relocating.
By the time we had finished our second round of drinks it was approaching 2AM and he had to kick us out. As we climbed the hardest 72 steps we've ever climbed in our life all I could think about was the demi-baguette and wedge of brie in the fridge while Emma worried about waking the lady with the witch door decoration that lives below us. We opened the windows to our 6th floor walk up and the liveliness of Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud had drifted away into the darkness of the Paris night as did we.