Eating with friends is a classic French tradition

Drinks between friends

“Where should we go for lunch?” your friend asks.

“Let’s go to that new French place, Maison Parisienne,” you answer.

“Oh, French food takes a long time. Besides, it’s usually expensive, and they probably don’t have anything vegetarian.”

“Au contraire!” you reply. “Maison Parisienne offers a great selection of quick, delicious French sandwiches, salads, and pastries for breakfast, lunch, or early dinner. They even have vegetarian quiche. We can be in and out as fast as you want, and their prices are affordable. Come on, let’s go; I’ll buy.”

“But I don’t want to just rush in and out,” your friend says. “I just want to hang out for awhile and get something to eat, maybe some coffee. Do they have coffee?”

“They serve premium coffee,” you say, “and it’s a great place to hang out. Their surroundings are very cozy and comfortable, very French.”

“I heard the French were stuffy, especially to Americans,” your friend says doubtfully.

“Look, the French have an expression: Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.”

“What does that mean?” asks your friend. “Are we going to have to speak French at this place?”

“No, It means ‘Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly,” you explain. “The French see food not just as a means of staying alive, but of really living.
Eating and drinking are about enjoyment, relaxation, time spent with friends. We Americans are in such a rush about food that we seldom take time to stop and enjoy it. French hospitality is very welcoming. Come see for yourself!”

“Ok,” your friend says doubtfully. “They have dessert too, right?”

You smile. “Just wait til you see their pastry case. Éclairs, tarts, croissants, mille-feuilles…”

“Why didn’t you say so?” your friend says. “Let’s go!”

Copyright: Matthias Ripp

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