Sunday, February 27, 2011

Paris, Day Two

We went shopping at Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt in the morning and stopped in Cafe Paul Bert for lunch, which was very crowded with French people. I got the "menu" (a prix fixe including an appetizer, a main, and some wine) while Priya decided to get stuff a la carte--probably a mistake in retrospect, because it cost twice as much and was not very good. Our vegetable soups were just creamy broth, and my flank steak with shallots (bavette a l'échalotte) was fine, but Priya's croque Paul Bert was kind of gross--no ham and an absolutely gigantic amount of cheese over toasted (not grilled) bread. However, the bottled grape juice she ordered was fantastic. As we ate, we saw three separate French people around us order hamburgers--and eat them improperly (discarding the bun entirely and cutting off pieces of meat which ate with a fork, buttering each piece with ketchup as they went).

Note: we've heard of a Paul Bert Bistro nearby here as well, which is supposed to be good--this isn't it, and it's not that good. The Alain Milliat grape juice was fantastic, though.

After the Louvre, we went to La Grande Epicerie de Paris fancy-food store attached to the Bon Marche department store. We ended up spending hours there--it was amazing. Forbidden from photographing some of the food, we snuck in a few pix anyway. We ended up returning the the Epicerie a few days later to buy more stuff because it was so good.

There is a whole molecular gastronomy section...agar-agar, sphere-making kits, foam stuff...:

In the end, everything looked so good (and we were still tired) that we decided to have dinner at home with stuff purchased from the Epicerie...some ham and sausages (jambon torchon, jambon bayonne, and chaudin poivre vert), a few cheeses (St. Marcellin, 18-month Comte, and Ossau Iraty), some baguettes, some crystallized kumquats (so good, much better than fresh kumquats), some French apples, a mangosteen (I was super-excited to find these; since they're illegal to import in the US, I've been looking for them for ages, and only found a bag of previously-frozen mangosteens on the street in Chinatown that were really nothing special), some tamari almonds (actually from the Co-Op in Brooklyn), some wine, and some of the grape juice we'd had earlier at Paul Bert. And for dessert, some packaged chocolate mousse that was really very good:

1 comment:

Simon said...

Croque -anything- it traditionally toasted bread, never grilled as far as I have see