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 Home > News > Quand j’étais Parisienne...
  9 December 2006 Quand j’étais Parisienne...


Quand j’étais Parisienne... by Julia

Ahhhh Pareee. I’m not really sure what I expected to find there, a quick decision to return to the city I once called my second home. Memories of times both good and bad. Friends, old and new. Exes. Flirts. Definitely flaky, golden croissants, crispy/doughy baguettes and a daily pick of groceries only found in specialty stores in the U.S.

Sunday morning began with a croissant and café crème at Aux Rendez-Vous Des Artistes in Pigalle (my new home for the next two weeks) with my friend Charly. A short nap later, it was off to the Chocolate Show at Porte de Versailles.

This year’s show was a bit lacking in the glam of yesteryear. Granted, it’s been a few years since I first attended the elegant array of chocolate treats underneath the grand Pyramid. There was something magical about it being held there. Sophistication. Elegance. A room of chocolate-filled dreams. While I understand that the Porte de Versailles offers more space, I was slightly unimpressed with the intense grabby grabber crowd and the temperature of the hall. I’m surprised the models didn’t flee from the runway leaving trails of dripping cocoa behind. I did manage to purchase a jar of Caramel au Beurre Salé from Charpentier (87 rue de Courcelles 75017 Paris), however, which did indeed save the day. As this was more of a trip for pleasure and grounding rather than business, my time was not bombarded by fancy restaurants and outings with chefs. However, a girl’s gotta eat right?

First of all, the experience of grocery shopping in France is ideal. Small terrines of rabbit pâté in Armagnac, crunchy brown cubes of sugar, thick and creamy Perle de Lait, an entire aisle dedicated only to cheese. And of course there is La Grande Epicérie otherwise known as foodie heaven. Comtesse du Barry never fails to bring joy to my eyes either with their small cans and jars of foie gras, confit de canard, etc. Of course, I didn’t spend all my time in grocery and food specialty stores.

Chez Papa (this time in the 8th arrondissement at 29 rue de l’Arcade). Their original restaurant still stands in the 10th at 206, rue Lafayette, with other locations in Paris (my favorite: 6, rue Gassendi in the 14th). Growing ever so popular, they have begun franchising their establishment. Coming soon to a city near you. ’Papa’, Mr. Bruno Druilhe is apparently the spitting image of that of the Chez Papa brand, from the Southwest of France, and a bit rough around the edges. He does make a mean Super Papa salad brimming with cantal, gesiers, lardons, and patates. This has to be one of my favorite spots in Paris. Down to earth and real with the tastes of home, if you grew up in the Southwest of France.

Refuge des Fondues near Metro Abbesses at 17, rue des 3 Frères still promises a friendly uncle-type (not the creepy kind) atmosphere as the main man takes your hand to help you step over the giant wooden communal table and up to the other side. 16 Euros will get you an apéritif, potato/saucisson/olive hors d’oeuvres plate, a bubbling pot of Savoyarde or Bourguignonne fondue, and either a fruit salad or cheese for dessert. Oh, and of course let us not forget the baby bottle of wine. Takes ya back, don’t it? [...]

To be continued on:

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