Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pastry check-in

It had to happen. Today was a bit gluttonous.

It all started on Rue de Martyrs, which is an awesome little market-filled street, much like the Rue de Montorgueil near my new apartment. It’s food paradise, and I love walking around and admiring the piles of clementines and artichokes, smelling the stinky cheese (fromageries) and seafood (poissonneries) shops, ogling the patisseries and boulangeries… I even enjoy the butchers (chacuteries) with their coils of sausages and terrines of pates because the food here is taken so seriously that you have no choice but to appreciate it, and maybe even genuflect before it. It’s glorious.

I had read about Rose Bakery, started by an English woman who married a Frenchman. It’s supposed to have lovely scones, salads, sandwiches and the like, and I wanted to give a try. But not bad enough to wait in the line that was about eight people deep when I arrived (I hate waiting in food lines). I took a gander at the salads, tarts and baked goods—which did indeed look worth some waiting around for—bookmarked it for a future visit, then beat it across the street to Arnaud Delmontel. Sure, his bread is incroyable, but what of his pastries?

Oh! Oh, so, so good. I should have written down the one I chose. There were just too many to choose from and I stood before a very patient shopkeeper for many long minutes, trying to decide. The one I finally decided on was similar to a pain a chocolat except it had a different shape and was filled with pistachio almond paste. It was so fresh and delicious; the pastry, so flaky and buttery; it made my heart flutter as I strolled down the hill eating it.

My quest for the day was to check out a bookstore down on Rue de Rivoli so I carried on southward and, wouldn’t you know, I crossed rue Saint-Honoré right near Michel Cluizel. I took this as a sign that it was time to have my first bite of chocolate in Paris and got one—just one, so don’t talk to me about a lack of restraint—marcolat, the crunchy, praline-filled, macaron-shaped chocolate that I had discovered last year in Paris.

I then hit a couple British bookstores, which were wonderful (I swear, I could blow all my savings when a bookstore is new to me.) and meandered to the Marais. I figured it was time to add a healthy salad to the pastry and chocolate that were mingling in my belly.

But it was one of those days where I just couldn’t find the right place to eat. I went back to the café I visited last weekend, but they were done serving food. And I was getting tired and cranky. So I wound up at a very mediocre place and had a very mediocre salad that suffered from too much oily dressing. I hate mediocre food. It just shouldn’t happen—especially here.

So I felt gypped. Which was my excuse for searching for another pastry. Which was a bad idea. Never make a shotgun pastry decision.

Even though I had conveniently made my way to Rue de Montorgueil, the market-filled street near my new apartment, where the patisseries should be good, mine wasn’t. I had a plie du chocolat, which was similar to last week’s Pain Suisse, but drier.

To repent, I had half a mini-quiche and fruit for dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment