Paris is undoubtedly my favorite city to visit (and dream about living in when I retire). There is so much love in the city. The passion between people, for the history of the town, and especially for the food.
The daily schedule shows us that love. Sit down for a simple croissant and café for breakfast. Sit down for a late morning café. Sit down for lunch, and then sit down for dinner. Parisians sit when they eat, to enjoy the food and company without distractions.
Except, possibly, for people-watching.
We never saw people eating or drinking on the Metro or even while walking around (and especially never in their car – mon Dieu!). We could see the respect and love for food everywhere. I am meant for this city.
Geoff and I had a fantastic stay this time. We were celebrating my birthday, which always makes things more festive. And we were fortunate enough to stay with my friend in her apartment in the 9th arrondissement. What a treat to walk through a massive door into a lovely little courtyard. And then up the smallest elevator ever to her place, which had a perfect view of Sacré-Coeur.
Yes, sometimes, life isn’t that rough.
One morning, her partner treated us to beautiful galettes (buckwheat crèpes) from his mother. These went with her homemade jams and her neighbor’s eggs. That was the most beautiful petit déjeuner complet (basically, a big breakfast) I’d ever had.
We continued to eat galettes almost every day. I learned sarrasin (buckwheat), which helped us find gluten-free items for me.
I know, I know, it seems a ghastly way to eat your way through Paris.
Fortunately, this was not my first trip (nor my last), and my family treated me well on several other occasions. (My previous trip a few years ago included a dinner at Guy Savoy – hands down my best meal ever). Having been to excellent restaurants and bakeries on other trips, I welcomed an opportunity to look for new places. Plus, I was hungry.
We came upon one who ended up being one of our favorite bakeries – Boulangerie Chambelland. So lovely, with a talented chef who milled his own flours. Our favorite item was the Pain de Sucré - a long thin cake with crispy edges and flavors of chocolate and orange.
Heaven on a plate.
There were lovely savory tarts with such flaky crust - one with feta and leeks was especially tasty. The delicate and crispy the doughs amazed me.
A few blocks away, we went to what ended up as our absolute favorite – Boulangerie Utopie (a big “Thank you!” to our lovely customer Josh). The Sesame Roulé was our biggest inspiration of the trip. I’ve already fallen in love with our black sesame macaron at the shop. I had no idea it was a flavor that has now taken over Paris as well!
I’m looking forward to experimenting at the shop with my own black sesame creations. Stay tuned…