Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two boulangeries up in Montmartre

Montmartre isn't a place I frequent often, not because I don't like it but because it's so out-of-the-way for me. I think it's actually a really interesting area and I wish I had more time to explore it but honestly, I wouldn't know where to go except for the area north of Blanche/Pigalle/Anvers and topped by the butte, meaning primarily rue des Abbesses. So this is what I did on one of my few Saturdays afternoons that I have left. My intention was to visit Le Grenier a Pain, a boulangerie which won the Grand Prix de la Baguette in 2010 meaning the best baguette in Paris.

I wandered around for all of 15 minutes, getting some exercise by walking up the steep Montmartre staircases before realizing that I really have nowhere to go and might as well just hit up the bakery. I first stopped at Coquelicot where the chouquettes have been eluding me and that day was no different. So I settled on an individual-sized galette des rois filled with frangipane.

And it came in the cutest little pastry-bag I've seen, but whose advise I will forgo.

Tucking it into my bag, I walked down the street to Le Grenier a Pain where I (foolishly) got a sandwich forgetting that hey, most likely it has mayonnaise which I really really really dislike. Sure enough it did but I managed to take a few unadulterated bites. Baguette gets two thumbs up and is definitely worth a try if in the area (demi-baguette is the way to go always). Sandwich itself with sad-looking tomatoes and lettuce, not so much. And I got myself a little present to go - a tarte aux fruits rouges.

I ate my buttery galette and pitiful sandwich (three bites? four?) in a little park right next to the Abbesses metro, famous for la mur des je t'aime or the "I love you" wall on which the phrase is written in different languages. Tourist time:

The tarte aux fruits rouges was saved until Sunday morning breakfast. It wasn't all that but it did the trick until dinner time at Happy Nouilles. Still amazed at how we managed to squeeze 9 of us in there. Love it.

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