Day 7–Boulevard Haussmann

Turns out that our local boulangerie is known to Pudlo. (By the way, Pudlo is Gilles Pudlowski, a French restaurant critic, if I haven’t made that clear.) About Boulangerid Madame, 48, rue Madame, he says, “Francis Rault’s croissant made with Charentes butter will have you melting.” Indeed, although I was more taken with the croissant aux amandes filled with almond paste and chocolate, and too good to be believed. I only ate half (really!). I have to say, however, that Toronto has a comparable, something Jenny McKendry would bring me occasionally, and that’s the one from the bakery Clafoutis on Queen Street West. Pretty close, I’d say.

Just to be clear, I had this after my usual All-Bran. The former was better for me, of course, the latter simply better, period.

We still needed umbrellas so we decided to go to Boulevard Haussman to go to Printemps, the luxedepartment store. Before doing that, though, we needed some culture so went to the Musee Jacquemart Andre,, a beautiful 19th century building, housing a spectaular collection of 18th century and earlier art. I couldn’t take photos inside, so I took one on the way out. After our self-guided tour (free audio guides, for a change), we walked east along the Boulevard, past Haussmann’s statute, Auge, an old wine shop, the St. Augustin church, a building with plaque outside showing that Proust had lived there for a time and a demonstration of some sort. (A la Rousseau, I kept thinking, “I may not understand a word they’re saying, but I’ll defend to the death their right to say it.”)

We ended up at Au Printemps (Spring) and walked around a bit. Although Paris is very quiet, as I’ve said, this area was very busy, but, it seemed, mostly with French, rather than tourists, at least if you can judge by the language you hear.

After all that, we still didn’t get umbrellas!

We had decided to go to Le Coin, a wine bar on rue de Rocher but it was closed. Instead, we bought someconfiture des fraises at Aux Miels de France, another honey shop, on the same street.

Feeling peckish late in the afternoon, we headed back to the 6th, to one of the best people-watching places in Paris, Au Sauvignon, 80 rue des Saints-Peres, for a jambon/fromage sandwich on Poilâne bread and a couple of glasses of Sancerre.

On the way home, we were going to stop into Polaine for some of their butter cookies but the lineup was too long, another time.

This blog reminds me why postcards aren’t so much in fashion these days, this and email. Too bad, really. Anyway, I can’t mull this over too much longer, I have to rest for dinner.

Once again, Le Bistrot Paul Bert, 18, rue Paul-Bert, did not disappoint. They also have a sense of humour here. You can have the beef cooked bleu, saignant ou mal cuit. In English, rare, medium-rare or badly-cooked (to the last of which they added, “Jamais!”).

Funnily enough, the proprietor told me that he had just been to a number of restaurants in Montreal, like Toque, and raved about them, especially Joe Beef.

Meanwhile, I note that Joanne Kates has been here recently and is enthused about the good service happening, let alone the usual good food. We agree about the service, but you can do way better value-wise than her choices of Bofinger, Les Bouquinistes and Le Voltaire (except for Bofinger, which is often reviewed poorly but where we’ve never been, two good restos,  but pretty high-priced as well).

On the Metro coming home, some lout spit openly on the door. I wanted to smack him, but it made me think that there are probably louts on subways everywhere.