No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to La Grand Épicerie (thanks for the tip, Divasoria!) an authentic crêpe or a ridiculously sinful dessert. So, I tackle all three in my last Paris food post *sigh!*
Really, anyone who loves food should visit La Grand Épicerie, even if just to look. Because it the place is a shrine to all things delicious. It’s a place to buy food, sure, but a mere supermarket it is not. Aisle upon aisle of the best of the world’s food, glass cases filled with all types of cured meats you can imagine (I counted 4 or 5 types of jamon iberico alone), a prepared foods section that will give you decision fatigue, a boulangerie and an aisle devoted only to salt. Yes. To salt. That’s how serious they are about their food. And that’s why I love it there. (I wish I had more pictures, but this and my previous pastry display case shot were the only shots I dared to take, since photos are technically not allowed.)
Regular salt, pink salt, Spanish sea salt, Greek sea salt, French sea salt...
My mom and I were just supposed to make a quick stop to grab lunch while waiting for Chapelle Notre Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse next door to reopen for the afternoon. I wandered around the store aimlessly ogling at the food so long that my mom had to give me THE look for me to remember that I was there to BUY food, not to just look at it. So we bought a baguette, some lomo iberico, some macarons (duh) and this salad:
We had to eat on the sidewalk (we had to ditch my original plan to go to a nearby park because of the rain), but this was still one of my favorite meals in Paris. Seriously. Simple but really, really delicious. The lomo in particular, was very good, I wanted to smuggle it back into Manila.
Another must-eat in Paris would be, of course, crêpes. And Crêperie Bretonne, along with Crêpes du Josselin were highly recommended. We ended up in the former because the main Josselin was closed.
Crêperie Bretonne. So cute, no?
I had a mushroom, ham, cheese and egg crêpe which was OK, but quite frankly nothing to write home about. I suppose the authentic buckwheat crêpe takes some getting used to. I preferred my mom’s crêpe of ham, cheese and tomatoes because I think the flavor of the tomatoes balances out the earthiness of the buckwheat.
What IS worth writing about, though, is this:
Surprise, surprise, it has caramel.
Dessert was a crêpe with caramel and salted butter with an added scoop of vanilla ice cream (obviously my motto during this trip was “go big or go home”). I know it doesn’t look like much, since the caramel looks like it was carelessly drizzled on the crêpe, and it was. The waiter who was preparing it actually drizzled some caramel on his coworker’s shoes (such a waste of perfectly delicious caramel). But don’t let the mess fool you. It was delicious.
The crêpe, as you can see from the outline of the plate underneath it, is super thin. The result of this is that the edges get a little toasted and crispy, while the middle still stays soft and delicate. And while my waistline will not thank me for it, it was the right move to order the ice cream with it, since with it you get that wonderful warm-and-cold contrast with the freshly cooked crêpe. Also, even in all its salted glory, the syrupy caramel with just the crêpe would’ve been just too much, so the vanilla ice cream provides that balance. And I’m telling the truth here, not just trying to justify that scoop of ice cream. Hehe.
And finally, the other standout dessert from my trip (outside of chocolates and macarons, of course) is this:
The Ladurée Le Saint-Honoré Classique
Basically, it’s a mini-tower of mini-cream puffs on a caramelized-sugar-topped flaked pastry base, finished off with whipped cream. No further explanation needed, really. How can that not be good?
And so it ends. I’ve written the about all the food I’ve had that was worth writing about. And now I’m left a little sad and a little hungry, too (naturally). But more than anything, I’m even more determined to go back to Paris and try more of what the city has to offer, as I’ve barely scratched the surface. Plus, I still haven’t even had these. So yeah, I’m definitely coming back. Waistline be damned.