Another day, another breakfast. Yeehaw.
After a nice sitting session in my favorite Square Georges Cain, I wandered around the Marais. This weekend, most of the streets coming off busy Rue Saint Antoine were blocked off, making much of the Marais pedestrian only, with the exception of scooters, deliveries, and especially bold taxi drivers.
After some exploring and grooving on traditional Jewish music emanating from some school or something, I came to L’As du Falafel. You’ll be happy to know that this was rather more deliberate than the “happening upon” that had been happening in the previous days.
So, like any foodie with two eyes connected to a stomach, I was drawn in by the bustling long line out front. The system was at first a bit hard to discern due to the lack of an official L’As du Falafel uniform, but one orders from and pays a guy more or less in front of the main door, and then you take the receipt to the line stretching down the cobblestone street. Like any street food line, it moves fast.
The falafel itself is great, of course. Just had to get that out of the way. The other toppings/fillings are: cabbage, tomato, cucumber, tahini, yogurt sauce, roasted eggplant, and more yogurt sauce and a little red chutney-the thing if one opts for sauce pimente.
The eggplant could be a (fantastic) dish unto itself! I found my favorite bites were the ones that included this eggplant. The whole thing is, of course, great. I just really love eggplant.
More exploring &c…
The day before, my aunt had texted me a picture of a poster for an open blues jam at a café right near our apartment. Back home, I attend a (what turned out to be uncannily) similar thing–a monthly blues jam where you just show up, sign up, and jam the blues.
As a drummer, the drums themselves are always a point of interest for me. At the jams back home, I’ve played beautiful vintage Slingerland and Rogers kits that I would never have the opportunity to play otherwise. These drums were certainly vintage, and in fact, I had only heard of them just a couple of months before.
In the 70s, Orange tried their hand at drums. Not unheard of for an amp company—Marshall seems to be doing pretty well with their Natal drums, and Peavey made some cool stuff in the 80s—but the cool thing about Orange drums is that they were French made!
So, I, an American on his first trip to Paris, walk into a blues jam and find vintage, French-made Orange drums (I should mention that the actual finish was black). Not only that, I got to play them!
Of course I took pictures.
I ended up playing two sets! The audience and participants skewed a lot younger than in the US, and that was reflected in the more upbeat songs. It had been a week since I even saw a drumset, so I wasn’t exactly warmed up, but I got through it.
For dinner, we again made the long trek to Au Bouquet St Paul, and in a great feat of willpower, I got something different.
Excellently cooked to saignant. The sauce had a great balance of roux richness and pepper bite, and the frites were just plain great. The waiter suggested a very good Bordeaux that was the same price as the wine I had originally chosen.
Now this was a red more to my tastes. Sturdy in body, rich, and with a good tanic hit. Rather typical notes of ripe strawberries and other juicy “red fruits” as wine people say, but I like typical. My favorite reds tend to be Super Tuscans, but even I have to admit that they’d be a bit much for a casual café dinner.