When I first found Square Georges Cain, I was very intrigued by all the edible produce growing among the decorative flowers and bushes. I meant to research it, but time slipped away until I ended up leading about it at the Musée Carnavalet. During WWII, gardens like Square Georges Cain were used to grow produce. Today there are just a few chard plants and squash vines in Georges Cain, but people still eat them, as was evidenced by the cut chard stems. My other question was, as you might imagine, who gets to eat this produce?
The answer to this question came when I stopped by the square to use the free Paris wifi. The wifi at the apartment was being stupid, so I had to my morning research and all the in the park. Hardly even a nuissance.
There were three groundskeepers doing their thing—keeping the grounds and all that—in a discussion with two other guys. I couldn’t make it out from the bench in far corner, but the upshot is that the two non-groundskeeper guys walked away with some very nice squash that was picked right then for them.
Now I don’t want to say it wasn’t necessary for all the groundskeepers to gather around and moderate the proceedings, but two of them did take the opportunity to have a smoke.
My Aunt met me there and we went to Ladurée for lunch.
But you know, whatever.
Comedic understatement aside, Ladurée was pretty much perfect. I adhered to their no photo policy, so the only online proof I have that I actually went there is that picture. I guess something CAN actually happen even if I don’t post about it!
Anyways, I had the Monday special, steak tartare. When I ordered, the (I assume) well-meaning waitress asked “Euh, you know, is not cooked, right?” Yes, I knew. We have steak tartare in the US too. Nothing like Ladurée’s, of course. It was served with their pommes Pont Neuf, which are basically big frites, served in a cross-hatched stack on a separate plate. Also perfect.
Even the little chocolates that come with the receipt are fantastic, and I had the best café au lait of my life. All in all, a productive visit.
This day turned out to be a sort of double pilgrimage day with the proceeding stop at E. Dehillerin. I won’t publish exactly what I got because some of it is a gift for my mom, but I will say is was knives, because what else would I get there?
Here, have a picture of the storefront instead.
It was cool to see all the same knives my mom has from 30 years ago still being made and sold like it’s no big deal, and of course it’s a cool place overall.
This was a relatively quick and practical stop, but afterwards we continued on to BHV, a French department store. Very cool! There was even a craft beer display, and this Hardcore IPA jumped out at me.
That ABV is a little hardcore for an IPA.
At this point it had been basically 9 days since my last Stone IPA, so I was craving an that kind of flavor—grapefruit, hops, bitter—and this beer actually delivered! It was a bit cloying, but great other than that.
BHV’s hardware section also yielded a cool “SORTIE” decal for my kick drum head.
We were oddly not so hungry after all that shopping, and a crêpe sounded just about perfect for dinner this night. A small time investment to scour the area around our apartment turned up La Cidrerie du Marais.
La Basque – jambon de Bayonne, tomato and bell pepper-y sauce, buckwheat crêpe.
I’m not usually super into whole grain things, but the crêpe was just a small part of the dish. The cider was excellent too!