First stop......the Shopi...
This was the little grocery store that was directly across the street from our apartment. They had pretty much anything you needed, including liquor, wine, produce, meats, etc.. BUT, if you really wanted the French experience AND the freshest and bestest in produce, meats, cheese, and baked goods....you just walked THROUGH the Shopi out onto the next street....and VOILA!!!
There you found two charcouteries (butchers)
, 2 boulangeries (bakeries)
, a patisserie (pastry shop)
, a fromagerie (cheese shop)
a poissoniere (seafood shop),
and the produce shop (ohmigosh!)
If you know me at all, you know that I had to pinch myself to make sure I hadn't died and gone to heaven!!! It was everything I dreamed it would be and more.....food at it's finest....entrepreneurs (ha...French word!) that specialized in one particular aspect of the food group and ensured it was its best. When you walked into their shops, you could see the pride in their faces....they knew you were going to love what they had to offer....and they were right! Even the sight of what they had to offer was incredible!
OK....back to earth! We were hungry and it was late....we stopped first at the butcher and bought 4 chicken breasts (Melinda wanted to make her chicken cutlets)....then Dennis I went to the other butcher and found a huge oven (sorry...too excited to take a pic) full of freshly rotisseried chickens! Score! Remember....it was getting late!
We all finally agreed to the rotisserie chicken and Melin and I went off to the produce shop to get an accompaniment....salad!
We also scored some fresh brie and freshly baked baguettes to snack on while dinner was being prepared (although how long does it take to prep a rotisserie chicken!?).....heaven on earth....but only in France!
Once we'd tasted the cheese and bread, I thought there might be a possibility that we'd be eating the chicken and salad the next night. But I guess our weariness from the trip had summoned an appetite....Melinda set the table...
and we all sat down to a delicious dinner.....our first in Paris!
After dinner the guys sat down with all of the Paris "guides and maps" we had accumulated to figure out their next plan of "attack on Paris"
while Melinda and I cleaned up from dinner and prepared our dessert......from the patisserie!!!
None of us could decide exactly what we wanted from the incredible selection at the pastry shop, so we got just a few things to taste.....from the top left, coconut pie, a mini Bouche de Noel and an apple tarte tatin with raisins.
The Bouche de Noel confirmed for me that mine was just tooooo dry and I paid very close attention to the texture and taste.....next year's Bouche de Noel will definitely taste different than this year's.
The coconut pie was incredible....I've tasted several coconut pies in my lifetime, but this was so different. The French desserts aren't as sweet as the American desserts....you really tasted the custard and the coconut. It was so silky and delicious.
The apple tarte tatin was also delicious....not my favorite (the Bouche de Noel was), but it was different than an American apple pie....again, not as sweet, so you really taste the main ingredients.
I don't know what "chemical reaction" occurred after that, but the desserts affected us all quite differently....Melinda and Brad found their PJs and started to relax, but Dennis and I felt energized (no, I have NO idea where it came from) and decided to hit the streets.....
Next up....hitting the streets....the risque side of Paris!