Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 25 Flea market, tramways, canale testing, and Korean barbecue

After breakfast we headed over to the Metro and made our way to the southern edge of the city. Our goal this morning was to check out one of the city's two major flea markets, Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves (the other much, much larger market is on the northern fringe of Paris, at Porte Clignancourt).

The day promised sun and we hoped to make the most of it. The walk from the Metro to the market itself was a bit of a puzzle, but fortunately it wasn't far and we sort of figured things out as we went.

Once we finished our roam around the Porte de Vanves market (and I had yet another vintage postcard of Pere-Lachaise tucked into my collection),  we opted to forgo the Metro for our next leg and instead took the tramway. These sleek "bus trains" run around much of the periphery of the city and are all part of the Metro-Bus system so our Navigos worked just fine.

From the tram to the Metro to Place Madeleine we were off to find Baillardran's pastry shop.  Noted for their canale we wanted to taste an "authentic" canale and see how they stacked up to the French Tarte's.

Frankly we were unimpressed. They were rather dry, quite tough and not terribly interesting in the least. Our friends, Parisians Val and Hubert explained later that, in Paris at any rate, customers ask for one of three specific levels of "doneness," so perhaps it was a communication issue. Still, I much prefer the soft, tender inside sweetness surrounded by a nice crisp caramelized exterior of the canales made by the French Tarte.

For dinner that evening we headed over to another Clotilde recommendation, a Korean restaurant on rue Vaugirard in the 15th: L'Arbe de Sel (we never did figure out the meaning of the name). Small and compact, with an incredibly friendly and fun server, the menu was a bit intimidating but the food was delicious.

From Korean to traditional French dessert, from the west side to central Paris. We left the 15th and took the Metro back to our neighborhood, walking to Place des Vosges and Carette's for a late night dessert of ice cream and coffee.

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