Sunday, May 06, 2007

Canal Cuisine

One last lunch a Paris, and it turned out quite well. We took a stroll along the Canal St. Martin, which is really quite scenic, in the middle of a Parisian neighborhood. That is if you ignore the homeless encampments along parts of the waters edge. Apparently, there is now a homeless uprising here, I assume because with most other segments of French society rioting, striking, or protesting against one affront or another, those who are sans foyer were feeling left out. So now you see these tent communities along some very nice stretches of Paris real estate, like the Canal St. Martin and on the banks of the Seine. Apparently in Paris, in the midst of this country of entitlement, just because one has lost the means of shelter doesn't mean one should lack the proper address.

A view up the Canal St. Martin

So we strolled along, ignoring the occasional exhortations shouted at us from the tents to join their cause, and soon found our way to the delightful Bar L’Atmosphere (49 Rue Lucien-Sampaix, 10th Arr.). They had an intriguing menu board, windows opened to the warming afternoon sun, and a waitress with a perfect sense of sass. I ordered their croque monsieur, because I couldn’t let this whole vacation slip by without a taste of this French classic. It was deliciously crisp, juicy ham and oozing cheese inside with lightly browned gruyere melting on the outside, and crisp green salad alongside. w ordered the plat du juor, a really finely done duck leg that would have done any number of tonier establishments proud, and was quite astonishing to find here. The duck meat was tender, falling off the bone, perfectly roasted and seasoned. Okay, maybe the carrots were a tad overdone, and the chips a smidge less crisp than we would have liked, but overall more than satisfactory. We both had a glass of blushingly cool rosé, and enjoyed yet another perfect Parisain moment!

One half of the perfect café lunch.

The other half!

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