Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 6: Foodie delights dans trois parties.

The first part came at breakfast where instead of the usual crusty baguette, we had a large, beautiful brioche -- it made me a bit homesick for the Pinoy version, albeit with cheese - the ensaimada.
This brioche was purchased from the "suki" boulangerie at Rue Mouffe - we finished the entire thing for breakfast, along with the last remaining pieces of cheese.
After breakfast, it was time for the out-of-Paris tour to the Normandy region, specifically the towns of Lisieux and Honfleur.
Lisieux, birth place of St. Therese of Lisieux, was food for the soul and while we found ourselves still there and quite hungry at lunchtime, we decided to wait a bit and eat at the seaside resort town of Honfleur, less than an hour' drive away.
Honfleur is postcard pretty, even in the winter. In summer it's wildly crowded and teeming with tourists but today, on a cold windy wintry day, few tourists were around.
Still, the many restaurants surrounding the little basin in the middle of town were open. No one though was sitting at the tables outside, instead people were enjoying the warmth (of heaters) within.
We chose a pretty little brasserie and took a table by the window where we could look out onto the picturesque view.
Honfleur being a seaside town, seafood made up most of the menu -- the classic moules, sole, coquilles St. Jacques, shrimps, whelks, whitefish. Of course the other plats consisted of entrecote, confit de canard, roast chicken.
I decided to order the bouillabaise Honfleur and all of us split an order of moules provencale.
This was the second part of the day's foodie delight -- the bouillabaise came in a large soup bowl, orange-y, thick and full of shrimps, fish, crayfish, pieces of scallops and potatoes. It came with lemon slices and a side of croutons, mustard and grated cheese. Very flavorful and just the right thing for this cold day.
The moules were a bit much and while very sweet and fresh, we had to leave over one third in the pot.
The last part of today's food delights came to me on the way back to the apartment in Paris.
The Filipino owner of the van who we had hired for the day invited us to visit his Pinoy grocery located right in the most expensive area of Paris - the 16th arrondissement.
Tucked away in a side street around Place Victor Hugo, "Philippine Mini-mart" sat proudly among the high end boulangeries, brasseries, bistros, restaurants (Joel Robuchon's place is about a couple of blocks away).
The door read "Tuloy po kayo Kabayan" and we did. It's a small place but packed with stuff from home. Aside from the main selling area on the first floor, there's a basement where more Filipino and Asian goodies can be found.
It's quite complete - they sell condiments and mixes, canned sardines, Ma Ling luncheon meat, canned laing, Jack and Jill and Oishi chips, Skyflakes and sunflower crackers, bihon, canton, rice in 5 kilo bags, red eggs, Po-land hopia, frozen Saranggani bangus, frozen fish balls and kani sticks, frozen chicken, pork cuts and so many others and because the owners are Kapampangan, tubs of home made sisig, longganisa and tocino can be found in the chillers.
There were even non food items like Sunsilk shampoo and Ponds whitening cream.
The owner Peter and his wife said that this mini mart had been serving the Pinoy and the Asian community for the past 6 years. While the rent is high, it's in the center of an area where most Pinoys live or work so the steady stream of clientele allows them to turn a profit.
I bought some Sinigang mix, Century Tuna adobo and a can of Ma Ling -- just the right things to give us a quick taste of
Three food delights in a day -- the last one the best of all.

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