We had awakened at 3am on our first morning in Paris, and had a “meal” which probably equated to a “lunch” in Manila, where our body clocks were still on. By 8am we were wide awake, dressed warmly and ready to go — our original intention was to “breakfast” at Cuisine de Bar, the casual eatery beside the Poilane Bakery on Rue Cherche-Midi, a mere ten minute walk from our flat. We got there a few minutes before it opened, and spied the simple menu in the window and realized some toast (good Poilane toast I would imagine) and butter and preserves were some Euro 11 (PHP600) or so, which seemed not only steep but altogether unsatisfying. Worse, they weren’t serving their much touted tartines (open faced sandwiches) until 11 am (David Leibovitz loves their sardine tartine). So rather then breakfast there, we decided to head to the Thursday market at Boulevard Raspail (just three minutes away) instead..
The island on Boulevard Raspail hosts several pop-up markets a week, the most vaunted being the Sunday Organic market, but the Thursday market is interesting nonetheless, and it is frequented by many folks in the neighborhood doing their daily shopping.
These giant artichokes caught my eye as did a lot of the spectacular looking produce, despite the mid-November date and the temperature in the mid to high 40’s.
Large Coquilles St. Jacques or giant scallops were in season, and later we would see them prominently featured in restaurant menus.
The wide selection of crustaceans was also quite appetizing. It always amazes me to see dark red or orange shrimp (uncooked) resting on ice. Shrimp and prawns in the Philippines are always beige, reddish tan or grayish black.
Oysters were on offer in droves, from smallish ones to enormous ones. And they shuck them for you right then and there. I was tempted to have a few but at 9am in the morning, it felt like having a stiff cocktail for breakfast.
The Atlantic lobsters looked beautiful and cost an arm and a leg.
Large live crab were also on offer.
The aroma from the roasting chickens had us circling back to take another look…
…and this display of olives set the salivary glands on high alert. We had wisely chosen to pass on Cuisine de Bar’s toast and preserves for a breakfast from the Raspail market instead, up next.