Last Thursday, we went to the Belleville Food Market in the 20th. Two Thursdays a month, 15-20ish food stands are set up along Boulevard de Belleville where one can buy high quality prepared foods (sort of like a Food Truck setup but without the trucks). The vendors cover a range of cuisines and each item is about 10€ or less. Once you make your purchase, there are picnic and standing tables where you can cram in next to the other hundreds of hungry patrons to enjoy your food.
The energy here was great – tons of people, extremely nice vendors who genuinely enjoyed themselves, live music, and everyone milling about sipping beer or wine and munching on all manner of interesting things. We did a first pass through the street (kind of like you do when you’re at a buffet and planning your first plate) and I probably pointed at 10 people’s dinners saying “I want what they have”.
But in the end, we had to make choices. We landed on these. All good, but the chicken was my favorite.
- Pastels filled with ground beef and spices, kind of like a samosa – Domoro (African)
- A sandwich filled with chicken, cream, and tarragon topped with melted cheese served with a very colorful salad of greens and cabbage – Le Coin Perdu (French)
- Burger de l’amour. A burger on a brioche bun, topped with grilled onions, bacon, cheese, and some sort of house mayonnaise sauce – Le Refectoire (French…burgers)
The most important find might have been a food stand called The Beast. A Paris restaurant serving Texas BBQ. That’s right. This was too serious for us to attempt in such a frenetic environment. We will seek out the storefront and give this place our earnest, undivided attention and report back.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised we haven’t lost any weight since moving here (yes, we thought we might). But as this clever man said (and/or maybe someone else – I think this has been attributed to others):
Everything in moderation, including moderation.