Paris: Marché Raspail

One bite and I was addicted. Who knew the best English muffins would be in Paris?

Even stranger, these muffins aren’t really English, but American-made, by the guy who invented the Maglight, the cool flashlight that twists to turn it on and off. (Didn’t we all get those in our stockings for Christmas years ago?)

Anyway, because it was Sunday, and even though there was a smattering of snow coming down, Xavier and I headed over to the Marche Raspail in the 6th – which is a complete organic market on Sundays — to pick up some muffins, grab a potato-onion-gruyere galette….

…then, go to the famous brasserie in Montparnasse, La Rotonde, for a steaming bowl of onion soup, with frites on the side. (I feel quite awful for not including photos of the soup and frites, but not awful enough not to tell you about it.) The soup was lovely, but the great Art Deco ambiance – lipstick red walls with acrylic paintings of red poppies, lots of brass accents, and crisp white tablecloths – made me think that I’d just stepped back in time, to perhaps 1911, when this place opened. My vintage turquoise eagle cowboy boots from the 1940’s, by comparison, seemed quite modern, and I’m quite sure that the women who dined in the restaurant back then did not wear, much less own, a pair of jeans. If, that is, they dined there at all. When I read the list of the clientele over the years – Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Andre Breton, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, Georges Gershwin, among them – it sounds like quite the boys’ club. Maybe the girls were gathering across the street, at another left bank art and literati hangout, Le Dome (said to still have some of the best seafood in Paris).

The rain continued, I had a café noisette, an espresso with warmed milk on the side in an oh-so-tiny white ceramic pitcher, then we ran to the car, two blocks away, getting soaked all the way. Perfect, really.

Marche Raspail, 6th arrondisement
Sundays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
On Blvd Raspail between Rue du Cherche-Midi and Rue de Rennes
Metro: Rennes