19 November 2009

My Friendly Boulangerie

I live right next to a bakery, as in directly adjacent, sharing-walls-kind of close. And as I type this, I am hearing dough-pounding noises starting as early as 6am, 5 days a week, but for some insane reason, I am totally unbothered. I find it amusingly....French. There could be people like my husband, extremely noise-sensitive (seems like most French are) who will file a complaint--he really did--but as for myself, I ask: where else could I wake up to the smell of butter or see from my window a long queue of morning customers itching for their sweet pastries or baguette for the day? Only in a place called France. I could be wrong but who cares, I am happy to have this bakery next to me, as my friendly, noisy neighbour.

Having a boulangerie/patisserie next to home can be very costly. Although, not in terms of money, rather, more likely pricey with the high calorie intake. Plus, temptation is always around the corner especially when hunger pangs strike and the last thing you want to do is cook. Bonjour, une quiche lorraine et une provencale, s'il vous plaît. And dinner is ready, voila!

une quiche lorraine et une chevre et epinards


une tarte citron et une tarte aux fraises(strawberry)

do you see the black vanilla seeds mixed with the cream?

The French cannot live without their breads specifically, baguette. You will notice, there is always at least 2 bakeries along main streets covering for each other during their 2-day off. Seriously, even their vacations (during holidays/summer) are properly coordinated and regulated by the arrondissement's mairie(city hall) so "let there be bread!". How classic is that?

our favorites(top,left to right): croissant, chausson aux pommes, pain aux raisins

To mention a story, during one summer, the 2 bakeries of the avenue we live by were closed, one for vacation break while the other's oven unexpectedly broke down; and being married to a frenchie, we had to walk to the end of another avenue to find one. That's not the punchline. So on our way back home, holding our baguette, a lady looking close to frantic stopped us to ask where we had gotten our bread, as if her world were about to crumble. Hilarious. She walked as fast as she could to make it there ahead of others before the last piece was sold.

                                                      packaging of their tarts

And how about the Frenchs' ritual Sunday Dessert? This day has to be the busiest day for them. Our bakery had to create a second makeshift counter from their window for short orders of bread or croissant just to accommodate a faster-flowing line in their main area.
We know to fetch our tarts at about 2pm after our fresh market shopping unless we decide to call it a day of  "sweet-fasting". 

busy Sunday market crowd

I can go on with this topic but I will let the pictures speak for itself and save it for another post.

our bakery rated top 5 in the list of best chocolate éclairs in Paris by Figaro

Stay noisy and oh-so-buttery my friendly neighbor. See you on Sunday!

Useful Tips:

  • When you don't know where to grab a quick bite that is fresh and worth your money, look for a nearby boulangerie. As mentioned in my other entry, all sandwiches are very decent and of course, healthier than the fastfood joints.
  • Don't bring bank notes that are hard to break. Some accept credit cards.
  • It's always a better idea to buy your pastries or breads in the morning as they are  freshly baked then, straight from the oven.
  • You know which bakeries are worth visiting when you see the ones with long lines extending to the streets.

 2 lines: far left is to the main entrance and on the right is the makeshift window counter


Ryan said...

and remember, if that baguette has been there more than 6 hours, its considered no longer edible for the French (so i've been told).

a flaky, buttery croissant in the morning, every morning? blimp time!

Anonymous said...


Is there every year an official ranking of Paris Bakeries ... I found so many links and ranking on google.
I'd like to get THE official french ranking!!

I want to try the best of each delicieuses pastries!

TMD said...

the bakery to the french is the diner to the american, lalo na the new yorker! when i lived in virginia, we almost rented an apartment located above a diner of sorts that specialized in the southern biscuit. sausage biscuit, biscuits and gravy, biscuit and eggs, biscuit up the butt.your yummy entry is reminding me of how this diner made the whole block smell like biscuits!!! hey, did i take you there? forgot na the name of the place....

Star said...

In the province where I grew up, if you don't have your 'pan de sal' by 6AM that means you will have to skip breakfast. It will be sold out by then.

I saw in Travel&Living that the Baguette isn't French, rather from Belgium or something that was brought to France. The real French bread is ROUND! Learning something new everyday...

Anonymous said...

bonjour beautiful non-frenchie :) I do love your site <3

love, the hungryfilipina :)