While we were enjoying a good, casual, off-the-cuff lunch at Frenchie to Go, chef Gregory Marchand’s breakfast-and-lunch eat-in or takeaway place next to his home table, Frenchie, I thought of the note a friend in New York who follows my Instagram feed sent me recently. “Don’t you ever just want to stay home and eat a big messy Reuben sandwich?” she asked, teasing me about the often beautiful and elaborate dishes that I share from the restaurants I go to of a given week in Paris as a food writer. Well, um, yes, in fact, I love a good Reuben sandwich. And sometimes I also like a good Saturday morning lie-in so much that we end up missing our two favorite Saturday morning markets–the organic one in Les Batignolles, which is officially known as the Marché Biologique des Batignolles and is located on the boulevard des Batignolles, and the lavish one on the Avenue du Président Wilson, which is held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
There are few things that make me happier than going to either of these markets, especially because I try to avoid going to restaurants on the weekends in favor of cooking at home, which both Bruno and I love. There are times, however, when Morpheus just pulls you back into bed, and when this happens, we’ll make a run to Terroir d’Avenir, a terrific pair of boutiques in the rue du Nil where you can get your hands on the same superb fruit, vegetables, herbs, cheese, fish, and meat this small select company supplies to many of the best young chefs in Paris. And so on a recent Saturday morning, we decided to make a run to this shop, because it’s tomato season, and I trusted they’d have good heirloom tomatoes (they did, too).
After we bought some of the best white peaches I’ve ever eaten, several kinds of tomatoes, herbs, yellow squash, eggplant, fennel, and enough other vegetables to stuff the drawers in both of our small fridges at home, we were hungry. So Bruno suggested we go next door to Frenchie to Go. It’s been open for a couple of years now, but never finding myself in this neighborhood in the middle of the day, I’d never been for lunch, just breakfast, and so this was the perfect occasion. Right from the start, I’ve loved the fact that this place serves non-stop, so that if you tumble out of the Louvre starved at 2.43pm, you can hoof it over here and get a bacon sandwich with egg and cheddar, the best lobster roll in Paris, a hot dog (homemade, mind you, in a roll from star baker Gontran Cherrier), a pastrami sandwich, fish-and-chips, a Reuben or a pulled pork sandwich.