A crisp October day and a brisk walk down the rue du Faubourg Montmartre, one of my favorite streets in Paris for its being so guilessly eclectic. This ancient rue presents a classic Parisian cityscape before gentrification and luxury brand names disrupted so much urban turf. First, the wonderfully gemutlich windows of A la Mere de Famille, a first-rate confiserie, or candy and sweets shop that first hung out a shingle in 1761 and which sells the best marrons glace in the world, and then Les Pates Vivantes, a wonderful Chinese noodle shop. I notice a HALAL crepe maker—now there’s some fusion food for you—and stop to read the chalkboard menu at a very good wine bar, le Zinc des Cavistes at No. 5. This street, which always makes me think of New York with its density and vitality, offers up a lot of great eating.
Finally I reach the rue Paul Lelong (a name that would be perfect for a detective or a marathoner) and Memere Paulette, the tiny bistro where I’m meeting a friend for lunch.