29 May 2007

Paris: Food Shopping On Rue Cler

Shopping on Rue Cler is everything it is reputed to be: A medley of aromas and a cacophony of sounds.

It is a rich experience.

Most of the vendors are friendly, some sing as they work, others unabashedly hawk their products. They tease one another but are respectful with customers.

French merchants keep careful track of their customers’ place in line, and try to wait on them in the order in which they have queued.

The fresh produce is perfection, and must fresher and tastier than anything I’ve found in my town. The cheese is aromatic, so is the fish and seafood.

We took a liking to fresh sausage on our last trip and have gone through several kilograms of it (back to lean meat when we get home). The hard salami is equally tasty, and we became regular customers at both Davoli and Roger.

Rue Cler has both a LeaderPrice and a FranPrix for basics like paper towels, toilet paper and items that come in jars. There is another supermarket around the corner on Avenue de la Motte Piquet.

I like French supermarkets. For one thing, the products are about half the cost of similar items at home, even when you translate euros into dollars.

Secondly, the house brands are generally high quality, something you do not necessarily find in the U.S., not in my town where choices are limited.

I like the mix of businesses on Rue Cler.

What I don’t like is the long trek over several busy streets, especially after a day (or even before) of walking around. After a week, it became a chore to drag the little cart over cobblestones. Perhaps we just have not acquired the knack.

We were happy to find larger FranPrix on Avenue de la Bourdonnais. It is a straight shot from our flat.

There are also several traituers nearby, one that sells Asian food and another that specializes in Mediterranean food. Our block has several Italian restaurants and two bakeries. When your feet are tired (which is always the case in Paris) and you are too hungry to cook, there is always a sandwiche jambonto purchase for just a few euros. You can add cheese, onions, tomatoes and pickles if you larder is well stocked.

Really, eating in Paris need not be expensive, if you cook most of your meals yourself.

I am not suggesting you abandon the experience of sitting in a café. It is the best way to people watch in a city that is rich in everything, including people.

13 comments:

Erika said...

I love reading about your Paris adventure. It really makes me wish I'd scrunched myself up into your suitcase!

katiez said...

Ahhh, the sore feet! I remember on one trip we asked the desk clerk to recommend a restaurant. He gave us 2 - both within walking distance. I asked if he could suggest one that would force us to take a taxi....

Terry B said...

One fond memory of Rue Cler for me is seeing sea urchins for sale on a fishmonger's open air cart. Looking at them, I tried to imagine what bravery or desperation first led someone to see if there was something edible inside these unpromising little spine-covered balls.

Terri said...

It sounds like you're having a great time, Mimi and I'm enjoying reading your posts.
Dining in or out is always great in Paris. The cafe's are nice, but I also love spending some time eating in the apartment. And I loved rue Cler....such a great place.
Keep enjoying yourself and safe journey back home.

Jann said...

This is a delightful street to shop as well as some of the side streets.....there is one great cheese-shop I enjoy: "Marie-Anne Cantin"..... (Fromages de tradtion)-did you happen to go shopping there?You will have to tell us all the places that you found most interesting on this trip!The feet situation? Hey, my feet are a half size larger than they were 5 years ago-too much walking around! A bientot~

Freddie Sirmans said...

Just browsing the internet, Interesting website.

Fiona said...

My feet were aching reading your latest post.

You are definitely enjoying Paris to the max !

Mimi said...

I had lot of requests for that suitcaise, Erika.

I believe I had that same reaction at some point.

Terry B, I am sure I jyst have seeb sea urchins.

Terri, I had a great time and wiukll have more posts. WIFI ACCESS was so at the Am. Lib

Jann, I could not find that cheese place, so I went to LaFermette instread.

FI, my feet may ache but it two hours I will have an 8-hour flight to face.

Julie said...

It looks so beautiful there, I'd love to see it someday.

Mimi said...

Freddie, I neglected to thank you for commenting. I am so sorry.

Julir. I hope you will. I have as many travels trips as Rick Steves to share...

Fiona said...

Welcome Home Mimi :)

Mimi said...

Ah, but I will be in Paris online for many days to come...

Anonymous said...

What atmosphere from your posts Mimi thank you.
Anne