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{Paris} Creperie Beaubourg

Summers in Paris are so lovely from the seat of a creperie. I love how the chairs at the cafes in town are turned unabashedly outward, for better people watching. How the vibe that says to enjoy all the richness in food and life, but to do it in chic measure.

Paris for my husband is about bread: one of his chores growing up was to do the daily bread run for the family, during which he would rabidly consume an entire baguette on his way home. Paris for me is a visual feast of architecture, arts, fashion and of course, food. And when it comes to food, few things make a meal as satisfying as a simple, perfect crepe.

We arrived early in the evening, and, wanting to stretch our legs after the journey through the Chunnel, headed out to the vicinity of the Centre Pompidou in the 4th arrondisement. It was 95 degrees and humid with all of Paris seeming to want to be on the metro at the same time as we did. It was like we were a bunch of sardines who decided to douse ourselves in fly paper glue and get canned together in a sauna.

Out of the metro, we headed straight for the fountain behind the Centre Pompidou.

 Just beyond the fountains is the Creperie Beaubourg.

The creperie has outdoor seating, with a view showcasing a juxtaposition of old and new:

We were thirsty so asked for a pitcher of water; we were treated to a peppery concoction which was surprising yet pleasant (I think it was water, flavored with white pepper. It was unusual enough for me to wonder whether it was an accident, but I’ll assume for now that it’s a signature offering there). I ordered a galette called a Quimper, which is a thin buckwheat pancake stuffed with ham, mushrooms and cheese, and topped with a fried egg.

The pancake was crispy on the outside with nice big crannies, and soft on the inside as it nestled the ham, mushroom and cheese into a cozy little packet. Simple, but good.

Dessert was a chocolate crepe with molton chocolate and cocoa powder, and a Crepe Suzette topped with sugar, lemon and a generous helping of butter:

Both were very good, solid executions of classic crepes.

A meal for four plus the two desserts cost us 46 euros, which was quite reasonable. Average menu items hover between the 4 and 9 euro range.

Is this the best creperie in town? I wouldn’t say so; I’ll be writing a review soon of one that just may be. But if you’re looking for a very good, no-frills, kid-friendly and affordable place to eat near a tourist trap, this is an excellent option. The presentation is basic, and the service is efficient. It does the job it’s meant to do.

Afterwards, we headed back in the heat toward the flat.

Isn’t Paris beautiful? Luckily you can’t see the whining in the picture.

Creperie Beaubourg
2 rue Brisemiche
75004 Paris


Want Some Protein With That?

You think back to the fresh mulberry pie you had last year. You go to your friend’s house and pick mulberries. You wash them inside with your friend who informs you that after soaking, refrigeration drives the maggots out of the berries. You look closely at the berries and watch in vivid horror and fascination the writhing of fruit fly larvae. You cannot unsee this. You put the mulberries in the freezer because Google tells you that this kills the maggots. You pull them out of the freezer and stare at them because you realize that though the maggots are dead, their carcasses remain.

Do you eat the berries? Do you make your pie and jam?

Kathie’s garden: where it began. If you think it looks massive and amazing and like a vacation destination, that’s because it is. In this picture it looks like ancient China to me. Not that I know what ancient China looked like, but that shouldn’t stop me from making similes. Because I’m probably not going to make the jam.

The mulberries have been out of the freezer and in the fridge now for a couple of days. I know we eat two pounds of bugs a year without knowing it. A friend argues that I eat escargot, it is sort of like a really big maggot, but I counter that when I eat escargot,  I am eating it on purpose (and anyway, I haven’t had it since the Great Snail Jihad of 2006, where I battled an infestation in my back yard).

I begin to rethink this whole organic thing. I text Kathie.

ME: Still scared of the mulberries. Want them back? And in other news, a mulberry plant started growing in my yard. It’s mocking me.

KATHIE: If you haven’t eaten them by now, toss them. The maggots are disturbing. Better to sleep well at night.

ME: OK. Read online that we should go for the fruit that’s less ripe. Was reading online that the larvae secrete ripening agents that ripen the fruit. Ewwwww.

KATHIE: Good to know for next year. Just remember, you ate the larvae last year from your friend’s tree. You just didn’t know it until I pointed it out.

I flashback to an image of her trying to pick a maggot off of a berry, but it’s only halfway out. “The rest is stuck inside,” she says.

Ew. Would you use these berries?