Vegetarian Rastas at the Marché aux Puces

aveggie.jpgThe sign said "Végétalien", but I figured it out anyway. Considering most food at the St-Ouen Marché aux Puces is either friend and served from a truck or heavy French cuisine served in one of the scruffy restaurants, it's actually kinda nice to find this Jamaican/Rasta vegetarian restaurant. There are freshly-squeezed fruit/veggie juices served in a bamboo-like cup. I had a carrot/pineapple juice.


There's only one special of the day, and the day I was there it was very spicey-hot steamed cauliflower with bean sprouts, followed by a carrot and cucumber salad and a slice of banana cake (no brownies, in case you were going to ask). This meal and a nice seat on a quiet terrace comes in at just €13.


This is the main dish; they put the spicy stuff on the side for me. That wooden curvy thing is the spoon.

My refreshing carrot-pineapple juice.

Zabulon is at the Marché des Puces de St-Ouen (Clignancourt), at 35 Rue Paul Bert (towards the Rue Jean Henri Fabre). Open for lunch Saturday, Sunday and Monday.



Cooking on the Côte d'Azur

Interested in learning how to cook typical Niçois dishes like grilled peppers, stuffed zucchini flowers, or Provençal-style tomatoes? Join one of the many informal cooking classes available in and around Nice. Read my article (appearing in the summer edition of Redhot, the inflight magazine for Virgin Express Airlines). Includes two traditional recipes to try yourself.

Gross Paris

"Gross" isn't usually a word used to describe the Eiffel Tower, but when I met with a family visiting Paris yesterday, that was the first thing out of the father's mouth. "That was gross."

It was 33°C yesterday (about 91°F). It's been about that hot since Saturday. Just a week ago it was still chilly enough that I wore a spring jacket to walk the dogs and a light scarf when going out at night. But as usual in Paris, the weather seems to go straight from chilly to sweltering. Paris is pleasant at 25°C (77°F), and tolerable up to about 29°C (84°F). Anything above that is nasty, nasty, nasty. And gross.

The family had decided to go up to the top at about 3pm, the hottest time of the day, and even though the line outside (in direct sunlight) was only 15 minutes, once inside they were squashed like sardines into the elevator with all of the other hot, sweaty bodies. 

Luckily, the weather should cool back down to "normal" Parisian summer weather of 25°C this weekend, after a few storms to cut through the humidity. Until then...don't forget to bring a parasol or handheld fan. 

To go to the top you have to switch to another elevator on the second level. The line there is long and cramped, so they skipped it and came back down. I don't recommend anyone go up in the Eiffel Tower when it's hot. I don't even recommend it when it's not hot! LOL But seriously, do remember how tightly packed you will be before heading up there.  



Cheap Pho in Chinatown

Check out my recent Chinatown dining addition to the Resource Guide's Dining Reviews.



Argentinean Barbecue

The artistic cooperative know as the Theatre de la Verre has been around since March 2003. I remember when they used to squat a building at the end of a passage near the Place d'Aligre in the 12th. Then about two years ago, as often happens with squats, the artists were forced to move to a new location near M° Strasbourg-St Denis, in the 10th. Of course they're still not legal, so to help offset the cost of the €50/day fines, they open their doors every Sunday to the public for a Parrilla -- an Argentinean barbecue.

Under the glass skylights of the Theatre de Verre.

The BBQ begins at about 1pm and goes until 7pm. At the entrance newcomers are asked to buy a membership card for €2 (good for any of the other events besides the BBQ, like music concerts and theatre).

The Grill.

For lunch there's the basic "Asado" grilled meat dish (with potatoes and salad) for €10, and a few smaller dished like fajitas for €6 and chorizo for €3. There are also soft drinks, wine and beer.

My lunch.

I met up with friends at about 3pm. We managed to find a table free with a view of the amazing installment artwork hanging from the hangar ceilings (the building is actually an SERNAM storage warehouse of sorts). People of all ages were gathered, most who looked like they knew each other. 

Comrades in solidarity: Brenna, David and Miranda.

The atmosphere is generally casual, laid back, and very friendly. Behind us children were playing Chinese jump rope, others had set up a chess board. A band started playing at about 4pm. Later that evening a screening of film shorts was scheduled. Next weekend (June 8-10) is a circus-theatre performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in French, at 8pm (tickets €6).



Musical interlude by the World Music group AKIM.

Theatre de Verre
25-27 Rue de l'Echeiquier, 10th
M° Strasbourg-St Denis



Cabaret Theatre to the Music of Kurt Weill

You don't have to be a fan of cabaret or even be familiar with the music of Kurt Weill to enjoy Whiskey Bars, but it sure helps if you understand a bit of French. I had already seen Bremner Duthie perform the one-man-show in English about a year ago, just after he had toured the summer festival scene to much critical acclaim. On Saturday night I went to the opening of the French version of the show, and found it just as interesting, if not better because of the fabulously atmospheric venue (Espace La Comédia, 6 impasse Lamier, 11th, M° Philippe Auguste).


Slightly tweaked in its new incarnation, the story is basically about an aging English cabaret singer talking to an invisible French critic in his dressing room as he prepares for that evening's show -- his crucial comeback performance. He speaks in Franglais, his almost perfect French peppered with English when appropriate. The Kurt Weill songs are mostly in English, with one in French and another in German. It's a compelling story -- we find his character funny, sad, dramatic and tragic in turns. His haunting version of Mack the Knife is worth the admission price alone. Catch the show every Saturday night through July 5 at 10:30pm, reservations 01 58 39 39 15, tickets €13-15. Don't miss it!