Although you could easily get a sandwich at one of the gazillion bakeries in Paris that would constitute as a sensible lunch, I tend to ignore the idea of a balanced meal and go for what my taste buds crave as opposed to what my organs need to function properly. While gawking at the beautiful goods on display at Colas Artisan Bakery (7ème), two things stuck out in my mind: macarons and baguettes.
I would feel more guilty about eating an entire few-feet-long baguette (whatever the length, it's more than what a single human should consume in one sitting) if I didn't think that somewhere in the world there was probably an American college student washing down Pop Tarts with Coke as his version of a cheap lunch. I think my version is better.
When I got home, I cut into my fresh, partially eaten baguette (partially eaten because I started to eat it as soon as I walked out of the bakery, of course) and was rewarded by flying shards of golden baguette crust protecting a soft, chewy interior. That's the way it should be. If my airspace isn't filled by sharp, crusty bits, the crust doesn't have enough Awesome Crust Essence. The downside to having a high level of ACE is that I cannot help but eat the entire baguette in all its "marriage of crunchy and soft bread matter" with an excessive slathering of butter or filled with goat cheese and lettuce.
After devouring the magical stick of bread, I dug into Colas's pistachio macaron. It was pleasantly light and moist, but would've propelled me more into macaron heaven had there been more filling. Do not defy the optimal filling-to-cookie ratio; I think the height of the filling should at least be the same height of the cookie. Colas's cream filling, which was neither smushy nor sticky, was among the better I've tasted. Alone in my kitchen, I devoured the macaron with the grace of a wild dog eating a meaty carcass. (Hey, it's not like anyone's looking.)
It probably isn't the French way, but if I could direct the production of macarons (which would be one of the worst ideas ever) I would slather the cream filling on like nobody's business...and then sneak a spoonful into my mouth on the side.
Just to ensure you that my diet contains more than just bread and macarons, I ate dinner at Café du Marché (7ème) where no baguettes or macarons were ingested.
Instead, I feasted on crispy, fatty-skinned duck on a bed of sautéed scalloped potatoes accompanied by a salad of simply dressed lettuce. The smell of garlic wafted into my nasal passages and took over my brain as soon as the plate hit the table. In my garlic coma, I couldn't do much more than poke at the meat with my knife, which was all it took to release the muscle fibers from the bone since the meat was so tender.
No remnant of duck, slice of potato or torn lettuce leaf was spared from my digestive fluids. It was my first time eating confit de canard; obviously, I need to eat it again.
If meat and potatoes isn't your type of dish, you could also get one of Café du Marché's salads that resembles the entire contents of a salad bar lovingly piled into one giant bowl. While I didn't try Lori's marche salad with smoked ham and liver pâté, it was obvious from its hearty contents that it was filling and nothing like a wimpy plate of lettuce like I think of when I hear the word "salad". It was probably as satisfying as my dish, except that it lacked warmth.
...Nah, I take that back. It's hard to beat fatty duck.
Colas Artisan Bakery
178 rue de Grenelle, 7th
Metro: La Tour Maubourg (8)
Café du Marché
38 rue Cler, 7th
Metro: Ecole Militaire (8)
An NYC food blogger, currently studying non-foodie things in Paris, Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything shares her discoveries with Parisist every Monday (or Tuesday if she's especially lazy) while she explores all the eats that Paris has to offer.