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One Week Near Montparnasse - Anything Good?


tigerwoman
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Will be staying in an apartment in Montparnasse for three nights in mid August - (Sunday night thru Tuesday night leaving late Wednesday Afternoon for Toulousse)

In Montparnasse:

What markets might be open during those days?

What boulangeries and cheese stores should not be missed?

Any recommendations for lunches and dinners in the 15-40 Euro range that present both good food/good value French experience?

Hidden treasures: eg parks, speciality boutiques, bookstore, housewares or cookingwares?

any help appreciated - we are both in the food biz - but not on a high budget this time. Really want to concentrate on markets and take out food for alot of the meals with one to two lunches or dinners for the plated food experience.

What is the vibe of this neighborhood?

Merci

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

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There's a market on Edgar-Quinet a block south of blvd. Montparnasse and east of the tower. I think it's on Wednesdays and Saturdays, unfortunately. Paris is a great city for walking although it could be hot and humid in August. I wouldn't limit myself to the neighborhood. If you're interested in markets, hot on the metro or a bus and get around to the many street markets and market streets in Paris. The most comprehensive guide to that kind of information is Patricia Wells' the Food Lover's Guide to Paris.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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My family and I just got back from Paris and founf Patricia Wells' "Food Lover's Guide to Paris" in valuable. We didn't plan our days around the book, we just carried it around with us and when we got hungry we whipped it out and hunted up something near by. It's organized by food category (cafe's, markets, bakeries etc.) and by arrondissement so if you're in the 14th and looking for, say, a good baguette and some cheese, you can flip through and find something nearby.

We also relied on the Guide Michelin, discredited though it may be in some circles, looking for what we called "happy face" restaurants. They now have a category called "Le Bib Gourmand" which are fine restaurants at a lower cost than the starred places (there's a picture of the Michelin Man's face next to the restaurant listing -- the "happy face") and the two meals we had at those establishments were extraordinary. I think the menus were about 35 Euros and I most of the wines in the 20-40 euro category.

Have fun!

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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We always pick up great pates, cheeses, bread, pastries all from the various shops on Rue Daguerre-right next to the Denfert-Rochereau Metro station. There are also fresh veggies, meats and fish as well as wine sold there as well but we do not cook when we are in Paris. There is a Monoprix on the corner for what it is worth.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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thank you all for the suggestions. Actually the apartment rental is not going to work out so I have been searching for a budget hotel - but not knowing Paris at all my head is swimming.

I think we will follow along the lines that Busboy's family did and play most of it by ear. Just was hoping to be situated in a neighborhood that was relatively convienent to transport and yet had stuff going on too.

Back to the drawing board.

What area would the Paris experts suggest staying in and still be able to get a double (dont laugh at me please) for 50- 65 Euros a night - breakfast not neccessary.

On another board I found an interesting suggestion of both the art and lunch at

Musee Jacquemart-Andre 158 Boulevard Haussman 01 45 62 1159

Any thoughts on this?

Love the idea of stepping back in time to a 19th century upclass Parisan home and the restaurant is set in the original dining room (according to the poster)

Musee Jaquemart-Andre

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

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Tigerwoman, I don't know where you are from or what you are used to in creature comforts. Paris can be hot and humid in the summer. I don't personally know any hotels in Paris with rooms under 65 euros a night and the French don't seem to need air-conditioning as I do these days, so I won't laugh, but I won't be too encouraging. There have been some recommendations here for what I consider inexpensive accommodations, but few were under 100 euros and I doubt they were air-conditioned.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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If you are still planning to be in the Montparnasse area, I found Monsieur Lapin (Michelin

Bibb Gourmand) on Rue Raymond Losserand to be excellent. Dinner should be 40-45 euros

per person plus wine.

I think you will be hard pressed to find a decent hotel (2 star as a minimum) in central Paris for

less than about 90 euros for a double.

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I did a little research on inexpensive hotels in Paris last year and actually found many that were under 75 €.

The hotel de Bains, in the montparnasse area is a great budget hotel. Last year, a room with a large double bed was 69€

33, rue Delambre, 14th. Metro: Vavin or Edgar-Quinet. 01-43-20-85-27. Fax: 01-42-79-82-78

You could also try a pension. There are two right near the luxembourg gardens, which have simple, clean, safe accommadations. The nicest is probably the Pension Marrionniers (which I have stayed in). It's a little like staying at someone's grandmother's house. But rooms are booked well in advance. You may get lucky though. www.pension-marronniers.com. The other is Residence Pension Ladagnous, which is in the same building, but not as homey. (78, rue d'Assas, Escalier B-2nd floor. 6th. Métro: Vavin or Notre-Dame des Champs. Telephone: 01-43-26-79-32)

Dehly's Hotel is in a great location, has spotless accommadations, and doubles for less than 70 (without bath). But all of the rooms have direct dial phones and cable TV.

22, rue de L'Hirondelle, 6th. Metro: Saint Michel. Telephone: 01-43-26-58-25. Fax: 01-43-26-51-06. E-mail: delhys@wanadoo.fr).

The hotel de Nestle is amazing, but most of the rooms don't have private baths and I'm not sure if they take reservations. www.hoteldenesle.com

The Grand Hotel Jeanne D'Arc has doubles for 75

( 3, rue de Jarente, 4th. Métro: Saint Paul. Telephone: 01-48-87-62-11. Fax: 01-48-87-37-31).

I wouldn't expect airconditioning in any of these.

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I wouldn't expect airconditioning in any of these.

Nor would I. :biggrin: I suspect one will get private baths before one gets air conditioning, but you never know. The locations are all great. Rue de L'Hirondelle is really in the heart of things, but not inaccessible to shopping. It's just a few blocks up St. Andre des Arts to the Buci shopping street. The other places in the sixth and fourteenth are all central enough and in good neighborhoods to get a sense of Paris.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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thank you all for the advice - we were in barcelona without a/c and hated it (lack of air) but the savings was enormous - this is an expensive trip for us and we'd rather spend the money on FOOD.

If there is no fan in the rooms (which I suspect) we may purchase one and give it to our niece who lives in France for her "hacienda" ( a huge old farm between Toulousse and Auch).

At least I have started to get a vague sense of Paris with the intensive research the last week or so. Will probably just concentrate on one area as time is so short. Either that or have a serious attack plan to jump from food hall to bakery to cookware shop to chocolatier to ice cream bar - well you get the picture.

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

www.cuisinetc-catering.blogspot.com

www.cuisinetc.net

www.caterbuzz.com

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For what it's worth, Barcelona is likely to be hotter than Paris, although an evening breeze may be rarer in Paris than in Barcelona. There may well be no fan in a French hotel room. The French abhor a breeze. It gives them the chills. I have watched the French close windows and doors on stifling evenings for fear of a draft. The French being who they are, you should not be surprised if Berthillon, the famous ice cream shop on the Ile St. Louis, is closed in August. There are still those wise enough to make business decsions not for the sake of profits, but for their own quality of life. Much is actually closed in August, but Paris no longer closes down for the summer as it used to a couple of generations ago. Where would I go to buy an electricla fan in Paris? I suppose someone living there could give a better answer, but I might try Darty, the appliance chain, which has a shop in the vulgar shopping mall -- Forum des Halles. It's only a few blocks away from the great kitchen supply places that sprang up in the area when it was home to les Halles, the wholesale food market of Paris. August, by the way, is one of the two traditional months of sales in Paris.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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August, by the way, is one of the two traditional months of sales in Paris

Just to clarify, the sales are set each year by the government. This summer, the sales began June 25th and are running until August 2nd. Most of the good stock has already been picked over, and the haute couture boutiques only run their sales for a week or so. However, if you are a serious shopper, you can still find some things for a real bargain as the prices go down further and further as the weeks go by.

You can probably buy a fan in any Monoprix store. There is also BHV. They are likely to carry 50 different fans. August is HOT! Don't forget Paris Plage. I think it starts the 17th of July and runs for one month.

Cheers,

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David is not only correct about this summer's sale, but in retrospect, I think July may be the traditional summer sale month. Some time ago, I recall being in Paris in July on my way to a wedding in Brittany and thus remember the exact month. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy a couple of knit shirts in incredibly ice cream colors at an excellent price at a rather chic looking shop. I also remember the time we arrived in Paris in January and the hotel recpetionist trying to be friendly, asked if we were here to shop. We gave her a puzzled look and said "no, to eat." Paris' reputation as a center of haute couture just never seemed to affect me.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 3 weeks later...
".....  But all of the rooms have direct dial phones and cable TV........."

I will never understand why in the world would anyone travelling for pleasure, fun, and especially vacation/holiday, need the above.

On a business trip, or if anyone left at home has a child or elderly or infirm, it would be necessary to have a phone handy.

But TV, especially when one does not speak the language of the country visited?

Now, air condition if one is used to it, OK.

And yes, bath and toilet is a must.

If I can shave a few bucks off the room rate by not requiring these amenities, it's a GO !!

Peter
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The French abhor a breeze. It gives them the chills. I have watched the French close windows and doors on stifling evenings for fear of a draft. Where would I go to buy an electric fan in Paris?

Yes, I chuckled at this... last year we were in Paris in June, and, on a relatively warm day, we went into a long narrow store with the proprietor sitting in the back where I felt I was stifling from the lack of air. We struck up a conversation, and when we asked him, why, if they don't have a/c, at least don't they use a fan for circulation? He thought about it a little, and then said, "well, we just don't think about a fan"(!!) I guess it's all what you are accustomed to, a cultural difference.

One can find several "ventilateurs" in the Hypermarchés, but by no means a big selection like we would be accustomed to in the US!!

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This talk of a.c. in Paris reminded me of what happened to us when we there in the mid-1980's in July. Our travel agent had booked us into a hotel, the name of which escapes me, that he assured us had a.c. When we got to our room, we saw what looked like vents for an a.c. system, but there was no switch or thermostat in sight. When we questioned the person at the front desk, we were told that those were, indeed, vents for a.c., but the system had yet to be hooked up. :shock::angry: Well, we were out of there toute de suite and over to the Hilton, where we were assured of having a room with working a.c. And the best part was that, because it was one of those years when American tourism was practically non-existent in Europe as a result of terrorist attacks on that continent at that time, the cost of the room at the Hilton was only $100 per night, substantially less than it would normally have been. :biggrin:

When we travel, I could care less about having a t.v. in our room or even a phone. But a private bath is a must and, in the summer, I want -- in fact, will not do without -- my a.c.! :laugh:

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As a student in the summer of what must have been 1960, I happily stayed in rooms with neither air conditioning nor baths. Sometime during that summer, I met an older American guy, a teacher I believe, and I remember him saying he wished he could still travel cheaply without the need for certain amenities. I immediately resolved to toughen myself so that I could travel no matter my future circumstances. I've done quite well and think I could survive without the few luxuries I allow myself or shall I refer to them as the ones Mrs. B. forces me to endure. :biggrin: Air conditioning is not a luxury for me however, it is a necessity. A private bath is another, but fortunately, rooms without private baths have become far rarer in the past four decades. Air conditioning has not entered the French culture to the degree that plumbing has.

I don't have a great need for a room phone and pay phones are far cheaper for making outgoing calls, but over the years we've made friends abroad and we often have the need to be reached. I enjoy TV however, far more than I do at home where I can understand what they are saying -- perhaps that's why I enjoy it. :biggrin: Seriously, I wouldn't hang around the hotel watching TV, but it is a window on the local culture and I will often keep it on while I'm in the room. I have an American friend who spends more time in France than in the states. I don't think he has a TV in his apartment here. If he does, he doesn't watch it. He bought one in France because he felt watching it helped improve his language skills. The problem with French TV is that it's very talky and boring, although at least one channel runs some racy stuff late at night from time to time.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Just out of college, I, too, stayed in rooms without a.c. But that was another lifetime ago. At this stage of my life, I feel I have earned the right to have certain amenities without which I will not travel. My need for a.c. also extends to car rentals. The last time we drove around France in 1999, our car had a.c. :smile: My husband, however, wouldn't bitch if there was no a.c., but he draws the line at sharing a bath with anyone but moi. :biggrin: As for t.v in France, I remember when we were at the Hilton turning on the t.v. and seeing a dubbed episode of "Kojak." It was truly hysterical hearing this French voice coming out of Telly Savales's mouth. :laugh:

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There are many people I'd share a bath with, but none of them stay at hotels that don't have private baths. Most of them are movie stars or supermodels. That's not an amentity my wife feels I've earned. :biggrin:

About the only time I'll ride in an unairconditioned car in the summer in France is when we're with our friends and their dog, but that's because the windows need to be rolled down. Enough said.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I will have to agree that in the 1970s most French hotels did not have A/C, except for the super-luxe. Then in the 1980s there was more of it, but most hotels shut it off at 1 or 2AM!!! Nowadays A/C is quite ubiquitous and caters to the foreign tourist. I must say, though, it is still a rarity in French restaurants; they rarely eat inside in the summer, anyway, so the a/c is "en plein air" instead. I understand that this has been the hottest summer in 50 years in France. Maybe they will get a few more fans!

I also agree with Bux about the TV; it is great fun to watch some of the programs right before bed-- a nice window on a different culture.

Bux, do you watch, like I do, the France 2 news every night on NY television, Channel 25? How different it is from the American news!!

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  • 4 years later...

I have to be in Paris in mid-February and decided to make a week of it, renting an apartment near Montparnasse (across the street actually). Since I will cook most evenings, I am wondering:

-are there any good markets (street or store) nearby? (I arrive on a Sunday, so anything open that day would be nice)

-any good wine bars or restaurants ideal for lunches/small meals?

-any interesting wine stores?

-any good cheese stores? (I know Quatrehomme isn't too far)

I usually stay up near the Arc de Triomphe and know the Poncelet market and the area around Ternes really well. But this time I wanted to change things around a bit and see a different part of Paris.

Merci in advance!

Cheers! :cool:

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I have to be in Paris in mid-February and decided to make a week of it, renting an apartment near Montparnasse (across the street actually).  Since I will cook most evenings, I am wondering:

-are there any good markets (street or store) nearby?  (I arrive on a Sunday, so anything open that day would be nice)

-any good wine bars or restaurants ideal for lunches/small meals?

-any interesting wine stores?

-any good cheese stores? (I know Quatrehomme isn't too far)

IMerci in advance!

Cheers!  :cool:

The Raspail market, which is a beautiful organic market on Sundays is not far.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I have to be in Paris in mid-February and decided to make a week of it, renting an apartment near Montparnasse (across the street actually).  Since I will cook most evenings, I am wondering:

-are there any good markets (street or store) nearby?  (I arrive on a Sunday, so anything open that day would be nice)

There's a regular (non-bio) market on Edgar-Quintet that has a lot of clothes too (some nifty real Chinese).

From VivreManger

Edgar-Quinet Market

Bd E. Quinet.

Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Metro : Edgar-Quinet

-any good wine bars or restaurants ideal for lunches/small meals?
I may get in trouble with Sharon for my definition of "small" but both Cerisaie + Bistro du Dome are very near and good and one can have individual dishes.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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