J’aime manger les tartines. In fact, if it were acceptable, I would probably eat them morning, noon and night (possibly alternating with macaroons and cheese and heart-attack pizza). But because I can’t really do this (health reasons?), I save them for when I can make it to L’épicerie, a bar à tartines.
So what exactly is this fabled tartine of which I speak? It’s basically an open-faced sandwich, hot or cold, with really anything on it. So maybe the word tartine isn’t best used to describe one dish, but more of a construction of a dish. In any case, you could also spell tartine d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.
Anyway, back to L’épicerie. I passed it once late at night, noticing it only when Marc said “Look, you can go eat tartines there.” Since he followed it up by pointing out another place and saying “I think you’d like it there because it’s pink inside” I may not have paid it tons of attention. But then when Sandra and John and I needed a place to eat during their visit, I found it again in the Petit Paumé guide (the older one, as I’ve just come into possession of the newer version) and we headed on over. I’ve probably raved about it before, but it’s worth doing again. It’s decorated to look like an old-school grocery store (that is, after all, what épicerie means) and plays French and English music from the 40s and 50s. The dishes don’t all match, the napkins are checkered, and there’s an older man wearing a white hat who brings freshly made soup and cakes from the basement. The menu has a big selection of aperitifs and wine (it is open until 1am), coffee, desserts and the tartines. There is a tartine with chèvre and thyme, with brie de meaux, walnuts and honey, with rilletes, with tomato, mozzarella and pesto, with sweet cheese, apricots, honey and almonds, with four cheeses, etc. You get the picture. There are special tartines every week, as well as special desserts. I can’t really get out of there without some sort of gateau. Hey, they come with jelly beans!
I am in love with L’épicerie. But don’t go there- it’s tiny and I want to get a table! It just got a RPPP, meaning that the Petit Paumé recommends it and everyone will now go there. It’s good and cheap and adorable, why wouldn’t it be recommended? But really, leave me my épicerie. Please.
(I am weak. I wrote this on Monday night, and Tuesday at 5:30 I was back at L’épicerie. It was Ryan’s idea, I swear. Did I have cake? Of course. Who do you think I am, people?)