Tonight I decided I couldn’t deal with any more dining. I needed a break. So I decided to just do a quick dinner from a food stand and some gelato. Great choice. One of the best meals I’ve had since I got here. Total? 7.50 euro.
First I went to a little crepe stand that I’d been noticing had long lines every night. Aup’Tit Grec. Despite my tattered feet, I stand in that line for my crepe for about 25 minutes. It is a mission. Mind over feet. Dinner over pain. And I win. Boy, do I win.
The chef is making 3-4 crepes at once. There is a high-maintenance young American girl ahead of me, and he is giving her the business, in a fun way. Not creepy or mean, just fun and appropriate. She is demanding and he harasses her. He doesn’t realize that this tickles me, but I enjoy the whole exchange, since each set of crepes takes about five minutes for him to make.
When it is my turn, I ask him what “tamara” is in English, thinking it might be lamb. So this would be an example of when it is good to ask. It was fish. I didn’t think my stomach could handle fish after the bad meals the previous two nights, so I just went basic: feta, tomatoes and salade. OMG, I don’t know exactly why, but it was so amazingly good. Maybe something about the crepes themselves. Or the herbs he threw on them. Or maybe that he cooked them perfectly. But it was truly to die for. (Btw, WAY less messy than falafel in the Marais. After eating a couple of falafels on the street in the Marais, I now think no man would ever EVER date me after watching me try to navigate one. They should be relegated to the same status as eating ribs for me: alone and in the dark!)
I wander into the plaza on Rue Mouffetard, enjoying my crepe, the cool night air and the people watching. There’s an old guy on a side street in a shiny beige suit — with matching hat! — who plays the accordion every night. The music wafts down into the whole neighborhood, and the mood is very joyous. In the middle of the square, there are massage therapists giving chair massages … at 10 pm! It is wacky and wonderful and it makes me smile.
I head over to Amorino for some gelato, ignoring Albert’s gelato because the servers are rude. Tonight Amorino is out of raspberry, so I try the passion fruit, which has a long weird name. I tell the server, “I don’t think I can pronounce it, but here goes …” and I get it right. She laughs and smiles. The passion fruit is really good and so is the second kind of pistachio (yes, in France, there are two flavors of pistachio which taste absolutely nothing like pistachio flavor in America). Both flavors tonight are really great, though a small demerit to Amorino in this location for shutting down half their flavors by 9 pm.
All in all, a delicious night. Worth repeating.
Update: I went back to Aup’Tit Grec and had another fabulous crepe. In pulling out my money in the dark, I thought I gave the guy 5E, and I left. But I actually gave him 20E, and he had someone chase me down the street to give me my change. So they’re honest, too. Great guys, great food. Highly recommended for both reasons. But I’ve never seen less than a 20-minute line there, so you will definitely be standing a while.