Open Air Market in Vincennes

Vincennes MarketOn Tuesdays and Fridays there is a huge, colorful open air market in Vincennes, our temporary home. It is supposed to be the largest market in and around Paris. We can walk a few blocks from our hotel, the Adagio Paris Vincennes to partake of the market goodies.

Brenda buying vegetables

Brenda buying vegetables

There are many blocks of vendors lining both both sides of the streets, selling fresh vegetables, fruit, meats, cheeses, seafood, clothing, including cashmere sweaters, hats, gloves, even kitchen utensils and dishware. Shoppers get wonderful fresh produce.

Helping out with the French

This woman was helping us out with the French


Authentic scallops are distinctively marked

Vendors help each other out by asking each other and even passers by the English terms for items they want to tell us about. We try to tell them any French we know. It’s a bit of a mêlée wherever we go. Today we bought fresh peas and spinach, rabbit sausages, “rumsteck” which I think is the equivalent of round steak, an aged hard cheese that reminds me of pecorino and a fresh ripe and ready to eat mango. I can cook in the small kitchen in our room. So glad that before I came I downloaded “Cook’s All Time Best Recipes.”  Tonight for dinner I made their recipe for “pan seared cheap steaks with mustard cream sauce” fresh peas, fresh spinach and boiled beets. The food tastes so good- just like when I buy at the Farmer’s Market in Poulsbo. We have tried a few red wines too-comparatively inexpensive and very tasty.

Arthur, concierge supreme!

Arthur poses for his photo

Arthur poses for his photo

We’re staying at the Adagio Paris hotel in Vincennes. Although it’s east of the city center about 6 miles, we picked it for an arrival address because it was reasonably priced and had good reviews. What we’ve discovered is that people in Vincennes always recommend Vincennes as the best place to stay. They like that it is quieter than Paris but has woods in which to walk, the Chateau de Vincennes, a Middle Ages castle (the tallest standing in Europe) under reconstruction, their many good restaurants, the largest outdoor market in or around Paris and an easy to commute to the city via the Metro- only 18 minutes.

Arthur, our friendly and informative concierge, allowed us to take his photo. We admire him and his elegant, structured suit. Arthur has answered so many of our questions so politely and carefully, always with a smile. He seems genuinely glad to give us advice and make recommendations. We are always happy to see him at the front desk. He encourages our attempts to speak French and is “astonished” when we pronounce a phrase correctly. Arthur made dinner reservations for us for next Saturday evening at “Gallopin,” a 120 year old brasserie which he frequents and thinks we and our unexpected guests from Poulsbo will too. Merci, Arthur for your kindness.