Everyone who lives in Paris has their favorite neighborhood bakery. Back when we were living in the 18th, we had our choice of three good quality establishments all a few steps from our door. Here in the 10th, we prefer Tania and Thierry’s traditional boulangerie Pains et Saveurs on rue du Faubourg Saint Martin near Louis Blanc.
I knew we would like this place before we even moved to the neighborhood because the Google Maps image shows a line of people out the door. For a bakery, this is always a good sign. Another is the heavenly smell of baking bread that beckons you in from the street.
I fell in love with our boulangerie when I bought my first demie baguette. They actually bake half-size loaves instead of cutting a regular baguette in half, so the bread keeps its warm freshness until you decide to eat it. The taste of this bread is better than most others I have tried in Paris, and I admit that I have tried quite a few.
My opinion has even been confirmed recently in the Concours de la Meilleure Baguette de Tradition Francaise de Paris 2012 (competition for the best traditional French baguette in Paris). They came it at number three for all of Paris. Funny enough, one of our favorite bakeries across the street from our old apartment in the 18th got first place.
This isn’t a fancy bakery, and I don’t go there for its looks which are fairly standard. It does offer all the classic French pastries and breads you could want, from le sablé Smarties to le diplomate and the Paris-Brest. For months I would get a heavenly demie baguette almost every day to eat for my lunch, until I realized that my diet should probably include more variation than slices of white bread and cheese.
I have grown to adore their salade océanne which contains smoked salmon, surimi, tomatoes, lettuce and lemon slices. Accompanied by either a small portion of baguette or a petit pain aux ceréales, this makes for a satisfying lunch at under six euros.
I can’t say that the boulangères who work here are overly friendly. However, since I have learned the proper etiquette- wait in line, say “bonjour,” state your order followed by “s’il vous plaît,” hand them the money once they announce the price, say “merci, au revoir” and exit the shop- I have not experienced any problems. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my husband.
On Saturday mornings, he often goes to the boulangerie to pick up a pain au chocolat and a baguette. At first, my husband got into a tiff with one of the boulangères because he could not understand what she was saying and she did not feel inclined to repeat her sentence. Back then it was not uncommon for him to return to our apartment with a scowl and a partially burned baguette.
Now, half a year later, my husband comes home with a smile and beautifully golden bread. It is true that it often takes time for the French to warm up to new people, but once they do, the benefits are well worth it.
Watch this short video about our local boulangerie:
Boulangerie Pains et Saveurs
Thierry et Tania Audou, Boulangers
219 rue Faubourg du Saint Martin
© 2012 Pasa’s Paris