Wednesday, June 07, 2006

La Grande Epicerie

I've already mentioned La Grande Epicerie in this post, and this week I was in the neighborhood so I decided to drop by. La Grande Epicerie is more than just a grocery store: it is an experience. You will be amazed by the smells, the sights, the selection, and of course, the prices. I could easily lose myself in there for the afternoon. This time, in addition to the usual samples and delicacies, we were treated to stunning displays.

Hideous English hats, worthy of Camilla, floating in their boxes? Nope, just the orchids.

Pastries and cakes, much like those featured in Marie-Antoinette, waiting to be gobbled up?Actually, I don't know what these were - made of cloth, they looked like elegant pincushions. Each platter had a card with a sketch of a character from Alice in Wonderland in it. Does anyone know who did these displays?

Though I was tempted by their beignet samples and their upright granola-looking millefeuille, once again I caved for their rillettes d'oie. At 27€/kg these are more than double the normal price at Auchan, but well worth it in terms of quality - I'll have to try to smuggle some back with me, they are just too good. R. splurged on their coffee - they have a limited selection of beans which they will grind for you. Most of these range from 17 - 25€/kg, although they did have one blend at a whopping 120€/kg. I asked the guy if it was a typo, since it was at least 4x the price of all the other blends, and not behind a display case or anything, but he just shook his head and laughed. Silly American.

There was also a surreal moment at the Pommery tasting station, where a reeking homeless man wandered up, hair askew, bags in tow. The Pommery employee didn't bat an eye and immediately served him a glass of champagne, and the homeless man played the part of the discerning wine connaisseur surprisingly well. At least you know they have good customer service.

La Grande Epicerie de Paris
38, rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris
Monday - Saturday: 8h30 - 21h
01 44 39 81 00
m: Sèvres-Babylone

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Julia said...

Haha! I hate those 'only in Paris' generalisations, but I can't imagine any other place where your last paragraph would happen. So, the rillettes d'oie are worth it? I love rillettes, I love La Grande Epicerie, but I hate the indecision when there - I want everything!

Etienne said...

I don't know...I've seem similar stuff happening at Whole Foods, and when I worked at a gallery there was a homeless lady who always came early to the openings to get a glass of wine (or three). We never figured out how she kept track of the opening dates, but since she was always polite and came early before any real guests arrived, the owners were kind and served her every time. Totally agree with the indecision @ La Grand Epicerie - there's just too much amazing stuff! And the rillettes are definitely worth the price, the normal Auchan ones are not even comparable. My boyfriend's mom would kill me for saying this, but they're even better than hers (and she's an amazing cook).