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Paris – food on the move

This week’s about my observations regarding Paris’s answer to the food truck phenomena which began in Los Angeles about six years ago and has since swept through many places around the world including New Zealand. And, sitting alongside the food truck trend, is a huge emphasis on casual well-priced street food whether Asian inspired or American fast-food inspired. In the past here and in many places this type of food was sold as takeaways and often of questionable quality – think takeaways such as fish and chips, burgers, meat pies, hot dogs and more. Although plenty of it is still cheap rubbish much of this type of food is now trendy with many gourmet versions available made using great fresh ingredients.

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In Paris there’s always been some sort of street food – many of you will have stopped at a street corner or footpath kiosk for a crepe dripping with chocolate sauce or sugar and butter or a savoury galette. I’ve also often stood in Rue des Rosiers in the Marais and queued outside L’As du Fallafel for a delicious Kefta or Fallafel Special.

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In the central city area there’s not much street parking space for food trucks (camion ambulant in French) although I understand there are a few parked in slightly less central places. So rather than having lots of food trucks catering to this food trend, in Paris I’ve noticed more and more very small, almost hole-in-the-wall places, opening with a few seats to sit at. In the 10th arrondissement in Rue Faubourg Saint Denis within a short walking distance I could have stopped for hot dogs, bagels, hamburgers or Thai street food. Closer to Canal Saint Martin several places had very yummy looking fish and chips (no greasy smells here).

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One of the most popular places is Greg Marchand’s ‘Frenchie To Go’. It’s located in a small back street in the 2nd just along from his bistro ‘Frenchie’ and across the lane from ‘Frenchie Wine Bar’. Because it was lunchtime I decided to stop for something. I queued for a bit and then found a stool to perch on inside. I munched my way through a Rueben sandwich and traditional New York style sour pickle. I must admit I had been very tempted to order the lobster roll. Breakfast is available all day.

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For a large selection of street food under one roof it’s hard to go past Marché Des Enfants Rouges on Rue de Bretagne on the north edge of the Marais. It’s a market in the traditional sense and also offers many different types of food. So far my favourites for lunch are hot rotisserie chicken served with courgette gratin and, from the Moroccan traiteur, chicken tagine. Next time I think I’ll try something Italian or Lebanese.

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The only food truck I saw was parked on the side of Canal Saint Martin. They weren’t selling the types of food I talked above. Instead the back and side opened up to all sorts of fruit and veges, charcuterie, cheeses, bread and more. Just like a little deli on wheels. What a good idea. I wish I could have bought a few things.

Posted on: 11th Jun, 2014by frenchie Tags: Latest News