This was kind of a spooky one. I drove by around noon this past Wednesday and noticed the place wasn't open. I went in and took a look. There was a hand written "thank you for the support" note. Kind of sad considering I first visited here back in 2001 and first posted on the place in 2005. Over the years they seemed to have changed hands not less than three times.
What really made it spooky was that an hour or so later, I had "FOY" Sage tweeting me, letting me know Do Re Mi House had closed down.
While I thought the quality of the food at Do Re Mi House had fluctuated over the years, they had always provided a reasonable lunch option. I'm sad to see them go.
Do Re Mi House 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M San Diego, CA 92111
Dede's Becoming "Facing East"......
Or Something like that. I went into this strip mall because I saw the Notice of Ownership Change posted for the former Convoy Noodle House. I was shocked to see that Dede's had closed.
While over the years; I thought the food at Dede's had really gone downhill....I'm more of a quality over quantity kind of guy; it was sad to see the windows papered over. then I also read Faye's post as well. It looks like this place will become a Chinese Restaurant named "Facing East"?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Meanwhile Convoy Noodle House is Becoming "Submarine Crab":
Or at least that's what the sign says.....
Which is yet another, I think....crawfish chain from the OC?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
So 99 Ranch is really going into the old Haggen Site on Balboa:
In spite of what Eater San Diego said, I always had my doubts since it seems they would be competing with themselves. But on a recent (I really don't shop there enough these days) visit to 99 Ranch Market I saw this sign:
It's great that Taisho is doing so well. I found out that Taisho was an experiment in more refined, upscale yakitori for the owner (who also owns Yakyudori and Hinotez). They've done so well, that from what I heard Yakitori Hino is going to be fairly similar when they open.
Yakitori Taisho 5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92117
Some Kale Pache and Garlic Paste from Harvest Market:
Recently, they expanded their offerings a bit and put in a dessert counter, have samples during the weekend, and lo' and behold, they had Kale Pache! Which I had to try.
This very rich version is lamb feet, head, and a whole lot of lamb tongues. The Missus was kinda grossed out at the lamb tongues, but I peeled back the membrane and She loved the rich and flavorful meat. The broth is super fatty though, and it needed a good bit of salt. I'll probably have it again....
The okra stew was not very good though; overcooked, very mushy, and lacking in flavor.
Beef Flap is back on the menu in the household. I grilled up a bunch along with other veggies and meat to last the Missus most of the week. This time I did the Cumin and Sichuan Peppercorn thing. The next day, I picked up some garlic paste and flat bread on the way home. We had cucumbers from the garden, some Roma tomatoes, and Vidalia onion. And I mixed some Labneh with mint and a touch of lemon juice. I also had some thinly sliced Berkshire Pork basted with garlic olive oil. Talk about a quick and satisfying dinner.
Harvest International Market 4220 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92117
I've found that the bottle prices at the Poseidon Project are even cheaper than most markets and liquor stores. Here's a few items I've had over the last couple of weeks.
Not too impressed with the NG Native Ale; pretty boring, not quite a brown.
This was an odd one:
Really just tasted like a standard San Diego IPA....really foamy. Don't know what the "Shojo" part is about.
The Missus just loved the Tusk & Grain Coconut Stout.
Though at 13.4% ABV, a couple of sips was all she wrote for Her on this one. In case you didn't know. T&G is Saint Archer's "artisan" line of beers brewed in Bourbon Barrels. They don't mess around; everything I've from T&G is at least 12% ABV.... yikes!
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
At least the SoCal stores. As of July first. They replaced my card with one that acts like the typical supermarket discount card, but also allows you to accumulate points. Not sure for what, but I guess I'll find out.
Also of note, I was told that Marukai in Hawaii will be using a different system....so we'll see what happens when I travel back "home".
Marukai Market 8151 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Hope you're having a great Saturday. I thought I'd share what our Saturday morning was like in Sarlat. It started with a huge breakfast at our B&B.
Man, there's no way we'd be able to have lunch after this!
We left the B&B and headed up Avenue Thiers, which, after crossing a pedestrian only stretch, became the main street of the town; Rue de la République. It was still a bit early at 8am; the vendors usually open at about 830. Still, it was a nice and relaxing stroll up the street.
The Missus actually bought a little wooden nut cracker in the shape of a mushroom. She loved the walnuts in Dordogne and would crack them one-by-one savoring each bite!
The market actually takes up the entire length of the street and then stretches into Place de la Liberte and up side streets.
I can see why this market is also popular with the local residents; you can get it all here.
By 9am, things had picked up significantly.
And the crowds kept on growing.
I took time to stop and smell the fromage!
Behind the huge doors of the former Church of Saint Marie resides another covered market and a panoramic elevator which wasn't in service yet when we arrived. Plus, there were too large a crowd here anyway.
We took our time, exploring the side streets and alleyways; which looked totally different from the previous day.
You could make out a literal buzz in the air! It was only 10am and we needed a break. So, using a technique we learned in Rome, we sought out the Cathedral of St Sacerdos also known as Sarlat Cathedral, to escape the crowds and noise.
The TI is steps away from the Cathedral, so we decided to take a look and grab a map.
This is where I really started getting an understanding of folks in, at least this area of France. We stood in line and the very pleasant young man got us a map. As we were turning to leave, I happened to ask the young man for a dinner recommendation; a place he enjoys. He smiled and opened another map and started going over his favorite spots in town, cheerfully pointing them out. I looked at the line forming behind me with some concern. He smiled at us and said; "do not worry, I take my time with you, and all our customers." I got it! We'd have this experience a couple of times more during our trip. Ask a question, and many times, the folks in France will want to give you the most perfect, complete answer. The young man actually called one of the places to make dinner reservations for us, but there was no answer. He then marked the way to the place so we could walk over at our leisure and make reservations. Coming back to the states, it seemed that we're in too much of a rush and when someone has a question we'll often give, not the best answer, but the easiest and the shortest.
By now, things were going full tilt.
Remember the bronze statue of a boy sitting named "Le Badaud", the Onlooker, that I mentioned in my previous post? I was wondering what he was looking at. Well, I'm pretty sure it's the crowds on market day (see above photo).
It was just past 11 now and we were feeling a bit peckish. We decided to grab some cheese, a baguette, and find the quiet place to eat.
There was one fromage stand that was doing great business, so I decided to get into the queue and pick up some cheese for us.
After getting our cheese and bread, we decided to walk on over to the restaurant the fellow in the TI recommended to us and make dinner reservations which was located in the tiny side streets west of Rue de la République. Things were a lot quieter here. As we left, I mentioned that there was a brewery nearby; located one street above République.
The place was quite easy to find; just follow the signs.
And you'll literally walk into; well; for lack of a better phrase, a medieval nano-brewery.
I was told that they make all of their beer on premises! No bright stainless steel kettles here.
What the heck; we bought a bottle of the Blonde. She got us a bottle without a label and charged us less.....
Bière Artisanale de Sarlat 2 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau Sarlat-la-Caneda, France
We skirted the crowds by heading south, around the market areas, finding the Jardin Public, above the busy parking lots, this was a nice, quiet little oasis.
We had our baguette and cheese; one a typical, light Cabécou, the other two, aged, one of them with a fine coat of ash and mold. Both were nice a creamy; though not too pungent. Quite easy to eat.
We wrapped what we had left and saved it for later.
We took a 'roundabout way back to the room. Taking time to enjoy the architecture.
And to meet some of "the locals".
We stopped by our room, freshened up and headed back out. It was time to pick up our car rental. Now things were going to get interesting.......
After sampling a few brews at Otaru Brewery we walked back to the JR Station. Just to the right of that station stands a rather nondescript street and a very discreet doorway. Behind that door is Sankaku Market. It really doesn't look like much from the outside, but walk thru that door and you'll enter a bustling little market.
Full of some of the most wonderful seafood I've ever had a chance to see.
Opposite the stands are restaurants....more like stalls with tables. One of them had a crazy line of people waiting to eat. I looked at the menu and saw that it was the cheapest place in the market.
Right before that stood another shop, this one was also busy, but we decided to just take a chance. The woman in charge gave us a paper with a number and we stood off to the side to wait.
I went for a walk to the loo....which is how I noticed that the crowds here gather around the area where the restaurants were.
After about 15 minutes, the woman in charge found us and we were seated and a little bowl of ika; which looked like it was colored with squid ink was placed before us.
We were given menus and here's where I'm glad I took a photo of the menu since folks here don't believe the prices we paid for lunch.
Not realizing how much rice was in these bowls we ordered three! Later on during the trip, Kat mentioned that we could order half portions of rice. Which we'll do when we return.
We shared the three bowls. The first to arrive was the most expensive one (2000¥) a bit less than $20. Geez Louise, look at all of that sweet crab!
Which I thought was the weakest item in the bowl. The salmon was nice and mild in flavor, fatty, with a wonderful texture. I've had Hokkaido Uni before and thought it to be very briney and intense in flavor, but this was so creamy, slightly sweet, with the wonderful flavor of the ocean. Like you took a bite of the cleanest, sweetest, water of the Pacific. The ikura were perfect, briney, not overly salty, with a wonderful snap to them. For around twenty bucks!
We also ordered this which cost 1300¥. More of that wonderful ikura and those scallops were super sweet.
The ebi were tender, but very mild in flavor and not particularly interesting....but that ikura.
I was curious what a 980¥ (about $9.50) bowl of salmon would look like. Sheeesh......
10 pieces of fresh and delicious salmon. I'm very cautious about getting salmon in restaurants; but the stuff in the market looked so fresh and of good quality. We really didn't need the wasabi as everything tasted clean and fresh, just a bit of soy sauce for the salmon. We did feel bad having so much rice left over, but we'll know what to do in the future.
This was one heck of a meal for under forty bucks....remember, there's no tipping in Japan. I came back and mentioned how good the Hokkaido Uni was to Tommy at Catalina.....which he wasn't too happy about, but what the heck.
Man, we left fat and happy. We managed to get back to Sapporo and squeeze in a nap and a nice walk before dinner, which was to be at the oldest crab specialty restaurant in Sapporo. We sure were eating well!
Our flight from Seoul to New Chitose Airport was perfectly uneventful. The airport is about 30 miles from Sapporo. It might easily be one of my favorite airports....there are a number of shops selling; well, everything! It's not a large airport and easy to maneuver....and good lord, the samples! We ended up buying a load of snacks for my MIL.....so much, that we ended up mailing it Sapporo! As regular readers will know, I'm not much of a snack person, but I was totally taken by this Hokkaido corn snack, which was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. More on that in a later post. After sampling a load of stuff and buying some snacks, we activated our JR Pass and got to Sapporo Station in no time. Our good friend Akiko had made our hotel reservations at the Hotel Monterey Sapporo, telling me that I'm "going to love the breakfast buffet". It was a nice choice, just a five minute walk from the station.
After checking in, freshening up, and relaxing for a bit, we headed out. First stop; the ATM at 7-11, the easiest, most convenient ATMs in Japan. Be it 7-11, Lawson, or whatever; the snack selection and prepared food at these shops are something to be reckoned with.
In spite of it being close to Thanksgiving, it wasn't too cold....yet! So of course the Missus wanted to walk to our lunch destination. Which wasn't so bad after putting in all those miles walking in Seoul. That's the Sapporo TV Tower located in Odori Park.
Strangely, we didn't come across too many people during our walk....perhaps it was a bit cold? Or perhaps folks were just a lot smarter than us and used the subway, which ran just a block from our hotel.
I'd read about Nijo Market before our trip and it was along the way to our destination so we decided to take a look around.
Seeing all that seafood and knowing we'd be around here for a couple of days really got the Missus excited.
The prices were no joke!
But it did get my heart beating a little faster since I knew we'd be looking for some crab for the Missus.......
The Missus had declared this to be a "discovery of ramen and yakitori" trip. Our last stop before leaving Narita for Seoul was for some Seabura (pork backfat) Ramen at Miyamoto. So it only made sense that we'd try some ramen here in Sapporo. It only made sense that we visit a place famous for what I heard called their "flame torched chashu", Ramen Zero, which, being in the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade was really easy to find.
We entered......and of course came across the ramen ticket machine!
As with most places in Japan, the folks here were really nice......most of the labels didn't have kanji characters, but a young lady came out and we made it through punching the right buttons with a combination of really bad Japanese...at least I know what we wanted and could order it in Japanese......it was a matter of finding the right buttons.
We were in Sapporo; so it was only right that we get a Sapporo Classic "Only in Hokkaido". A light Pilsner, easy to drink, great head, with a sweet finish.
So, like I said, Ramen Zero is known for this......
Will you look at that piece of pork belly. This obviously wasn't one of those one thin slice of chashu places. I really liked the pork, which was tender, but not falling to pieces, smoky, with a nice pork flavor. The Missus thought they put too much black pepper on the beast. She also got a nicely soft boiled egg and some rice, which was just perfect.
Since this was Sapporo, I got the Miso Ramen....with the pork of course!
Man, that pork...plus the bowl was about $11 US and totally worth it. The noodles were nice, of the thicker variety,, curly, and firm. The broth was the most un-miso, miso broth I've ever had. It was very mild, slightly thick, with a touch of sweetness, and we made out what seemed like a rather strong ginger flavor. In other words, everything took a back seat to that pork.
As you can tell, we didn't leave hungry. It seems we lucked out as I heard the place often sells out of items early in the evening.
Sapporo Noodle Zero Minami 2 Jōnishi Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
Due to the season, night was falling like a curtain as we left. Still, we had a bit of exploring to do before heading back for the evening.
Our time in Seoul, and Korea, for that matter was coming to an end. The Missus and I discussed the possibilities for a last meal and we decided to give KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) another shot. This time at a place that was more highly recommended. I had a place on my list....which one of my coworkers called a "Hof"??? A Hof? Like "Hofbrau"? Well, she wasn't sure.....the term "hof" is used for various places that serve beer/drinks with food and to my relief had nothing to do with "The Hoff". So it was off to the "hof".
The shop was located in the Gyeongbokgung area, west of the Palace. The Gwanghwamun Gate of Gyeongbokgung looked especially striking on this clear evening.
Finding Mirak Chicken wasn't too difficult; especially with pocket wifi, called an "egg" in Korea, and a photo of the exterior.
Mirak Chicken's popularity is in part due to being shown on a very popular Korean Food Show named Tasty Road, which is how we found out about the place after having two people mention Mirak and the show to me.
The interior has a dark and kind of pub-like feel.
As is typical with these places, there's the all-you-can eat popcorn....which I found a bit odd. You obviously need a beverage of choice; we went with some Hite, which seemed a bit sweeter, but very light, and not as bitter as the versions here in the states. Perhaps it was being on holiday....... After ordering, some shredded cabbage dressed with a somewhat fruity mayo and the standard condiment of KFC, the water kimchi arrived.
Mirak is known for their Garlic Chicken, which of course had to order.
The chicken came with a ton of glazed whole garlic cloves, which of course I loved, but made me socially unpresentable for most of the evening. As with other glazed/sweet/spicy chicken of this type, the glaze was very sticky and way too sweet for me. They really had the batter and the cooking process down as the crust was thin and light, and the chicken very moist. It was just hard to get over the sweetness, for which I was thankful for the radish.
Hedging our bets, we also ordered the regular fried chicken which was quite good.
Crisp, light, and moist. But again, for some reason we both found the seasoning to be on the very mild side. They sure had the cooking process down though.
We were glad to have been able to try a couple of Korean Fried Chicken places.
Mirak Chicken (미락치킨) 17-1 Jahamun-ro Seoul, South Korea
After dinner, we decided to take a walk around the area. We hadn't been around this part of Seoul so this made for an interesting walk. We came across a shopping arcade and decided to do some exploring.
There were quite a few food stalls......
One stall was especially popular.
It made tteokbokki, not my favorite food item in the world, but this looked different. Bright red, stir fried in oil, so I had to try some.....
The was quite good....nice chew, a slight crunch, a good amount of spice, not very greasy.....I really liked it. It changed my opinion of tteokbokki.
After returning home, I tried to find out the name of this place and learned that it is Tongin Market, which was originally set-up by the Japanese in 1941 during the occupation. I also learned that one of the most popular stalls in the market makes Gireum tteokbokki, basically a fried in oil version.......lines rarely lie, right?
Walking back was a pleasure.....we really enjoy Seoul at night.
Before heading back to the apartment, we decided to head on over to the Cheonggyecheon Stream area. A few nights earlier we'd come across the Seoul Lantern Festival. I'm guessing this night must be something special, because folks were really enjoying the sights.
The theme this year was an "Illuminated Tour of Seoul", which was very cool. We saw lanterns of many of the sights we'd seen during the previous days.
Under the bridge folks were gathered, putting together lanterns to be released in the stream.
People were having a great time. It was a nice way to end our stay in Seoul.
As we walked back to the apartment along the alleyway parallel to the main street. Apparently, the huge building we were staying at was built over the Pimatgol, parallel to the main street of Jongno. Because the lower class residents were required to bow down to the nobles everytime they came across them, this parallel alley; the "alley to avoid horses", was created. There's a couple of very nice stories to be found here.
And while there are quite a few anecdotes I haven't told about Seoul; like the Missus complaining about not seeing a branch of Cocohodo, when there was one on the other side of the building. Just like Japan, it seems like there was a story around every corner.
We dozed of easily on this evening. We'd be rising early, then heading off to the airport, via Seoul Station. Next stop; Sapporo!
Things were much more busy on this morning as there was a line waiting for baguette.
This was soon remedied as a batch was made ready....the young woman cradled the steaming hot bread in her arms until reaching the baskets, then tossed the red hot baguettes into the basket....they sure were hot!
Fournil des Capucins 62 Cours de la Marne Bordeaux, France
That task done, we headed across the street to the Marche des Capucins.....where things were really buzzing. Apparently, a round of France's version of Top Chef Amateur - Championnate de France de Cuisine Amateur was taking place.
The ingredient mystere was duck breast and the contestants were hard at work. It was quite fun and we got drawn in.
This was our favorite:
He was quite friendly and jovial.
And while it was busy; things weren't overly crowded. This market is mostly for locals, but folks actually waved us in and wanted us to sample and vote!
And while the screen shows Alain in the lead, he actually had the audacity to vote for himself! Igor won - with the dish above; "Cappuccino asparagus, herb pesto, breast skewer and grilled ravioli Saint Jean".
It was great fun!
Marché des Capucins Place des Capucins Bordeaux, France
So much fun, that we realized as we passed the Fleche Saint Michel, we'd forgotten to get some cheese! Not a big deal as we headed on over to Marche des Grands Hommes, since we needed to stop by the Carrefour Market in lower level to pick up that white wine the Missus loved.
Along with the market, there were several vendors, selling everything from produce, to meat and cheese.
Even, ahem...sushi and Asian fast food.....
And since this is Bordeaux, you could also get a nice glass of wine......
Canelés are a specialty of Bordeaux. Basically a pastry with a custard center. It is shaped in the form of a scalloped cylinder. I'm not much on sweets, but since the Missus was so fascinated with Canelé and this shop, I told Her to give it a shot. I had also done a quick Google search on Baillardran and found that it was a very popular chain that originated in Bordeaux.
The Missus could hardly contain Herself.
This was a bit too dense, somewhat mushy, and too sweet for my taste. Though if you're in France give it a try.
Baillardran Pâtisseries Place des Grands Hommes Bordeaux, France
That was basically it for this leg of our trip, though we'd be back after spending a few days in Dordogne.
A few weeks back, I had to head on up to the City of Industry to take care of some business. Because of the Missus work schedule, this was a rare solo trip....in fact, we haven't found much time to head back up to the LA or even the OC very much in the last couple of years as things have been quite busy for us. After taking care of business, I needed to grab a bite to eat. My first thought was the rather new location of Chengdu Taste in Hong Kong Plaza....but man, there was a line outside the place. So I thought about doing what had been brewing in "mi cabeza" for several years. While we lived in the Rowland/Hacienda Heights area for several years, I had never really taken to the place, that is, I never felt that "this is my home". Honolulu is where I'm from and will always be "home". I now feel that San Diego is my home. For some reason, I never felt "at home" in LA, though I have some fond memories of the place, it's where I met the Missus, (well, not really as it was on a flight, She on Her way back to LA, me headed to Fort Smith Arkansas) where we got married and initially settled down.
Anyway, I decided to head to Puente Hills Mall.
Yes, strange, I know. One of the really funny things was; the first time I passed Puente Hills Mall was at night and I instantly recognized it....it was Lone Pine Mall in Back to the Future...that Robinson's May was still there back then. These days, the mall seems even more run down and seedy than it did then. Especially the Food Court.
The Missus sent me a text asking me where I was eating. When I told Her She replied "WHAT! You can do better than that!" Which is totally true. And yet, there's a story behind this. You see, the first L&L Hawaiian Barbecue outside of Hawaii opened in this mall. No big deal now....but for an ex-pat Kama'aina back in 1999-2000 it meant a lot. Back then, L&L served up a decent plate lunch....... And for a homesick local boy, it was just down the street. So now, all these years later, I decided to see what was going on here.
Back when they first opened here, I knew the owners....I wish I could remember their names, but they really worked hard to keep up the quality. I don't think they own the place anymore. It looks a bit run down....but so does the entire food court. I decided to go with a mini locomoco. This was actually the first one of the year!
There were two things positive about this loco; the egg which was nicely sunny-side up and the mac salad, which wasn't messed with too much; had the perfect amount of mayo and was ice cold. Other than that, this wasn't very good. The gravy was pasty and had no flavor, the rice was dry, some of which was hard. Worse of all was the train wreck called a hamburger patty, which was some leathery substance that I took a bite of, then put to the side. Also....no Tabasco.....
If I recall, in his spiel; Eddie Flores talks about franchisees having to come to Hawaii to learn about food prep and the "Aloha Spirit". Maybe they do....but it looks like it's forgotten about fairly quickly. I don't think there's any quality control, nor standards of service as I was treated like that hamburger patty. In some ways this was good. I now have closure and have no reason ever to return.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue 1600 S Azusa Avenue City of Industry, CA 91748
This visit had me wondering, what happened to some of those places we always used to visit when we lived here. We know about places like Chicken Box, Hong Kong Fishball House, Donut King, Yi Mei Deli, Shau Mei, and TS Emporium. But there were others I had in mind, so I decided to take a trip to some of the more obscure places. I did notice that the old Albertson's is now 168 Market.....which means that there isn't a "western" supermarket in this strip of Colima Road! Taiwan Deli is still there, but it looks like the menu is some pseudo Taiwanese-Sichuan mash-up?
It was nice to see Hacienda Village Meats is still there....we used to stop by for various meats and the Missus loved the variety of Italian drinks/sodas. In the same strip mall is what used to be the Missus favorite dried beef stop, which is still there.
The sun rose early and brightly on our first full day in Bordeaux. Even though we had arrived mid-morning we had still put in quite a few kilometers before deciding to call it a day. We would end up putting in some mileage on this day as well.
I had a destination in mind and we decided to just meander our way to our objective; one of the benefits of independent travel. The sun was shining brightly on Place de la Bourse as we headed off into the district known as Saint-Pierre, considered the birthplace of the city. The narrow streets are lined with structures from the 18th century and lead, one way or another into a square. We quickly walked onto the cobblestone lined Place du Parlement, once the location of the Royal Market.
The centerpiece is a beautiful Neo-Rococo fountain.
Walking to Place Saint Pierre, one can't help but notice the haunting, Gothic styled, Eglise Saint-Pierre (Church of St. Peter), which dates back to the 14th and 15th century.
It really stands out as the square and street is lined with restaurants and cafes, the name of one of them made us laugh......everyone does need a "Plan B", right? Place du Plais leads right up to the Porte Cailhau.
According to what I later read; there was actually a palace located here, the Palais de l'Ombriere the residence of the Dukes of Aquitaine and later housed the Parliament of Bordeaux. I really loved the relief-map sculpture of Bordeaux located right behind the Porte Cailhau. I did a little research and found a blog post about François Didier who created this work.
Near the Porte Cailhau, I noticed this plaque, which started with a few questions before telling us the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Bordeaux claims (along with two other cities) to be the birthplace of Eleanor, who would become one of the most powerful women in the Europe and after getting her marriage to Louis VII annulled would marry the Duke of Normandy, eleven years her junior....Henry, the Duke of Normandy would become Henry II.
It took two centuries to build this Basilica; starting in 1350 and finishing sometime in the 16th century. Possibly even more impressive is the bell tower which, like Pey-Berland Tower which stands next to the Cathedral of Saint Andre, stands apart from the church. And in case you're wondering who has bragging rights; Fleche Saint Michel is the tallest tower in Sothern France, standing at 114 meters, Pey-Berland Tower is 50 meters tall. On this bright morning there was a lively flea market going on in the square next to the tower.
This used to be a Benedictine monastery and was built between the late 11th and 12th centuries.
One of the most well known features of this church is the Organ built by famous organ maker and Benedictine Monk, Dom Bédos de Celles, finished in 1748.
This was a major landmark for me, as I knew we had to take a left here and swing around to get to our destination, Marche des Capuchins.
I'd read much about this market before we arrived in Bordeaux, it seemed to be a favorite with locals, and you know how much we love visiting markets when we travel!
The market was established on October 2nd, 1749 at the urging of Marquis de Tourny. If you like to see some old photos and read (a translated) history of the market, you can do that here.
We had a gameplan of sorts, but all revolved around bread. I'd noticed a bakery right across the street from the market.
I could actually smell the wonderful scent of bread baking. I followed my nose and ended up at the back of the bakery. The bakers looked at us, smiled and waved us in.......so our first experience at Fournil des Capucins was walking past the ovens and bakers baking bread to the front of the shop.
This would end up being our favorite bakery......I later found out the place is open 24 hours a day! With a steady stream of fresh baguette. How could we not get a baguette and a couple of croissants?
The smell of good fresh baguette is intoxicating....we'd seen folks walking along carrying bread with a chunk off the end missing. Well, I guess it's instinctive, because as soon as we walked out of the bakery, the Missus just bit a chunk off the end of the bread! It is that good.....
Fournil des Capucins 62 Cours de la Marne Bordeaux, France
The smell of bread had overcome us....we needed something to eat and perhaps some espresso. Right across the back of the bakery, in front of the main entrance to the market is this stand.
Which made a decent cup of espresso that went nicely with our croissant.
Then we ducked back into the market and bought some cheese. We found the farmers and vendors in Marche des Capuchins quite friendly, even though we stood out from the usual crowd. They seemed to go out of their way to help us. We ended up at this cheese stand.
And got some cheese....
Marché des Capucins Place des Capucins Bordeaux, France
We had fully intended to do a nice picnic and headed back to the apartment after doing a bit of window shopping on Cours de l’Intendance. Where we saw the ultimate way of entertaining a pup while his "dad" did some shopping in the store.
Just get him some rope and cord to keep him occupied!
We cut through Rue Voltaire and stopped at the Carrefour Market in Place des Grand Hommes. The Missus, laden down with bread and cheese gave me a simple directive...."get us some white wine" which was simple enough. What I wasn't ready for was the whole wall of white wines! Like over 50 different bottles...vintages...blends....I went with something rather local, with some reservation since it was 4,9€ - five bucks and change. The Missus was cracking up when I got out of the market....she'd seen the look on my face when I got to the wine department....analysis paralysis.
We headed up to Jardin Public, the large public garden and green space that was two blocks from our apartment. It's quite a lush and welcoming park.
The park was founded in 1746 in style of a French Garden. Napoleon III turned it into more of an English style park during his reign. There's a nice large pond, the Natural History Museum is located here, and there's even a Puppet Theatre.
Nice, but it was getting a bit too hot for us...so we headed back to the apartment and had a really nice "indoor picnic"......with the A/C on.....doesn't get much better than that!
With our cheese, bread, strawberries, and of course the wine....which was excellent, crisp, light, with a touch of sweet, and a balanced acidity.....
In fact, the Missus would have me go back for this very bottle of wine a couple more times during our stay in Bordeaux.
It's not always about eating out when we're travelling......when in Bordeaux, it was the cheese and wine....oh, and don't forget that baguette!