Woman does not live by market maven-ing alone, that being said, today was a great food day! It all started with a trip to Kunitoraya on the Rue Saint Anne. The place is tiny and if you don't get there early, like we did, guaranteed there will be a line.
Try to sit at the counter, you can see everything being prepared from there. It also gives you a great opportunity to see what you might like to order next time! There were three people preparing lunch and one man silently washing dishes behind that little counter. (Honestly, you couldn't hear a thing - no clanking or clinking- he was absolutely silent.) It's impressive how much food these people put out and how beautiful it all is.
My daughter and I ordered Udon Soup with Tempura. Simple, delicious and not at all what we expected. We were each given: 1 large bowl of udon, 1 bowl of a delicious hot dipping sauce, a little plate with fresh ginger, minced scallions, sesame seeds and a quail egg, and a plate of tempura which included vegetables and shrimp.
Noticing that we had no idea what to do ("These noodles are sitting in hot water!" whispered my lunch companion) the server pointed to the ginger/scallion/quail egg/sesame seed plate and said "put that in here" pointing to the dipping sauce, "then, dip these in there too" pointing to the noodles and the tempura". Genius! The plain noodles are kept warm in the hot water.
Afterwards, we wandered a block to Cafe San Jose at 30 Rue des Petits Champs, it's another teeny, crowded place known for it's excellent coffee (which in Paris is often an anomaly).
The place was packed, but this didn't stop me from lusting after the laté in the window. We waited outside for a few minutes. There is no seating and they only serve coffee or tea so the counter 'turns' rapidly, as there is no inclination to linger.
It didn't take long before we were greeted inside by a cheerful and smiling lady. Within moments my daughter and I were served beautiful cappuccinos that tasted as good as they looked. At a surprisingly low 2.40 Euros for a large, it's a pretty good deal too. Espressos, BTW, are 1 Euro and a small cappuccino 1.20 Euros.
This was a 'cup of delicious' - not the black, bitter beverage generally served at most places in lieu of coffee. Cafe San Jose also sells coffee (beans and ground) by the kilo. Both these places are a terrific find for those of us continually searching for something new in Paris.
39 Rue Sainte-Anne 75001 Paris