Feeling footloose and fancy free after getting my elastic waistband pregnant lady jeans in the mail, Husband and I decided to head to the 10th arrondissement for a little adventure. And by adventure, I mean tacos and burritos.
That’s right: I wanted spicy salsa. Real guacamole. And a homemade tortilla stuffed with meat and cheese to slather it on. I wanted to test the upper limits of my new elastic waistband with a Mexican feast, and then walk it off by a scenic canal.
Now, Paris certainly has the canal thing down pat. The cute canal St. Martin in fact has paths to stroll, funky shops to browse and plenty of cool Parisians to ogle. But the Mexican food? Not so much, unless you like goat cheese in your quesadilla. But inspired by a recent David Lebovitz post, we set out for El Nopal, a tiny hole in the wall promising real, good Mexican fare.
And sweet geezus in velvet pantalones did they deliver! Perched at the 2 person counter, Husband and I pretty much ordered everything off the menu: carne asada burritos, chorizo quesadillas, pork and chicken tacos. The salsa was spicy, the guacamole lush with ripe avocado, the tortillas home-cooked fresh. I know because I watched the 2 incredibly friendly owners whip it all up right there, just 3 feet away on the other side of the counter.
It was everything a pregnant American in Paris with stretchy pants to fill could dream of. And more.
Afterwards, I resisted the urge to hug my new El Nopal friends Claudia and Alejandro and headed out into the gray afternoon with Husband. We walked along the canal, taking in all the other walkers and bikers and Sunday strollers, until a block of hot pink and neon yellow storefronts came into view. It was none other than Antoine & Lili, a Parisian outpost for housewares and clothing that can only be described as Anthropologie on speed and happy pills. That’s where I found my next granny cart:
And Husband found some new office attire:
When we’d had enough of silly accessories and pink decor, we popped back out into the blustery streets and wandered a bit. We found lots of weird shops (selling everything from organic potato juice to multicolored tights), but my favorites were the cafes and wine bars, perfect for lazy Sunday lounging.
Unless you’re feeling particularly jovial, in which case you should head directly to Le Cinquante. A mint green gem of a bar at 50 Rue de Lancry (cinquante is 50 in French), the place packs em in le Dimanche soir for an organized sing-along. There’s a guitarist, printed lyrics for every patron, and presumably a fair amount of drinking to get everyone warbling. We didn’t feel confident in our knowledge of the old French standards so we didn’t stay, but it looked like just the kind of place to wrap up a perfect Sunday in Paris. Maybe next time when I’m not so full.
El Nopal3 rue Eugène Varlin
Mon-Fri: 11:30am-3:00pm; 6-10pm (Fri.until 11pm)
Sun: 11:30am-9pm non stop
Le Cinquante50 Rue de Lancry 75010