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An off the beaten path guide to the best of Paris!

January 29, 2016

The best of Paris treatsI always have a good morning when I stop and pick up an almond butter chocolate croissant from La Fl没te de Meaux, which luckily for me is my closest Paris Patisserie / Boulangerie (closed Monday and Tuesday). They look nothing like the crescent shape of a normal croissant, they’re long, flat and need a plate really but sugary and gooey and… hold on, I need a moment.

OK, I’m ok now… The shop also does regular croissants and all the other wonderful stuff that patisseries do. Most of their stuff will melt in your hand or get all over if you don’t get it in your mouth quick enough, fun! BUT don’t be afraid to ask for the ones that are cooked a little more, especially if you like crunchier or a darker taste, which you have to do from time to time to mix it up a bit if you don’t want to get addicted to any of the other goodies.

If you aren’t in the line outside the shop waiting to get in, it’s because you aren’t there when the goods are coming out of the oven! At first, I thought it was because there was a strike at the other boulangeries or something, but no, Parisians don’t hear the sirens, construction or car horns on the street, they hear the ding! of the oven timers down the block.

It’s also one of the few places where you can get a smile for free when you get to the front of the line, and strangely enough for Paris, they always do smile first. The Parisian attitude towards smiling is a bit bizarre since they are free and can brighten your day. Smiles, I mean… I guess working with such goodies that you can see in the window passing, it wouldn’t be that hard. They must have free tastings for employees in the back I think every time, jealously. If Parisians don’t smile it’s because they are typically people going about their day in one of the most expensive to live in cities in Europe. And on top of that being a top world destination, you have more tourists blocking the left side of the escalator (passing only) and blocking up the sidewalks. Imagine walking by so many people that don’t know about the good stuff in life like almond butter chocolate croissants. But Parisians are warm in my experience when you use the right etiquette. So please don’t let it get you down if you smile at someone and they don’t smile back all the time. I’m offering a one time deal – for every Parisian that doesn’t smile at you if you smile at them – I’ll reimburse you one smile. Here’s one to get you going. 馃檪

The name of the shop is quite bizarre it makes you think of music and what is a Meaux? A fl没te, in this case, refers to a fine baguette, a little smaller than a normal baguette. Maybe the name comes from the happiness a well-played flute can bring or maybe it implies that it isn’t just your normal baguette that is sold there. Why Meaux? I lived a couple of miles from the city of Meaux for almost ten years. I got my French driver’s license there and understood a play on words for the first time after learning French on my own there. Do they have special baguettes there? Probably, as every town in France is famous for something it seems and sometimes not just one thing. In this case, Meaux would probably be more well known for their mustard which I first found in a shop in southern Florida of all places. But the best of all worlds for me is Paris, and sure, the almond butter melt in your mouth chocolate croissants are a part of that.

SO Where is it? A-ha!! Maybe I’ll tell you.
(There’s no such thing as a free, croissant?)

Replacing the word “dancing” with the word “begging” in the Bee Gees song “you should be dancing” fades in the background…

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