Thursday, May 31, 2018

Saturday's lunch

Before I left for my weekend in Paris, I read about a restaurant on the rue Montorgueil that sounded good, so I headed for that. Unforturnately, when I got there, there were no customers and the staff didn't seem interested in having any. So I looked elsewhere.

The view from my table. I had a steak and potatoes, a salad, and a bunch of wine. The waiters were friendly and animated. Such fun!

I found this place, le Compas, just a block or so away. It looked inviting, and had an ringside seat to the flow of people on the street. This is the street very close to where Ken lived in 1981 when I was a student in Paris. I had many a good time near here, but it was very different from what it is now.

Another view from my table, with the historic Patisserie Stohrer bakery across the street.

The neighborhood is called Les Halles, named after Paris' historic central marketplace. The market was closed in the 1970s and moved out to Rungis in the suburbs. The neighborhood was renovated to be a commercial entertainment center with a large underground shopping mall, multiplex movie theatres, and a large network of pedestrian streets lined with shops and restaurants. It's also at the hub of the métro and RER transit systems.

A view of le Compas from across the street. There were a lot of people out and about that afternoon.

The rue Montorgueil runs north from Les Halles and has become a very popular pedestrian street. Many of the old neighborhood shops and restaurants have given way to more touristy and trendy places. Still, it's worth visiting. Especially to remember that we "knew it when."


  1. my fav area to convenient

  2. Last time we were in Paris we made a point to go to Stohrer's because one source said it was the oldest croissant place and made the best ones. They are different than what we think of as a flaky croissant now but they are SO GOOD! I couldn't help eating mine shortly after we walked out of the shop. I did want to turn around and get another but then when would I stop doing that! I would have loved to have seen the neighborhood "before".

  3. Our lives are made better because we had Paris in our youth. I'm glad to have all the memories - went to les Halles in the sixities, saw some student protests, etc, have lived to see the changes and now street cafe life is coming to America but we know it won't ever be like Paris's cafes.

  4. How are the mighty fallen! It was a wonderful street but now it is not worth the time and expense involved in a visit. But change is intrinsic to life and we must move on. Roderick

  5. So, how was it? We enjoyed a good meal the pizza place that's in the photo, and an indifferent one at a cafe down the street towards Les Halles. We also had the no-customers-not-interested experience once a few years ago. Kinda strange.

  6. melinda, do you stay in a hotel or rent an apartment?

    sillygirl, ha! I always find that the best croissant in Paris is the last one I had. ;)

    evelyn, I never saw the pavilions before they were torn down, but I understand one was saved and put up in Nogent-sur-Marne where it's used as a concert hall.

    roderick, if cities don't change, they die. Change is our friend!

    chris, it was fine. I had to fight a little with the steak, but it was tasty.


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