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Do Chowhounds gather in Paris? Good value Bistro? Market in Rungis?

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Solo in Paris May 12 - 23 ...Toronto Chowhounds sometimes get together...any such thing in Paris?

2. Looking for a cheerful, good value bistro for the Montorgueil/Marais areas? I will be renting an apt. in that area and likely go for lunch.

3. Anyone been to the market in Rungis? Is it worth the trip? I'm intending on going to (flea and) food markets...simply looking for alternative, off the beaten path things to do that may be linked to food (other than Versailles, Chartres, etc). Would be nice to visit a must-see small town/village easily accessible by Paris trains.

Just want to thank all for the excellent threads...has been a great source for my trip. Would love to take the easy way out and use something like http://www.edible-paris.com/prices/in... but I'd rather spend the money on a meal.

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  1. Every little while someone tries to start such an activity. Currently see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/630244 Jack van praag's effort. My hope is that someone will start a thread that sits at the top of this site and folks can check into to see where the gathering is.

    Without any formality, I have found "Hidden Kitchen" to be a great place to meet people interested in great food. Lots of success doing that...we have met bloggers, Cordon Bleu students, chefs, noted food critics, and nice people who know good food. We've tried several other tactics with lesser success.

    1. While the food isn't fabulous, we enjoyed going to Jim Hayne's Sunday gathering because the people were interesting. Just google on "Jim Haynes Paris" and you'll find him. We have been looking for something on Sunday May 16th and may well see if he has room....about 40 or so show up. Donation is 20E. Food includes box wine. I'd bring a bottle if I went again. Jim's a hoot!

      2 Replies
      1. re: hychka

        Fantastic - Thank you!

        1. re: orangette

          Definitely don't go to Jim Haynes's for the food or the wine. Awful! But yes, the company can be fun.

      2. You're in luck. The Marché des producteurs de pays are held in May 22 and 23 in Paris in the 12th arrondissement, (traditionally on rue de Reuilly between Daumesnil and Montgallet metro stops, but get the exact address from the week's Pariscope or online). Several times a year the food producers from farms all over France - mostly from the sud-ouest - have their own marché in Paris. Lots of farm-fresh goodies, especially foie gras and pâtés one has never heard of and aiguillettes de canard; the latter is very hard to find in Paris.

        For food towns, I would also vote for Rouen and Dijon, for both the food and charm factors.

        Rungis is really for pros, and they go at the break of dawn if I understand. It is not atmospheric like Barcelona's Boqueria. Tourists who are chefs have a good time there; tourists-tourists maybe less so.

        Marais Markets: the Montorgueil is great fun but a bit expensive and not much selection, not like the magnum opus Richard Lenoir market. The small Enfants Rouges has many food stalls that sell cooked dishes. nice place for lunch when the weather is nice.
        Here is a good link on Paris markets:
        http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/...

        6 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          Thank you, Parigi! I'm going to be in Paris for 11 nights so this is all doable!

          1. re: orangette

            Thanks from me too, Parigi! Do you have any favorite small producers from the southwest whose products you've especially enjoyed in the past?

            1. re: alohatoall

              The whole marché de producteurs de pays is with smaller local southwest producers, many if not most of them organic producers. I don't have a fave but find the general standard most reliable. At the market, most of the stands have platters of little tartines on the counter for everyone to déguster the pâté and foie gras. -- Just talking about it makes me wish it were May already…

              1. re: Parigi

                Rungis is huge and you can go and visit it: You have to get up at some God-awful hour, and I think it's on the first or second Friday of every month (check the Rungis website for details). Though it's true that it's not as atmospheric as some of the other central markets mentioned above, it is incredible by its size.

                If you enjoy eating oysters at 6 in the morning, the restaurant there 'A la Marée', supposedly serves the best sea-food in Paris.

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  I looked at the Rungis website and they definitely say that their visit for individuals is on the 2nd Friday of the month... Sadly we'll be there on the 3rd Friday in May.
                  Are there any private tours of Rungis that you know of?
                  Thanks!

            2. re: orangette

              Not far from the Marais is the quite large Bastille market, Thursdays and Sundays. And the cheapest market is at the place d'Aligre, both outdoors and indoors. (The indoors section is the marché Beauvau.) Open Tues-Sun. The prices tend to get cheaper, and the vendors more foreign, the farther you are south from rue du Faubourg St. Antoine.

          2. I went to Rungis a few years back and was astounded. Huge hangar like buildings each dedicated to a particular food product...cheese, meat, fish, flowers, offal, etc. As Parigi stated it is not charming or tourist oriented, but I loved it. You must go with a guide and if you are not there by 5am it is about over. Rungis has to be one of the largest wholesale food markets in the world.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Laidback

              It is the largest food market in Europe, that's for sure. And if you want to see the gorgeous fishes, the time is not 5am but 2am, when La Marée opens. As VA says, it's quite a place for chefs and ingredientistas, and it is also the best place to eat after 2am around Paris. There are some collective visits organized, you can also go on your own, pay the fee, and just stroll around.

              1. re: souphie

                I might be wrong, but don't you need a car for the "unorganised" visits?

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  I suppose you could try and take the bus there. I never tried. It might even be less expensive.

                2. re: souphie

                  I wouldn't think you'd get much out of "just strolling around." I've been twice, most recently with my grad school class, and we arrived there around 3 am and went straight to the fish hangar. We had a special guide, which I think you would really need to even understand what's going on unless you are super-fluent in French, and unless you are a restaurateur who is about to do some business there. I definitely got the feeling they don't appreciate "strollers."

                  The place is fascinating, but to say it is spread out is an understatement. We were on and off our bus at least 5 times as we visited the various sections of the market. Ane we still did plenty of walking.

              2. You should absolutely try Au Fils des Saisons when you're there: http://restaurant-fil-des-saisons.com/ -- it should be close to where you're staying. It's small, charming, inexpensive and has fantastic food. It's owned and run by a husband/chef and wife/front of house. The menu changes every day and is written on a large chalkboard that the wife brings to your table. Fair warning: they speak only French, but are incredibly tolerant of terrible, broken English.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bon_vivant

                  Thanks for the great tip, BV - I just tried their website but it looks like it's under construction.