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vendredi 30 mars 2012

Miss Green: Bio Cantine

What sets Miss Green apart from its counterparts in the world of workday lunch break choices is that all the ingredients are gauranteed to be 100% organic. This is not to say, however, that all the menu items are bio. One can still grab a "Coca" with their lunch menu, but other than that all entrée, plat, and dessert options are organic.

While I would prefer to lunch at a more unique and entirely organic fast-food option, such as Bio Burger , Miss Green does offer an alternative to the run-of-the-mill lunch spots that serve the bustling and business-oriented Ternes neighborhood in the 17th arrondissement. Instead of paying a similar price at a chain bakery like Paul, here one can grab an organic alternative. The spot also offers a wide selection of salads and hot dishes, such as pasta and gratins.

Vegetariens won't have to settle for a cheese sandwich at Miss Green, making it a worthwhile address for herbavores to keep in mind. Every offering on the menu, from sandwiches (3.90-5.40 euro) to salads (5.90 euro), tartes (6.40 euro), and plats chauds (6.90 euro) includes a filling vegetarian option. When I visited, one of the plats du jour was a vegetarian lasagna.

Miss Green, which has been open for just under a year, may not benefit from it's location on a side street off the busy avenue des Ternes- it was very quiet the day I visited early on a Monday afternoon. However, the location is well chosen in the sense that it is right across from the Marché des Ternes. On market days (Tuesdays-Sundays) I imagine the airy and welcoming dining area of Miss Green fills up with shoppers and the quartier gets livelier.

The restaurant is also working on a system where locals can order their lunch on-line and have it delivered. The online ordering system will make it hard to find an excuse not to opt for organic even on the busiest of work days.

While the menu is basic and doesn't stray from traditional lunch options in content, Miss Green offers an upgrade in quality to anyone looking to integrate more organic into their life.

Miss Green
11 rue Lebon
75017 m ° Ternes
Open: 11h30- 16h

Marché des Ternes
8 bis rue Lebon
75017 m ° Ternes
Tues.-Sat. 8h-13h & 16h-19h30
Sunday: 8h-13h30

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mercredi 21 mars 2012

Marché du Mois: Marché Président Wilson

Marché Président Wilson welcomes visitors with an abundance of flowers on display at the entrance. While it is lovely to exit the metro and find blossoming hydrangeas and renoncules, I was not in the market for anything floral, but rather inspired by the suggestion of Phyllis that I go see légume superstar Joel Thiébault's stand.

Before purusing Thiébaults renowned variety of vegetables, which his family has been selling at Marché Président Wilson since 1873, I took a leisurely tour of the entire market.

Besides a selection of local/organic producteurs, one thing I love to find at markets are stands representing different regions or neighboring countries. Marché Président Wilson has quite a choice of regional products and themed stands; from Italian goods to Moroccan products, as well as some specialties that hit a little closer to home, such as a traditional Brittany-style Crêperie and a "bar à patates" (potato bar) specializing in spuds from central France.

Artisinal bakers, poissonneries, butchers, and cheese vendors line the expansive alley of avenue du Président Wilson in the 16th arrondisement on the day of the market.

There are also a plethora of vegetable vendors, many of which stock French-grown and seasonal products. I fear that these pauvres maraîchers may be overshadowed by their celebrity neighbor, whose stand is the only one that constantly has a line.

And what a line it is, consisting of a gamut of shoppers; from scholarly followers of the art of heritage and hard-to-find veggies, to 16th arrondissement snobs who couldn't possibly buy their ruffage anywhere but Chez Thiébault, to anyone who falls in between.

It is quite a fun, and colorful, experience to shop at Thiébault's stand. When I was there the produce still ressembled a Winter's crop but, living up to his expectations, Thiébault had managed to find all kind of colors to include amongst his carrots and radish stock.

The late Winter/early Spring line included "red meat" and "green meat" radishes as well as peppery black radish. The carrots were brilliant shades of purple, yellow, and orange. I grabbed a mix of "Purple Haze", "Yellow Stone", and " La Chantenay" varieties to take home for a carrot salad for dinner.

Many of Thiébault's vegetables attribute their origins abroad, the Japanese Roquette "Mizuna" or the "Rose de Chine" radish, for example, but all the products are grown in France by Thiébault himself, only a few kilometers from Paris.

The thrill of picking up produce you've never seen in your life adds a boost to your shopping experience and the bursts of color emanating from this producteur's stand are enhanced under the Springtime sun- making a visit to Marché Président Wilson worth a metro ride.

If you can't make it to the market, you can order paniers of Joel Thiébault's produce at Le Haut du Panier. Otherwise, you can find Thiébault at Marché Président Wilson on Wednesday and Saturday or at Marché Gros-la-Fontaine Tuesdays and Fridays.

Marché Président Wilson
Avenue du Président Wilson, 75016
m° Iéna (line 9)
Wednesday & Saturday, 7:00-14h30

Marché Gros-la-Fontaine
37 rue Gros, 75016
m° Mirabeau (line 10)
Tuesday & Friday, 7:00-14h30

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dimanche 11 mars 2012

Bio Burger: A Welcome Player in Paris' Growing Burger Buzz

Burger joints abound in the capital at the moment, with the mobile Camion Qui Fume and the "Gourmet" burger restaurant, Blend, popularizing the plat among French diners. Each address attempts to distinguish itself by putting its own particular spin on this American classic. DEspite all these choices, many of which offer (or plan to offer) a vegetarian option, it should come as no surprise that I am particulary partial to Bio Burger's all-organic menu.

Bio Burger is incredibly well organized and the servers represent the concept of the store with aplomb, all the way down to their "Bio Burger" brand shoes. The organization of the staff helps keep the growing line moving as locals flock to the covered Passage Choiseul for their lunch break.

The restaurant succesfully serves its clientele, providing swift service at a reasonable price. The only disadvantage of this lunch spot is that there is not enough room to seat all the people its serves. I would suggest stopping by when the weather is nice, so you can take your burger to go and find a spot outside in the sun to enjoy it. Palais Royale, for example, is not too far away.

If you are lucky enough to find a spot to sit- which should be easy enough if you are able to stop by during off hours- the dining areas are comfortable and the restaraunt offers free wifi to clients, with the network name and the password printed out on every receipt- another nice little touch of orgnization.

Lunch menus range from 10- 12 euro and are comprised of a burger + salad/fries + desert/drink (12 euro gets you both a desert and drink). A hamburger alone costs 6-8 euro, with the tofu-based veggie burger being the least expensive choice on the menu and the ever changing "Edition Limitée" burger being the 8 euro option.

I was happily surprised by my veggie burger which was not, as I feared it might be, a dry patty of processed soy products and a few dehydrated corn kernals, but rather a fresh mix of silken tofu with onions and spices served on a fresh baked bun with lettuce and ketchup. I wasn't overly impressed with the fries, probably because the reastaurant was too packed for me to get to and add a few shakes of much-needed salt, but home-made fries from quality pommes de terres trump the McDo version any day.

As advertised, everything is organic at Bio Burger. Even the beverages are bio, which means instead of washing down your organic lunch with a corn-syrup stuffed industrial soda, you can enjoy a bottle of organic fruit soda or lemonade.

I wish the team of Bio Burger much succes in their endeavor, they are well suited to expanding this first location into a larger chain of organic diners that could give their contemporaries a run for their money.

Following in the footsteps of America's Northwest burger chain, Burgerville, Bio Burger provides an ethcial, sustainable fast food alternative to the pink slime slingers of our day.

Bio Burger
46 Passage Choiseul
75002 Paris
M° Quatre Septembre (line 3),
Pyramides (line 7)
Mon.-Sat: 11h30-16h

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