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Κυριακή, 12 Ιουνίου 2011

Pauuul? Wo ist der Paul?*



                           Last week, having been prompted by a specific TV show on some good places to visit in Athens, I decided to take my Mum (who is visiting me) and head to Paul, a little patisserie-boulangerie smack-bam in the centre of Athens, just across the road from Attica. To look at, it had said to me:  "Posh, expensivo, AVOID!", which is probably why I've subconsciously avoided it these past 3 years. Let me just say I've been kicking myself for missing out all this time!



                      



As I went in I was struck by how tiny this place was, yet how many people seemed to be working (and queuing there). It had an air of rusticity about it, like a little wooden French bakery in the middle of nowhere. That smell of wood immediately transported me back to England. So nostalgic! My mother (British, has been to France loads) was ecstatic and vowed to bring some other ex-pat friends of hers within the week. Baguettes upon baguettes were stacked on the wall and counter so high you could barely see the assistans' white hats. From the beige-y walls and wooden beams hung old-fashioned portraits and adverts, while a sign inside proclaimed "Pains Rustiques et de Fantaisie" (Rustic and Fantastic Breads). Indeed!






To the right as we walked in was a glass counter (ah yes, you know this is the good part!), in which could be found literally anything you could want from a French patisserie! Sandwiches (baguettes of course), with fillings ranging from salads to grilled chicken and sauce to salami, piled high one on top of the other, with a culmination of these amazing baked baguettes with chicken and mozzarella, caked in melted parmesan and bechamel, briochettes with savoury or sweet fillings, any kind of gorgeous quiche you could want, from the classic quiche loraine, to quiches with cream-sauce filling or vegetable stuffing. Salads, all sorts. Tartes with fruit toppings (although a friend said these weren't terribly good), cream, lemon or chocolate tourtes, colourful, chewy macarons, big and small, mini escargots aux raisins (=pastries with raisins baked in a swirl, like a snail, hence the name), pretzels, weird and wonderful dough shapes semi- or fully-covered in chocolate, biscuits, even mini syrupy dough balls that looked like upturned jelly moulds. And, of course, famous french pain au chocolat and any kind of crispy, lovely, classic aromatic croissant you'd expect (almond, plain, cream-filled, chocolate-filled etc.)! (Although, with regards to Croissants I think there is another, even better place in Athens, but that'll have to wait till another article. ;) )











                           Unfortunately, I am indecisive by nature. And amidst all those mouthwatering choices, smells and sights I was reduced to a babbling, quivering lump. I finally decided to get the Quiche aux Legumes (=Vegetable Quiche) (and had to shout it out 3 times before the assistant actually saw me over all the baguettes, let alone served me!) whereas my mother got a Salad Fermiere (=Farmer's Salad). The Quiche was aMAzing! It had soft potato, tomato, aubergine, courgettes, onion and basil, all in a delicious egg custard with a lovely thick crust. (Note: Ask to have it warmed up!) The Salad was equally tasty: normal iceberg lettuce, lollo rosso (red lettuce with a slightly nutty taste), batons of carrot and emmental cheese, topped with grilled chicken, walnuts, raisins and slices of apple. It came with a mini chunk of French Bread. Very interesting combinations!



Quiche aux Legumes


Salad fermiere


                                     We were quite impressed, especially by the fact that everything was made fresh on site (the smell "broke your nose" as the Greeks like to say!). No wonder there was a continuous line to the till. Although the customers (from business men on their lunchbreak, to ditsy "high-class" Kolonaki women complete with fried-died hair, teetering on ridiculously high heels) seemed to come in batches: one moment there was a row of 15 people that could barely fit through the door, the next we were alone. Weird!



                                     Anywho, to sum up, if you're in the area and fancy a spot of light lunch, this could very well be the choice for you! Definitely a change from your average Greek bakery.



In a nutshell:
Do you get your money's worth?: Well, the truth is it is a little pricey for a bakery. Expect to pay between 4-6 euros per person. But if you get a quiche or any of their "unusual" items, it is definitely worth it a mon opinion!
Is it worth it?: Sure, if you fancy that sort of thing and you're in the centre, there aren't very many other "light" options around really.
Will I go again?: You bet! I have my eye on that classic quiche lorraine...















See PAUL on larger map


*For anyone wondering what the hell I'm on about in the title, see: Youtube Advert about lucky octopus. I know it's silly, but everytime I hear the name Paul I've been brainwashed into saying "Wo ist der Paul??" or "Der Paul ist weg!!" Stupid, yes. Moving on.

2 σχόλια:

F X είπε...

Fab photos, can't believe this little gem is sitting right in the heart of a sometimes dirty and not very elegant Athens!!!

Em M είπε...

@F X Thanx!! I know, right? That's why I was so peeved I'd been missing it all along! Well, better late than never. :)

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