Friday, April 3, 2009

Passover, Au Pays des Merveilles

Passover's coming up next week, and I was thinking of trying to help J throw together a seder - until I realized I have absolutely no idea where to procure the ingredients. (The koshermonger?) I am not Jewish, but J is, and in New York we occasionally hosted a seder for a mix of Jewish and gentile friends, usually with a ceremony obtained from the internet (as opposed to the Maxwell House version used by J's parents). One google search led to another, and eventually I found a list or two of Jewish traiteurs and kosher restaurants in the area.

Along the way, I also found a fellow expat's blog which mentioned a bagel place in Saint Gilles, Au Pays des Merveilles. Driven by a mixture of homesickness and yearning for Jewish food (J has always said my stomach is more Jewish than his), we paid a visit today. The weather was unusually sunny and warm, so we sat on the terrace outside. The waiter, unfortunately, was neither service- nor detail-oriented. After screwing up the order for the table next to ours, he brought me a rather strange concoction: cream cheese with little pieces of red onion mixed in, with golden raisins and sliced apple on a poppyseed bagel. I had ordered a sesame bagel with cinnamon, honey, raisin, and walnut cream cheese. Go figure. That said, the bagels were tasty enough (more like Bruegger's or Einstein Bros. than Murray's, Ess-a-bagel, or H&H, but still), and it's fun to order an everything bagel as "un bagel everything."


Sharon said...

Hi - it's Sharon. You know, the one whose blog you found that mentioned Au Pays des Merveilles in the first place. Sorry to hear you had such a weird experience! I just posted about another bagel place - Sens - on my blog, which you might want to check out. A different vibe from APDM. Also, since I read here about Passover too, you might be interested in my Jewish community, the IJC ( (Sorry, can't help myself!).
Bon appetit!

maisie said...

Thanks, Sharon! I will have to check out Sens as well. And the IJC!