Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Au Chai de l'Abbaye

AU CHAI DE L'ABBAYE, original watercolor, 9" x 11" BONJOUR! It's breakfast today or petit dejeuner (petit dej'Stop drooling and put away your bibs!
AU CHAI DE L'ABBAYE is like a lot of nice typical Parisian "local" cafs.
And it was around the corner from my hotel on 26, rue de Buci 75006
I like to show prices - makes it less intimidating don't you think?
No sticker shock - you know what you're in for.
I tend to go for the petit dejeuner complet in the name of research for you pajama-dressed readers.
My pal here (I DID NOT EAT ALL OF THIS!) went for the "Frenchier" breakfast of
hot drink + croissant.
Here is AU CHAI DE L'ABBAYE's chocolat chaud / hot chocolate.
It looks pretty, non?
But it's nothing to write home about and not going to make it into any TOP 10 list.
Just your average supermarket powdered hot chockie drink.
Still looks count for something...
Help me out here.
I think this may be a croissant that is not made with pur beurre...
I always get mixed up :(
If the arms are stretched out = it's got margerine?
If the croissant is crescent shaped = it's pur beurre?
Or is it the other way around?
There are government rules on croissants...
I get the feeling that most neighborhood locals sit at the bar for p.d.
They chat with the barman and share newspapers etc.
I always feel shy and sit at a table :(See the smartly dressed woman in the hat sitting at the bar?
She's holding a small white doggie.
Again too shy to get a better photo :(
The END.
I love to show the "demise" of a petit dejeuner.
This is what I'd really like to paint!
I did go on to have 2 more petit dejeuners that morning.
All in the name of research :)
Do you have a favorite "local" Paris cafe?
Tell me about it and I'll visit next time!
Merci Kris for solving the Croissant mystery - PLEASE Click on this picture and watch the croissant movie!The WINNER of the croissant mystery IS KRIS!
Kris found this indepth analysis of the Paris' croissant by expert Francois Simon at Le
Click HERE and watch the experts taste Paris' best croissants


  1. Anonymous8:01 AM

    I remember losing on a bet about what shape a butter croissant has..Croissants that curl at the end are of butter or not? Croissants that are straight are of butter or not?
    I cannot wait to see the answer. My bet is still the same.
    But on that day the verdict was that I lost...though I know I should have won.
    I guess this is to say that if I am right you will have to take me to breakfast again!

  2. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Are those little packets of sugar cubes in your watercolour and in the fifth photo? They are very cute.

    Those cute little packets of sugar cubes are the tell-tale clue that AU CHAI DE L'ABBAYE serves cAFES RICHARD coffee. They not only supply the sugar cubes AND the coffee but the cups too!
    You will see the same cups & sugars & chocolate squares in almost all of Paris' cafes!

    tongue in cheek
    I thought for sure you would know the answer to the croissant mystery...Humph

  4. Anonymous10:35 AM

    What a question!!!
    How could I choose a favourite café à Paris??
    You already know le Floré,le Vieux Colombier...
    I liked le Rostand,in front of Luxembourg Gardens. In winter the light is incredible inside, but I keep a big place in my heart for"La Jacobine". It is in le passage de Saint-André - a narrow street between Bd.Saint Germain and Rue de Mazarine.It´s incredible,cozy,small and hidden,it seems that you´re back to 18th century. They have fantastic teas,cafés, viennoises,tartes,juices...
    MMMM ;D
    Asuncion Aranda

  5. Anonymous10:38 AM

    I love cafe Le confiturier - 20,rue Cherche Midi, because it´s small and intimate. It seems that you´re having a coffee or tea in your neighbour's nextdoor living room (but a perfect one like the red-haired neighbor in Desperate House Wives).

    Mille McAffee

  6. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Our favorite cafe is Cafe de Buci where I order cafe allonge et du lait chaud a cote e aussi une tartine beurre. Sorry I don't know how to add the accents here.
    I didn't know about the croissants distinction. I'll try to find out when I'm there in June. I like this cafe because after a few days they start bringing our order without asking us - Just as a sign of recognistion. It's kind of cool to be recognized as a local. I'm a sucker for friendliness in Paris.

  7. What you have to do for research! It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

    I thought the curled edges was something that was "shaped" by the baker, silly me. That's what I did the one and only time I made them from scratch!

    Will keep checking, now you have all of us wondering. We need a French Baker to read and answer this mystery.

    Sorry, I can't do the research, I am on a "you-know-what" to remodel myself into a skinnier version! All those croissants are just too much to bear.

  8. Anonymous2:38 PM

    According to this site
    there is no reglementation concerning croissant (October 2006).

    Manufacturer Bridor seems to make a difference between droit (beurre) and courbé (margarine).
    but if you turn the pages, you see some droit with margarine.
    Very confusing.

  9. Anonymous2:45 PM

    Those croissant I know were crisp. Why can't anyone here make a decent tasting and decent sized croissant here?
    I learned from a French guy 30 years ago.
    I would bike down to his bakery at 3 am while LW and kids slept and make croissants.
    Unfortunately he moved to Alaska.
    I've eaten fabulous croissant in a tiny village in Mexico.
    A French couple opened a bakery/coffee shop in the middle of nowhere.
    Wow, was it good.
    And Mexican orange juice squeezed to order. Oh my.

    I added Le Figero's croissant video to the post!
    I love it..makes you feel like your right there in Paris with them..sigh
    A footnote to all this was I went for a petit dejeuner this morning to a newish French patisserie in Astoria and it was crumby :(
    Not in a good way.
    The croissant was too greasy.
    The hot chocolate was tooo sweet. And THEY were not nice to me :(

  11. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I can't believe you were staying right around the corner from where I live! I would have loved to pick your brain about your lovely watercolors. I prefer my cafes to be as anonymous as possible because they're cheaper and more authentic that way. Btw, next time you should check out Patrick Roger on le Blvd St Germain toward Blvd St Michel from Odeon. He was just picked meilleur ouvrier de France for chocolates. He makes fabulous chocolate and the store itself is very beautiful. Perfect for a watercolor.

  12. Margarine in croissants?! What is the french world coming to? Sacre something or other!
    My favorite place for petit dej in Paris? Maybe one day I'll find out...and drag Lidy with me. Ya hear that Lidy?

  13. HILDA
    Can we meet at an anonymouse, authentic cafe next time?
    I have already painted Patrick Roger's beautiful candy boxes...

  14. Oh, Carol, what a beautiful post!
    I have to come back, and savour all of this beauty (pourriez-vous safe one of one of those thingies made with butter for me).
    N.B.: If you do not come to Vienna, I shall apply as you official camera carrier on your next Paris trip!

  15. Anonymous5:48 AM

    If a croissant's tips point outward, it's a croissant pur beurre and made with butter.
    If they point inward,it's a croissant ordinare and has been made with margarine...
    That's what I know!
    Al M.

  16. CROISSANT RIGHTs LEAGUE to the rescue! First baked without proper butter, and then arms stretched so much they almost fall of the sockets. "autchie* That's Pleeease, next time, pat it back into shape. The rest of your post is scruptioslydelicious as always, and I love the painting.

  17. Crescent shaped croissants (hence their name) are croissants ordinaires, and you can eat them with butter - you don't cut it open or slice it or anything, no, you take a bite, then you slap a bit of butter ( I prefer "doux" or unsalted) on the bit where you've bitten, and then you eat that, and so on. The straight ones are croissants au beurre, and you don't add butter to them. You just dunk them in your chocolat chaud, or cafe au lait. Yummmmmmmy.

  18. But of course, I would be enchantée to take you to an anonymous, authentic café next time you come to Paris, just let me know... =)

  19. Anonymous5:54 AM

    god your blog always makes me so hungry... and I'm sicky and can't really leave the house, so the nearest boulangerie is as unattainable to me as if I were in NY and not Paris!
    boo. time for some soup.

  20. Anonymous10:20 AM

    I love, love, LOVE this blog...even more so than my own! lol
    I live in a cultural waste land where there are no cute cafe's. We do have a French type restaurant but it is not the same. so, until I can get to Paris myself some day, your blog is the only Paris breakfast I'll be enjoying for a while and I do usually view it in my pjs!

  21. Anonymous10:30 PM is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.


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