Mashed potatoes. Garlic. Cheese. There’s not much more one needs to say about this stand. You’ll receive a small container with this glorious mixture, but don’t be deceived by it’s size, as it is surprisingly filling. It’s creamy, it’s smooth, and it’s so good it might cause you to update your Facebook status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a Relationship.’
This is only really recommended if you’re tackling the Marché Gourmand with a few other friends. You can purchase a chilled bottle of champagne from ‘Champagne Most’ if you take it out of the bar. They will provide you with as many glasses as you need, but you will be required to pay a small deposit on each one. It’s a nice, crisp, refreshing drink to squeeze into an evening that will be largely filled with heavy meals – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Plus, champagne just makes you feel fancy. And who doesn’t like to feel fancy?
Barquette Acras (Fried White Fish)
This is one of the best dishes the Marché Gourmand has to offer, and it is where you’ll be able to find a nice change from typical French cuisine. Here you can devour delicious Caribbean dishes (from the Antilles specifically), including an absolutely mouthwatering meal called barquette acras. It consists of 8-10 pieces of white fish, battered and fried right as you order it. When it’s finally ready (and you’ve wiped the drool off your scarf), prepare yourself to gorge on golden, fluffy, deep fried nuggets of joy.
French Onion Soup
You’ll find this stand as soon as you enter the Marché Gourmand on your right hand side. There are a few other stands along the Champs Élysées selling this dish; however, this spot’s soup is by far superior to the others. Dive into a bowl of hearty French onion soup topped, of course, with cheese and croutons that warms your insides and makes you feel as though you’re being hugged by a happy polar bear.
If the massive pig on this stand’s awning doesn’t catch your eye, then the succulent slab of pork, slowly roasting behind the counter, definitely will. The eponymous pork sandwich consists of tender meat carved right in front of you, placed in a baguette, and accompanied with savory tomato sauce. Now, for an extra couple euros, you can have that same sandwich but with the addition of creamy, delicious brie! This sandwich isn’t cheap, but having other pedestrians glare with envy as you happily consume four out of the five food groups is priceless.
If you’ve ever wondered what Christmas would taste like if it was liquefied and put into a plastic souvenir cup, look no further than vin chaud! There are a few stands selling this warm seasonal beverage, but your best bet is at a one called Atelier du Vin Chaud. With every drink, you’ll receive a plastic souvenir cup. They offer white or red wine, which have both been mixed with delicious Christmas spices (cinnamon, cloves, berries, oranges and elf magic). What’s not to love about this stand” You’ll warm yourself up, have a pint of wine, and walk away with new tableware for your kitchen!
La Boite à Fromage offers multiple variations on potatoes topped with melted cheese, and for this stand there are two recommendations: the three cheese and the truffle with gouda. The three cheese Raclette consists of blue cheese, camembert, and goat cheese. Now, the truffle gouda Raclette is definitely on the pricey side, however, it seriously stands out as one of the top meals in the Marché Gourmand. Make sure to prepare yourself: your clothes will smell like fromage the next day, but if any of your friends have a problem with that, they weren’t your real friends in the first place.
To find this stand, Breizh, simply look for the fillets of succulent salmon cooking over an open fire. If you’re going to make a stop here, you absolutely have to try the Smoked Salmon Sandwich. Imagine a baguette filled with unbelievably tender salmon, crispy salad, and the kicker: homemade crème fraîche. That’s right: homemade. The crème fraîche without question makes this dish go above and beyond your average sandwich, and it may result in you fleeing from your friends to avoid sharing.
It will be quite hard to miss this stand, Boucherie Toulousaine, when your nose gets wind of a massive grill filled with sausages, vegetables, chicken skewers, and bacon. The sausage herbe, or herb sausage, is served in a baguette along with succulent onions, sautéed right in front of you. A nice side dish is the barbecued corn, which is continuously basted in butter and cooked to crispy perfection. Another advantage to ordering the corn is that it’s a vegetable, so that means it’s healthy, so that means you can help yourself to another serving of hot cheese and not feel fat. Don’t question it, it’s science.
You can find the market starting at Place de la Concorde, all the way up to the Rond-point des Champs Élysées, everyday from 10:30am until midnight (Friday and Saturday until 1am) until January 3, 2016.
By Nicole Callender