Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Not a title you would expect to find on a blog about Paris, is it? And no, we didn't take a quick trip to Oaxaca. Much closer than that. Wandering around the upper Marais the other day after our French classes, looking for someplace a bit different to have lunch, we nearly fell into Candelaria.
A tiny storefront with a full bar hidden behind a door in the back, this taqueria has been getting a lot of bigtime press lately, including a couple of mentions in the NY Times. It was on our radar but we hadn't yet gotten there and I'd heard it was always, always jammed. Not at lunchtime on Thursday.
We had our choice of seats at the 6 person counter or the 6 person table; we chose the counter so we could chat with Luis and Melissa while they cut, cooked, cleaned and served. Luis is from Mexico via cooking school in Barcelona and a stint in the kitchen at Les Ombres, the high end restaurant at the Quai Branly. He makes his own tortillas from masa harina imported from Mexico and now that he's so busy he's hired someone else to press them painstakingly out on the hand press.
A limited menu of guacamole and chips, 2 kinds of tacos and 2 kinds of tostadas is all they can manage, but oh boy are they good! And real agua fresca to drink.
Apparently evenings are swamped and I hear the movement between the front room for tacos and the back bar for cocktails needs a cop to control traffic, but it's not to be missed by a Californian craving the real goods.