We had a very productive, yet fun, day today. It started off a bit stressful, since we got up late and barely got to the bank before they closed for lunch. We were unable to get our address changed on our checking account, but we did get some information from them that was helpful.
The weather this morning was gloomy, again, and rainy. This weather has been SO nasty.
After we finished at the bank, we went over to the Prado market. We bought some fruits and veggies, along with some tea, dried apricots, and the best walnuts I have ever had. The rain had finally turned to drizzle. We walked home from there, which wasn't a very long walk at all. We live in a great location, close to everything.
For lunch, we heated up the leftovers of our chicken cattatorie that Chris had made last night. We did a few things around the house before heading out again, this time to Mr. Brikolage...think the French version of Home Depot. We found a few items on our list of things we needed for the apartment, but overall, I was pretty disappointed with the store. I really miss being able to order anything we need through the internet and having it arrive at our doorstep.
We walked home, which was a pretty long walk, dropped off our stuff, and headed down to Monoprix to get a few more items. On our way to Monoprix, we bought some warm chestnuts. There is a guy who is in a stand that looks like a little train engine. He only sells warmed chestnuts, and they are quite good.
We were happy to find a few things at Monoprix that were unexpected, like yarn and measuring spoons!
For dinner, we were suppose to go to Nell's, use their internet and phone, and then all of us were to go out for pizza. When we got to Nell's, she said that they didn't feel up to going out tonight. So Chris used their phone to call his parents, and I just glanced at my emails. We left wondering what to do about dinner.
I had the idea of going over to the Cours Julien for dinner, since there are a lot of ethnic restaurants to explore. We headed down a random street where we saw a lot of people standing around. We came upon a Spanish restaurant that was empty, checked out the menu, and decided to give it a try. I have never had Spanish food, so I was looking forward to a new experience. At first, we were worried that they were closed since no one was in there eating (this was 8:30pm, when restaurants are usually starting to fill). They were open, so we had a seat and the waiter brought us menus. He said to us, in French, “I may be wrong, but you're not French are you?” Chris said no. The waiter asked if we were from England, and Chris said “almost”, and then told him we are American. The waiter (later we found out his name is Ange) started speaking English to us. He said he knew a little bit, but actually, his English was quite good.
We ordered some margueritas (some of the best we have ever had!) and Chris read the menu to me (it was in French, not Spanish). Ange brought us some apperitif food which consisted of sunflower seeds, some other seed I couldn't identify, something that was similar to corn nuts, and olives.
We decided to order tapas, main courses, and desserts since that was the special. For the tapas, we had mussles with safron sauce. They were AMAZING! We wanted to lick the plate (of course, we refrained). For our main course, we had paellas. Think rice, peas, shrimp (that still have their heads, feet, and tails on), calamari, mussels, chicken, and something similar to a tiny crab leg, mixed together, with a wonderful sauce of herbs and spices. It was delicious! It wasn't spicy at all, and was just so good.
While we were eating, Ange would come over and speak to us about different things. Chris would say things in French to him, and he would respond in English to us, so I understood ½ the conversation. We found out that Ange is from Madagascar and he is living here in France for 2 to 3 years. He told us about how beautiful and nice Madagascar is, and that he wants to return there someday. He said that in Madagascar, they speak French, Malagash (the native language), and some English. He actually knows 4 languages total, including Spanish. Very impressive!
We got to be pretty good friends with Ange by the end of the night (we were at the restaurant for almost 3 hours!). He told us we must come back again, and that Saturday nights they have kareoke. He brought us the list of songs and it was a mix of Spanish, French, English, and Italian. Chris is all set to go sing his heart out some Saturday night.
Ange has a bungelow on the beach in Madagascar, and he gave us his phone number and told us that anytime we wanted to visit Madagascar, we could stay at his bungelow for free. I wanted to tell him if he was ever in NY, to call us and he could stay with us, but we don't have NY phone numbers anymore nor do we have a place to live when we get back yet.
Dessert time came, and Chris had profiteroles and I had souffle de gran marinie. Profiteroles are a French dessert that are like little cream puffs with ice cream inside. Both desserts were manufique.
We chatted some more with Ange, and his coworker joined in for a little while. Then Ange surprised us with manzana, a liquor made from apples, on the house. It was very smooth and tasted just like green apple suckers.
While we ate and chatted, one man came in, had dinner, and left, but other than that, we were the only one's in the restaurant. We couldn't believe it...this place was SO good, and it didn't make sense that it wasn't packed with people. We will have to bring others there and tell people here in France about it. They should have a line of people waiting to get in!
There was a group of people that came in as we were paying the bill. One girl asked us, in English, where we are from, and we said New York. We said that we really love Marseille. She responded by saying “I prefer New York.” We asked her if she has been there and she said “No, I just prefer it to here.” We laughed and told her that she has to visit a place before she can say whether or not she prefers it. It was very funny.left the restaurant so happy that we had stopped in. It was a great experience, and we look forward to going back. Ange said that when we do come back, to ask for him when we come in. We definitely will!