Paris Vegan Day 2010
By Meg Claire
On the outskirts of Paris, on November 28th, the second annual Paris Vegan Day was indeed a warm place to be. I was curious to see how the vegan lifestyle would be adopted by the French, who don't mess around with their charcuterie. I was impressed with their effort. Vegan fashion collided with Parisian haute couture in a loft space, serious conferences and discussions on modern veganism took place, and of course there was the food. Fresh, organic, healthful, cruelty-free food. The best possible way to nurture your body.
Over 5,000 visitors from around the world came together to represent. Aside from the incredible bread, éclairs, tarts, croissants, macaroons, and chocolate, I tasted pain d’epices, the provincial gingerbread snack cake. Pain d’epices can be studded with candied citrus, nuts, dried fruit, or my favorite, chocolate. It seriously knocks out wimpy gingerbreads.
Happily, our favorite vegetarian restaurant in Paris, Le Potager du Marais, was one of the sponsors of Paris Vegan Day. While other veg places come and go, and strictly vegan places become harder to find, Le Potager is an old favorite that (for years!) has always there when we needed them. Literally. Most restaurants close after 3pm, not to re-open until 7pm or later. If you eat a plant-based diet in Paris, you need to time your meals right or you’ll be stuck with an old baguette from the Monop’ or a $16.00 omelette until dinner. Potager is open from noon to midnight. The menu is 100% vegetarian and about 50% vegan – it all depends on the daily specials. Their late-fall seasonal menu included pumpkin soup and seitan bourguignon, which along with a glass (or three) of organic Bordeaux, and the adorable waiter, it all made for a memorable meal.
Le Potager du Marais is open 12 pm to midnight in the heart of the Marais at 22 rue Rambuteau, one block east of the Centre Pompidou.