So you’re going clothes shopping with Mrs P, like you normally do. It’s one of her regular favourites on one of your favourite strips in Auckland: Ponsonby. Shopping is one of those parts of being a husband that is too often unappreciated. Pay attention, make appropriate comments, and you get a say in how good your wife is going to look to you in that next ensemble she’s putting together. Sometimes I think I want her try on more things than she does. You’re in your groove, it’s one of your usual spots, when tucked behind said clothing store you notice the little courtyard you always took for granted as empty, except now it is populated by people enjoying coffee, all manner of delicious looking pastries and the strains of classic pop songs covered in French.
What’s a Peckish Kiwi to do but let the allure of food momentarily pass from the mind in favour of fashion, and hope that a reward of French cuisine might be in the offing. Of course, Mrs P being the wonderful match that she is, is already thinking you can both try this new place out instead of whatever it was we were going to have for lunch instead.
There turned a retail outing from business as usual to something just a little bit special, and just enough of a gateway morsel back into the world of blogging.
As much as I wanted to launch into the sweet stuff, we were there for lunch, settling on a Croque-monsieur and tartine, with a coffee for Mrs P.
As we are wont to do, Mrs P and I halved the goodies and took turns. I got my hands on the Croque-monsieur first. There’s a simple pleasure to the soft ham, cheese and béchamel innards, as compliant as a hypnotised Panda Bear, but then fortified by the oh so crunchy exterior. Be prepared. Cutting through the crust created a veritable explosion of bread that left war torn pieces of crusty shrapnel scattered liberally over our table. Not completely practical on the plate, but a perfect complement to the softer inner texture as I munched happily away.
The tartine gave us more of the same contrast with added pickle and tomato on the topping. Pickles and tomatoes atop cheese and béchamel could make for a problematic pairing but the partnership was well balanced.
Our appetites were well accounted for without over doing it, and we now had a new place to duck in for a bite when Mrs P’s next retail outing takes us out that way.
Although, just between you, me and the rest of the World Wide Web, I might be making an excuse to head back there sooner. Those sweet pastries are seriously calling out to me.