Thursday, August 23, 2012

top top louis

so the good thing about where i'm staying is the Top Louis grocery store that's open all the time.
outside, the ladies sell fruit at half the price and twice the quality as inside - including, and these are my absolute favorite i will totally bring them home - tiny roasted, shelled and hand peeled peanuts inside old whiskey bottles. with a J&B cap and everything, just pour out your peanuts. it must take weeks to shell these all, yet they sell a 1 liter bottle for the equivelent of 3€. and not only that, in some of the bottles they'll even make a gradient of colored peanuts or designs, some lighter lines of peanuts amid the darker ones, like those bottles of colored sand you buy at beach boardwalks
one stop shoppin'
inside, it's another world, the supermarket is run by a family of really grumpy unhelpful chinese who mumble and don't open their mouth and you can't understand a word and all they do is shuffle around and mumble-yell at their gabonese employees who sort of ooze around like zombies. 
the deli section is nothing less than terrifying, week-old terrines covered in fly excrement and animal parts that even africans wouldn't stoop so low as to eat. nevertheless there's a semi-cheery deli zombie guy, with some 60s women's supermarket outfit and paper hat who struggles with the slicer. 
the lumberjacks, some colleagues and i were invited to a friend's house for dinner, so we wanted to pick up some wine. i have to say the selection at Top Louis is rather impressive, though the contents are what you'd expect at a gas station. the bottles are all dusty and dirty, but not in a good way. ros├ęs are more brown than pink, sparkling wine with yellowed labels that students might drink and overpriced merlots from spain with ferocious animals on them and such. the colleagues were french wine snobs who were taking foreeeeever to pick something out "do we like languedoc?" the smell of the meat section was making me dizzy. come on guys, seriously? let's get outta here! 
there was an employee guy nearby, shuffling around in his lime green uniform, rearranging some of the bottles and so i say ironically, in a sort of british accent "perhaps we should ask the sommelier for a recommendation?" and the employee guy, who is wearing 2 left flip flops and has 1 rotten teeth left springs to attention "how may i help you?" 
uhhhh, do you have any cotes du rhone?
"why of course, this one is my favorite" and it's a bit like a monty python skit but we go along. we kinda can't believe it, but the guy seems to have tasted everything. even the concha del toro (too sweet). we throw him a couple curveballs ask for things that don't exist but he's totally on the ball. so what's his favorite? "Chateauneuf-du-pape, of course."  it's only 35€. far out.

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