So attached are the Parisians to their beloved baguettes, that I have even been in quite a few Chinese or Indian restaurants, where there has been a basket of baguettes on the table (just in case?). The French love to use pieces to push food around their plate so it comes in handy even if it doesn’t really fit the culture or style of the meal. And, after all, you need something to mop up all the good sauce! Also in regular restaurants / brasseries you don’t get a little side bread plate like in the US. You put your piece of baguette, crumbs and all… right there on the table next to your plate.
Also it seems to be forbidden for all of the boulangeries to be closed on the same day. In my neighborhood, all the bakeries are always open Saturdays and Sundays but then one might be closed on Wednesdays while the others stay open – yet another might close on Thursdays, etc., but there will be an open Bakery somewhere. You can pretty much always access a Baguette. In case of emergency, though, I do freeze freshly purchased loaves and keep them on hand. The trick is to wrap the baguette in a cotton “torchon” and it keeps very well.
My 8 year old son has been absolutely begging to be allowed to go buy the bread alone. He says that his friends are allowed to buy the baguette by themselves, and he insists it’s not fair! Is this some kind of French Rite of passage… the first purchasing of the baguette on one’s own? So, since there are boulangeries close by everywhere, and no major streets to cross, we recently said “OUI”. Now it is his job to buy the baguette on Saturdays and Sundays. He proudly counts out the 85 centimes (or 1.10 for une tradition) from a big jar of change that we have on the kitchen counter and off he goes happily, feeling very independent. He returns a few minutes later, strolling up the alley, like everyone else in the neighborhood, with a warm baguette under one arm.