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Cheap eats/inexpensive restaurants


Margaret Pilgrim
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One of my favorite really inexpensive places to eat in Paris is La Cave de L'Os à Moelle. The menu is an incredible 20 € for 4 courses and the atmosphere is a lot of fun. The catch—no choice, shared tables and self service, but it's all part of the charm. It's also a wine shop, so there's no mark up on the wines. For the first course you'll find pâté, rillettes, and a large serving dish of tiny shrimp and bulots (escargot from the sea) on the table. Next you help yourself to the pot of soup that's kept warm on the old fashioned stove. For the main course I've had poule au pot, pork cheeks with lentils, and bœuf bourguignon. Afterwards a generous plate of cheese is passed and for dessert you'll find everything from rice pudding to chocolate cake. I've loved every meal that I've had there.

I also loved Le Troquet, another bistro in the 15th. The menu was 28 € for 3 courses and 30 € for 4, which includes cheese and dessert. Again, there was no choice, except for a few additions; which had a supplement, but everything was exceptional. This place was actually recommended to me by Dominique Bouchet, the Chef of Les Ambassadeurs, as being his favorite inexpensive bistro in Paris, which is why I went in the first place.

I have also been hearing a lot about a place called L'Entregeu, an inexpensive bistro in the 17th whose chef worked at Chez Michel (another favorite, but it's already been mentioned). It has gotten lots of great reviews but I've yet to try it.

Astier in the 11th has a menu for less than 25 € and while everything I had was very good, I don't know if I'd take a trip across town for it.

I also enjoyed Le Timbre a tiny little place in the 6th with great food and moderate prices. I'd say you'll spend about 30 € for three courses not including wine.

For really inexpensive with a bit of history there's Chartier, but the food is not amazing.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I have been to this place a few times, but not for six years. I think the following review, a year old, does reflect my memory of the place -- I think it comes from La Nouvelle Obs. The location is not far from the Louvre so it is convenient if you are walking in that neighborhood. I ordered the duck confit which was good as were the plate of charcuterie. Red wines are very good there, as the review suggests. I have not tried the beef tartare so can't second that recommendation. It used to be very crowded at lunch time when the main branch of the Bibliotheque Nationale was located next door, but most of the library has moved so it may not be as hectic. It is a few doors down from Willi's wine bar. The French of the review is not worth translating, but the point is that this is an old-fashioned Paris bistrot, turn of the century decor, good for a glass of wine and a good bite to eat. Closed on Sunday and Monday night.

I have only eaten lunch there so I can't speak to the dinner menu.

AUX BONS CRUS

7, rue des petits champs Métro Bourse de 15 A 30 €Tél. 01 42 60 06 45

Fermé le lundi soir et le dimanche Un vrai bistrot parisien qui ne vous prend pas pour une poire avec une addition de restaurant gastronomique. Ici dans un décor qui date du début du siècle avec un monte-charge d'anthologie, on vous sert des mets roboratifs avec des produits de qualité et des vins sélectionnés avec une grande sévérité par le patron. Le tartare est l' une des spécialités de la maison mais vous pouvez venir ici pour une tartine et un verre de vin.

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The catch?no choice,

It didn't occur to me to mention that at C'Amelot, there may also be no choice, although sometimes there is an alternate for one or more courses. Philippe Dutourbe offered a real tasting menu of five courses with no choice, although they will often be able to accommodate a real allergy. One of the things a modern restaurant has to offer it's patrons is the luxury of choice. It goes without say that such an offering increases the likelihood that there will be waste. The overhead costs of running a restaurant will always be reflected in the prices charged. Sometimes a restaurant can afford to offer an incredible bargain by not offering qa choice, but the diner needs to be able to accommdate himself to that situation in order to benefit from the bargain.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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There's a wonderful cafe with a few outside tables next to Juvenile's Wine Bar in the 2nd. Can't remember the name of it. But it's to the left of Juvenile's. I had a wonderful veal dish for lunch one day. Wouldn't hesitate to go back. Reasonble. About $18 for meal and a glass of wine.

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Dear swissmiss, Felice, VivreManger, Bux, and KathyP --

Sorry for not responding sooner. For some reason my subscription to this thread isn't working. I just checked in on a whim, and what to my drolling mouth doth appear? All these wonderful recommendations. Thanks so much. I'm begining to plot out all these spots on my map. This way we'll have all kinds of great places scattered throughout the city, so that no matter where we find ourselves, there will be good eats nearby :rolleyes: .

David Leite

Leite's Culinaria

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Bear in mind that even at some of the more popular little bistrots, you may need a reservation, especially at dinner. La Regalade comes to mind immediately.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Thanks to all the excellent recommendations on this board, I've come up with a list of places I'd like to try on my 5-night stay in Paris. (With the dollar in the doldrums and a long trip planned to other European destinations, I'm trying to keep in a budget range for meals, perhaps eating one good meal a day and noshing the rest of the time.) Staying in the 6th. Help me pare it down, or tell me if there are MUSTS on the list. The only place I was planning on calling ahead from the US was La Regalade and L'Astrance, since most of the other places are not such "hot tables" -- does this seem reasonable? Do we need to call ahead for the other bistros?

Also, do you have a favorite Sunday market?

Thanks in advance!

Wine Bars:

Willi's Wine Bar

Juveniles

Bistrot des Augustines

Le Passage

Brasseries:

Brasserie d’ile st. louis

Au Pied de Cochon

Vagenade

Bistros:

Fish

Bistro 7e

Clos de Gourmets

Le Comptoir de 7eme

La Regalade

Le Vieux Bistro

La Fontaine de Mars

La Tartine

L’auberge Bressane

Chez Catherine (order steak au poivre)

Chez Denise

Le Hangar

L’astrance – in the 7th, try to get lunch reservation

Chez Georges

Chez Josephine

L’Alsaco, 9th, rue Condorcet, choucroute and Alsatian wines

C’amelot on rue Amelot

Cheese: La Ferme St. Hubert

Falafel: L'as du Falafel, Marais

Ice Cream: Berthillon

Bakeries/Patisseries:

Laduree on Rue Royale

Poilane

Kayser 8 rue Monge,

Gerard Mulot, 76 rue du Seine (Paris 6). Brioche, pain au levain, croissants, pain au chocolat

Gerard Beaufort, 6 rue Linne (paris 5)

Jean-Pierre Carton, 6 rue de Buci (6th arr)

Christian Constant – 37 rue d’assas (6th)

JC Gaulupeau – 12 rue Mabillon (6th)

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Piere Hermé on rue Bonaparte near place St. Sulpice in the sixth would be at the top of my patisserie list, especially for his macarons, anything chocolate and any of his more creative confections. His croissants were good, even interesting, but not an outstanding calssic croissant.

I've read of even better ice cream than Berthillon, but can't verify this from personal experience. Anyway, you want to see Berthillon and try their ice creams if only because they're the ones everyone talks about.

L'Astrance last fall was one of the hardest places to reserve in all of Paris. Lunch may be a bit easier than dinner, but it absolutely requires a reservation. If you don't get one, you might consider a last minute check to see if there's a cancellation.

We had dinner at C'amelot with friends who reserved the table. The small restaurant was full. I would not attempt a walk in at the last minute. It's customary to call ahead and may even be considered a sign of respect for the restaurant by the diner. If you are able to, I'd call a few hours before if it's a restaurant with any following, even if a small bistro.

We were able to walk into la Fontaine de Mars early at lunch and get a table. Note that I don't always follow my own advice. It was lunchtime and we were right near the restaurant. We didn't really want much lunch as we had a big dinner planned for the evening, but when we looked at the lunch menu and realized we could eat very lightly, so we asked about a table.

Last fall we were staying in the 1st arr. (I usualy prefer the sixth near the seventh) and procrastinated about making plans for dinner. If I recall correctly we may have had a good lunch that day. Anyway, we wandered over to Willy's Wine Bar a little after the peak dinner times, only to find all of the tables occupied and the bar uncomfortably packed. The far more casual and smaller Juveniles had empty tables. You might also consider Legrand's for a nice, moderately inexpensive light lunch.

Enchanted by its storefront, we wandered into Legrande Fille & Fils (1, rue de la Banque, 2e, Paris) last week.  I was looking for chataigne liqueur and, besides finding it, discovered a distinguished epicerie, spirits and wine shop. The store meanders through the depth of the building and exits into the Gallerie Vivienne. The fancy-food stock is varied and well chosen while the wines include many from small and unusual vintners. Tasting is encouraged. The service was generous, informative and interested in our future as well as immediate needs.  This most hospitable shop will be a regular destination for us.
I enjoyed the wine bar in Legrande. It's approached from the gallerie Vivienne side of the shop. Get there early for a bite of lunch. They feature wines by the glass, or bottles from the shop at a reasonable mark up and plates of cheeses, charcuterie, smoked fish, etc. It's small and not open in the evening. That was a pity as it was near our hotel and I thought it would a nice place for a coffee and nightcap.

I don't know if it's my favorite market, but on Sunday's there's an organic (biologic) market on Raspail.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Thanks, Bux, for the advice and tips. Piere Herme looks like an easy walk from my hotel, so I'll probably go there more than once, and will report back my findings.

On this note, I forgot to ask if you have any favorite chocolate shops. That should surely be on my list of things to eat while in Paris!

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My 2 favorite chocolate shops are Maison du Chocolat and Madame de Sevigne. Maison has a number of locations and Madame is on Place Madelene. If you like chocolate Don't forget the Snickers :wub: that are made in Belgium with fantastic chocolate. I always stock up at the duty free on the way home.

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I really haven't made a study of Parisian chocolate. Of course Hermé deserves mention and I'd think of JP Hévin who has several shops. One is on the other side of the Luxembourg Gardens--rue Vavin off Assas. You might want to search "chocolate" on the France board. I know we've had some posts on chocolate shops.

You might also want to say hello to Philippe Raynaud at his shop in the fifth arrondissement--Les Délices de Daubenton (Les Délices du Net) 35, rue Daubenton. It should be just off rue Mouffetard, one of the better market streets. Philippe posts here from time to time and although I've not had the chance to visit his shop, it appears to be an interesting place and quite in opposition to the corporate world of food slowly taking over France as well as the US.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Here are a few additions that I have enjoyed:

Cheese:

La Ferme Saint-Aubin, 76 rue Saint-Louis en l'île, 4th 01 43 54 74 54

(08:00~20:00. Closed on Mondays

They will cryovac cheese for travel, as well Ferme St. Hubert

Worth a visit, particularly if you are going to nearby Berthillon

Barthelemy: 51 rue de Grenelle, Paris 7; tel: 42-22-82-24,

Chocolate:

Michel Chaudun, 149 rue de l’Université, 7th 01 47 53 74 40, near Invalides & Champs de Mars, between blvd. Tour-Maubourg and rue Jean Nicot

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Beanbag, as Bux said, even for the bistros call ahead. I'd add as soon as possible. I just tried getting a table this past Saturday afternoon for Saturday night for about half the choices on your list and they were all booked. The other half I didn't even bother because I knew for sure they'd be booked.

As for a Sunday market, I strongly second the Bio/Organic market on Raspail. It's one of the few true farmers' markets in Paris - where the vendors are the actual farmers/producers. The others just get their stuff from Rungis.

And chocolate. I have been doing a study of Paris chocolate. I again second Bux for Jean-Paul Hevin. There's just no one else in Paris who does chocolate at his level. He is a chocolatier - not a patissier who also does chocolate. Try the infamous aperitif cheese chocolates and his chocolate patisserie items are quite good too.

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It's never too late "they say", so here are my 2 cents worth (I mean the cents which are each 1/100th of one euro, of course!)

My favorite chocolates are available at "Cotes de France", they are even better than Madame de Sevigne! My mother put me on to them, when she was alive, she would send us the pound size (450g) for Christmas if we did not make it to Paris. There are several shops, the most convenient is on Avenue de l'Opera, at metro Pyramides, on the right sidewalk walking from the Opera to the Louvre, another fairly convenient one is near Gare Saint-Lazare: I know how to get there, but I don't know the exact address. They also have a concoction they call "noisettines": imagine a milk (probably cream) chocolate truffle, flavored with hazelnut extract, and rolled in finely chopped hazelnuts -- for the hazelnut freak I am, this is hog heaven. A bit expensive, but worth every cent :wub: .

My favorite "cheapie" restaurants are, off the top of my head:

Le Petit Machon 158 Rue St Honore in Paris 1 (a block or so from the Palais Royal, a two-minute walk from the Rue de Rivoli entrance to the Louvre). It's not a bad idea to reserve a table for lunch, as it is very crowded: 01 42 60 08 06; I don't think they speak English. The pike quenelle is to die for.

Khun Akorn 8 Av. de Taillebourg in Paris 11 -- Metro: Nation. A bit out of the way, it's a great Thai restaurant... I haven't eaten there in two years, so I don't know if it's up to my first impressions. It's crowded, but unless you come with your own crowd, reservations did not seem necessary. The staff is very helpful, they speak English: the owners grew up in London where they also have a restaurant I understand.

La Castafiore, 51 rue St Louis en l'Ile in Paris 4. A tiny restaurant run by two former ad folks from Chicago: one is in the kitchen, the other in the tiny dining-room -- he is the friendliest chap, with a riotus sense of humor. They serve Italian type food: the freshest ingredients prepared just for you as you order. Reservations are a safe way to make plans. 01 43 54 78 62. I did not have time to go this year, that's the first time in 6 years since I have known the place.

As for "fast food", Oh!...Poivrier! is not to be missed: a small chain of young* restaurants (*young staff, very pleasant and helpful/ young customers, the 30-40 range mostly, but we grey-haired folks felt right at home). Super fresh ingredients, and my favorite is a sandwich plate with pain Poilane/duck foie gras, a mesclun salad with a light vinaigrette, sliced apples/walnuts and a small sorbet scoop -- it was ginger two weeks ago. The most convenient are at 2 Bd Haussmann in Paris 9 (Metro: Richelieu-Drouot), a five-minute walk from the Galeries Lafayette), and at 25 Quai des Grands-Augustins in Paris 6; there is another one not far from Fondation Cartier at 143 Bd Raspail.

I just discovered La Cave Gourmande, 10 Rue du General Brunet in Paris 19,near the Buttes-Chaumont. My brother lives nearby, and we were looking for an "appetizing" place; a limited carte, but thoughtfully planned and extremely well prepared.

My favorite of all, Chez Jean in Paris 20, will change hands shortly: Jean Chouty is retiring! What a loss for those of us willing to climb up the Rue de Menilmontant to enjoy his delightful welcome and abundant cuisine bourgeoise.

Bon appetit!

N.B. I have not discovered the way to put in accent marks, and occasionally it helps for French place names. Has anyone tried?

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N.B. I have not discovered the way to put in accent marks, and occasionally it helps for French place names.  Has anyone tried?

I suppose it's really a matter of knowing how to enter them on your system assuming there's a difference between PC and Mac. Using a Mac, entering accent marks here is done the same way as when I enter them in a word processor, including Word. There's no special code as in html, or anything.

On a Mac:

è is "option-`" + "e"

à is "option-`" + "a"

ë is "option-u" + "e"

î is "option-i" + "i"

ç is just "option-c"

I agree that names read much better, but now that I've posted all this, I should also mention that The accents haven't worked well with the search feature of the site.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Danielle, the "proper accent" is always appreciated in France. :wink: However, once again you have provided us with your always excellent postings of what's happening now "under the stars". We will make an effort to give your recommendations a walk-by. For what it's worth, La Cave Gourmande is the old eponimous stomping grounds of Eric Frechon, now at Bristol. Last I read, La Cave is worth a visit, although it is always close to impossible to walk in such large shoes.

Also, for what it's worth, depending on compatibility of systems, accents may or may appear on your readers' screens as they do on yours. For that reason, they may or may not be worth the effort outside of correspondence or notes that you are printing out for your own use.

Again, thanks for your post and its many recs.

margaret

eGullet member #80.

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Many thanks for the help with accent marks. :wub:

French being my native tongue, I feel somewhat self-conscious about not dotting my words with them when appropriate (1). What triggered my question had to do with an occasional misunderstanding of a word depending on the presence or absence of an accent mark, rather than a need to respect the language... it's basically a convenience. I use a PC, and in Word, I have set up macros to take care of accents. Of course, accents, even when usable, will not necessarily appear as intended on someone else's monitor, I had not realized that.

(1) When I was in grammar school, we were marked off for spelling incorrectly: 1 point off for a missing accent, 2 pts off for a spelling error (a double consonant instead of one, i.e. frommage instead of fromage) and 4 pts for grammatical errors (j'aimes instead of j'aime, or les restaurant instead of les restaurants!). The whole system has remained with me, now I just tackle the insanity of English spelling, never mind the typos!

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my 2 cents - one MUST make the pilgrimmage to l'ami louis 3e @least once, & before the old-timers have simply retired or passed on to that côte de boeuf in the sky.

for us, its every visit. maybe bonne chance or whatever, but every time we've been, mostly, if not all, french vs. the oft-stated "all-american" clientele!

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Try yamasaki,at the "chaussée de la muette"in the 16th district of Paris.

A terrific and lovely patisserie.

Here you"ll find one the best macaroons I have ever eaten in my life.

I love their macarrons with green tea.

The french periodic "express"wrote a few weeks ago an article in high glowing terms.

I completely agree.

Philippe raynaud

Les d�lices du Net

Les D�lices de Daubenton-Paris

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Regarding modern French orthography, I use a PC and I still have not figured out how to enter French accents when I compose directly into an eGullet window. On the other hand, if I cut and paste into the window from an off-line word document I have no trouble. But the difficulty, as Bux reminded us, is that since the search engine on this site is Anglophone, it can't handle the accents. The other alternative is to return to 15th-16th century orthography, pre-accent marks, mais c'est pas la mesme [sic] chose.

Recently in the Quebec forum I posted some questions on Île d'Orleans, Ile d'Orleans, Isle d'Orleans, which I purposely spelt three different ways, for precision, search engine convenience, and historical accuracy. Since the settlement is a 16th century foundation, the Isle is the original spelling, though it used to be Isle de Bacchus.

Then there is the island in the St. Lawrence called Île Verte, to be distinguished from the adjacent coastal community on the mainland, l'Isle Verte. The convention in English is to call the first Ile Verte, but that looks quite barren, hardly the proper setting for North America's only salt-marsh (présalé) lamb.

Ideally we should have multi-lingual sites with engines that can accomodate different orthographies.

Wouldn't it strengthen the Quebec and French sites, if we encouraged postings in both languages?

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Here is one slightly less cumbersome way to use accents directly in any windows based program. It's what the French use to convert when they are stuck with English keyboards.

Go to Control Panels, then Regional Settings and click on the tab Input Locales. In the first box in the window, you can click add and select French (France) or (Quebec).

When you install the France Locale, there will be a small blue box which appears on the lower right of your screen with the rest of the small icons you have there. You can now switch between English and French keyboards by holding Alt and Shift together. You will see the box change from EN to FR and vice versa.

When you are in French mode, the keyboard thinks it's French. The tough part is that you can't see the actual keys!

However, you can remember, or make a list of the common accents and their locations:

é = 2

è = 7

ç = 9

à =0

ù = '

I still haven't been able to find the accent for the "o" in "a bientot"

Hope that helps someone.

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We will be traveling to Paris in early July and are looking for restaurant suggestions. I hope to get lunch reservations at La Cour Jardin in the Plaza Athenee and would like to try the new Rebouchon establishment as well. We are staying near rue Cler in the 7me but are willing to use the metro to discover other areas. Although a few higher-end options are okay (lunch at Le Grand Vefour?) the weak dollar says little un-starred kitchens with honest food for most meals. Thanks in advance. :smile:

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