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Paris Vegetarian Recommendations


Beachfan
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Today in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin reviewed Au Gourmand fomerly situated across from the Luxembourg Gardens, now at 17, rue Moliere in the 1st, 01.42.96.22.19, closed Sundays and Mondays, and commented that they were serving an inspired 30 € vegetarian meal.

John Talbott

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  • 3 weeks later...
Today in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin reviewed Au Gourmand fomerly situated across from the Luxembourg Gardens, now at 17, rue Moliere in the 1st, 01.42.96.22.19, closed Sundays and Mondays, and commented that they were serving an inspired 30 € vegetarian meal.

None of us ordered it today but it looked marvellous and the veggies we had from M. Thiebault were just great.

John Talbott

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I just came across this article on Vegan Survival in Paris.

Schlepping her own tofu to a French Christmas dinner? Had I been the host(ess), I would have been tempted to toss her butt onto le trottoir. :raz:

I'd like to see, too, the facial expressions on the cafe waiters resulting from the soymilk request.

Sorry, it's one of those mornings.

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Schlepping her own tofu to a French Christmas dinner? Had I been the host(ess), I would have been tempted to toss her butt onto le trottoir. :raz:

I'd like to see, too, the facial expressions on the cafe waiters resulting from the soymilk request.

Sorry, it's one of those mornings.

And she makes the availability of vegetarian and organic product (not to be confused, which she does) a recent innovation... Come on, they've been around for decades! The bio aisles in supermarkets have grown a bit more substantial lately, but really the trend has been constant for some time.

The true difficulty for vegetarians in France lies in restaurant-going, and arguably being invited in peoples' homes. As far as food shopping is concerned, France is just as good as many countries, and much better than some.

Up to her if she prefers to feast on ready-made dishes that are just as processed as any other overpackaged supermarket food instead of stewing her own lentils and rice (takes 30 minutes) or "peeling, chopping and steaming", but that is more a demonstration of her own inability to survive on her own culinary skills than of the way vegetarians fare in France. She'd be just as clueless in any other country.

I'm with you on this, in my book anyone who has the guts to ask for soymilk in her crème in a Paris café or to include the word sinfully in an article is clearly begging for the duncecap.

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In the spirit of trying to help those of us who are culinarily challenged and consult this topic for help when visiting France, though, I must point out that her suggestion to look for vegetarian dishes at the numerous "Indian, Italian, and Lebanese restaurants" in town is constructive.

John Talbott

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Sure — although that seems to me a little too obvious to be a clever advice —, but Italian?

My co-workers are always raving about this Italian restaurant down the street from where we work. They do a fixed lunch which consists of an appetiser buffet followed by one of their signature fresh pasta dishes. We went there one day to celebrate something or the other. We all had a great meal and then on the way back to work they were ragging on me as always for being vegetarian. "How can you be vegetarian? What can you eat when you don't eat meat?!" It was only in retrospect that I realised that, in fact, every single one of them had just had a vegetarian meal. The menu for the pasta course had been entirely vegetarian! My co-workers just had not realised this because they don't think of those Italian dishes as "vegetarian".

There is a fabulous vegan restaurant very close to where I live: Tien Hiang, at 92 rue Chemin Vert, in the 11th (01 43 55 83 88). They serve the best Pho I've ever tasted. Hard to believe it's vegan, but it is!

Certainly, most of the Indian/Pakistani restaurants here leave much to be desired. I have tried many, and the only one which seemed halfway decent was Aarchana, on 19 rue du Télégraphe in the 20th. They were chosen by Galeries Lafayette to cater their Bollywood festival recently.

A lot of French restaurants do have vegetarian options now, and if not, I usually just pick something which looks good and ask them to leave out the meat. They are also usually willing to do an omelette or an "assiette de legumes", which can be hit or miss, but I've had some great hits - some which were even the envy of less fortunate meat-eaters at the table!

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Sure — although that seems to me a little too obvious to be a clever advice —, but Italian?

Sure, not to get to far off topic, I love spaghetti primavera and eggplant parmesan and white beans with garlic and oil and well, you get the idea.

What I mean is that eggplant parmesan, for instance, is not likely to be OK for someone who demands soy milk in public cafés. There are not many Italian dishes in Paris restaurants that do not contain some egg or dairy product.

About Indian restaurants: the real vegetarian ones are in the La Chapelle area, top of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. Most of them Tamil or Sri Lankan. There is one on rue Cail that serves truly delicious food.

A vegan option that might be interesting to some: Green Garden (yes, in English) on rue Nationale near the porte d'Ivry is an Asian, totally vegan, restaurant. Classics of Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese cooking are interpreted with soy protein in place of meat or fish.

Some friends of mine rave about the place, so there must be something to it, which is why I mention it. But personally it leaves me cold, for two reasons: an excess of — vegetable-based — taste enhancers compensates the blandness of most dishes, and the problem is that this compensation is quite noticeable. Also, there is nothing exciting, far from it, about soy protein except that it imitates animal protein. But when I want to eat vegetarian, I crave a good dish of vegetables and I am not interested in finding a substitute for meat. I think the Indian vegetarian places in Northern Paris are more satisfying because they treat vegetables and pulses for their own sake, not for imitation or as substitutes.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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There is a fabulous vegan restaurant very close to where I live: Tien Hiang, at 92 rue Chemin Vert, in the 11th (01 43 55 83 88).  They serve the best Pho I've ever tasted.  Hard to believe it's vegan, but it is!

Pennylane: (well, the song keeps reverberating, doesn't it?) thanks for that suggestion, as a pho lover since press-ganged into service in Viet Nam, I'll try it.

But Viet Nam-ese food is not ordinarily laden with fois gras and goose fat and those are two of my essential ingredients each day, so I guess I'm stuck with omnivoratude, omnivorativity, whatever.

John Talbott

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  • 2 months later...

I’m posting this here because after a magnificent meal* at Ze Kitchen Galerie at which we were astonished by several new dishes, almost all of which were accompanied by a lot of pureed and grilled fall vegetables, I asked chef William Ledeuil if, since some of our members are vegetarian, he served any all-vegetarian dishes. Of course, said he, indeed folks sometimes like the vegetables they’re served so much they ask for another helping.

*A fuller description of which and disclosure statement of what were we comp'd can be found here.

John Talbott

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  • 2 months later...
I’m posting this here because after a magnificent meal* at Ze Kitchen Galerie at which we were astonished by several new dishes, almost all of which were accompanied by a lot of pureed and grilled fall vegetables, I asked chef William Ledeuil if, since some of our members are vegetarian, he served any all-vegetarian dishes.  Of course, said he, indeed folks sometimes like the vegetables they’re served so much they ask for another helping. 

*A fuller description of which and disclosure statement of what were we comp'd can be found here.

We had an amazing vegetarian meal at Ze Kitchen Galerie during our summer visit last year. Can't wait to go back in a few weeks and see what new tricks Chef Ledeuil has up his sleeve.

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Alexander Lobrano in May's WHERE listed "The Best of Vegetarian Restaurants" as:

Breakfast in America

Le Conti's

Orisotto

Sapporo Japanese

Chez Papa

Noura

Fajitas

Villa Spicy

l'As du Fallafel

le Jardin des Cynges and desserts at:

Laduree

Pompei

l'Espadon

Restaurant de Ser

Le Ciel de Paris.

John Talbott

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