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Ocean_islands

Awful restaurants in Paris

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Who has had a bad meal in Paris? I thought it would be more efficient to talk about restaurants that had bad food and should be avoided rather than those that are good, since there are so many good ones.

I guess I mean 'bad food' as opposed to 'bad experience' because one of the waiters did something seen as rude in America.

I ate at Hippopotamus (ok, I was in a hurry) at Convention in the rue de Vaugirard a while back and I had to complain about the bad food. The waitress said, "If you wanted to eat a good meal you shouldn't have come here!" :laugh:

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I ate at Hippopotamus

With all due respect - Hippopotamus - serves you right. And gave me a laugh. But seriously, I've had lots a bad meals; I always know they're bad because I don't tip on top of the service charge knowing I'll never return and I immediately start plotting dinner to "make up for my wasted meal." If bad=inedible, let me repeat what I said on another thread about starred restaurants, the worst ratio of reputation/quality I've experienced was at Helene Darroze, on both floors and I gave her/them three chances, figuring I must be wrong if I disagreed with so many others. Next worst was Bertie's at the Hotel Baltimore and then the list gets too long to type.

Great idea for a thread. Thanks Ocean_Islands.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one with bad thoughts of Helene Darroze!! I just did not find anything that I liked about my experience.............

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Who has had a bad meal in Paris?

There are three ways to avoid having a bad meal in Paris. You can do extensive research and preferably spend a lot of money, you can get very lucky or you can have low standards. A lot is going to depend on one's point of view, but I think it's extremely easy to find bad food in Paris. The days when it was hard to find a bad meal in Paris at any price are over.


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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We had a horrendous meal in the big antiques center/flea market

(Le Puce? North of Paris right on the Peripherique), the (only) restaurant there, right in the middle of the stalls.

Can't remember the name. Chez something.

The atmosphere was so tacky/kitsch that it was almost fun, accordion player, bad singer, waitresses that give our South Philly Melrose Diner a run for their money!

But the food itself was so horrible we couldn't even eat it. Obviously canned food, the only bad lettuce I've had in France, just inedible.

And, it was recommended in one of the guides!


Philly Francophiles

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You're talking about Chez Louisette. It is kitchy and fun. And you definitely don't go there for the food. You go to enjoy yourself. I wouldn't call it "bad" at all...


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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I guess I mean 'bad food' as opposed to 'bad experience' because one of the waiters did something seen as rude in America.

I was really just responding to the "bad food" as opposed to "bad experience" or atmosphere...


Philly Francophiles

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Well Chez Clement is a chain just like Hippopotamus; that said, I've eaten at Chez Clement probably 3-4 times over the years and I've never had a bad meal there. It's obviously not gourmet food. One complaint would be that it is a bit overpriced for what it is.

For chain restuarants, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal at Bistro Romain, for instance. It's not gourmet food either but then I'm not a food snob.

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Add me to the Hélène Darroze non-fan club, although I must admit that at those prices I only tried each level once. I was not impressed by the food and the service upstairs was shockingly bad.

As for "bad" restaurants, I don't think I've had many actually bad meals in reputable restaurants, but I've had a lot of disappointing ones, in addition to the Darroze places. Violon d'Ingres on the high end, Fouquet's, Bastide Odeon, Thoumieux, Ambassade d'Auvergne, others that don't jump to mind. Maybe I've hit off days, but unfortunately I don't have enough time in Paris to try a disappointing place more than once.

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You're talking about Chez Louisette. It is kitchy and fun. And you definitely don't go there for the food. You go to enjoy yourself. I wouldn't call it "bad" at all...

I've been to Chez Louisette as well, but just for a drink and loved it. I think Elvis was singing when I was there.

The worst meal I've had was probably on Rue Mouffetard. I was dining with a friend who insitsted on eating there and I said okay, against my better judgement. It was not even edible. I don't remember which restaurant it was, but I'm guessing they are all pretty bad.

I had a pretty terrible meal at Brasserie Lipp as well :sad:


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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For chain restuarants, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal at Bistro Romain, for instance. It's not gourmet food either but then I'm not a food snob.

"For a chain restaurant" implies a certain lower standard allowed for chain restaurants. There should be one standard for food one is willing to accept relative to price and perhaps to what is available at neighboring restaurants. Both "gourmet food" and "food snob" are terms that are dangerously loaded to me. Both are very subjective in many ways. The latter is often used as a pejorative for those whose standards are higher than one's own. "Gourmet foods" is more often used with hypocrisy or sarcasm as well. If one cares enough about food--which although it's not a prerequisite for participation here, is a pre-occupation shared by a good number of members--there's no reason not to get the best food you can for the money all the time. Why settle for second best if a little effort will get you better or more interesting food?


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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I thought it would be more efficient to talk about restaurants that had bad food and should be avoided rather than those that are good, since there are so many good ones.

I don't see the efficiency unless one places greater importance on avoiding the terrible rather than enjoying the excellent. Talking about excellent restaurants, or at least those that offer a degree of excellence at a reasonable price (value is always of significance to me at every point on the price spectrum) will lead us to the best restaurants. Talking about the really bad ones, will not help us distinguish between the average ones and the great ones (or the great ones for the price). What we talk about depends on our goals.


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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I'm in the process of planning my first visit to Paris and have found this thread to be helpful. Admittedly, it may not be terribly efficient but despite the dining related planning that I'll do, it's inevitable that we'll have a few meals at random. If I'm choosing a place from those available in a particular neighborhood when we happen to be there, it's helpful to have an idea of places to avoid - I've already added these to my short list of "must NOT visit".

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We had our worst-ever meal in France (a few years back) at Le Vieux Bistro, near Notre-Dame. The cold leek salad was slimy, the beef in the boeuf bourguignon was gristly, and the service was nearly non-existent. I hope the restaurant has improved since that time, but we won't be going back to find out.

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Bux Posted on Aug 30 2004, 05:41 AM

Talking about the really bad ones, will not help us distinguish between the average ones and the great ones (or the great ones for the price).

Oh, but it's so much more fun! :laugh:

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Strange I just posted something about the disgusting Ma Bourgogne in the Marais, and the post just disappeared...


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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I was talking about how they charged us for items we never ordered, and then when we remaked upon this, made sexual comments to the female members of our party..


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

blog

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My worst (to this point :wink: ) is Le Souffle, in the 1st. I kind of suspected going in that I'd be disappointed, but I had the full-court press applied by someone I trusted a bit. Big mistake. Bad food, rotten service, and it took me quite a while before I wanted another souffle, having had three at one sitting :laugh:

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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I'm very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience at Le Soufflé. It's one of our consistent favorites, and we have a table reserved for lunch next month. :blink:

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an dull and below okay salad with the worst dressing ever, and the best view ever, at ma bourgogne.....

and then the time i got dragged to trumilo, well the guidebooks always rave, and its so cheap, and we were right there, and i can't believe a meal could be that bad, though my something with prunes was actually okay. i kept looking around and there were all these french people eating and i kept thinking: okay i might expect tourists to be here, but parisians? the table next to us actually started talking with us and we had a nice time as they were so nice, but the food......ick.

marlena


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Grand Vefour - hands down winner - I still can't shake of the nightmare that was artichoke brulee with candied vegetables and the foie gras ravioli with albino vomit-like sauce

stunning room 'though

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Le Trumilou

The basic cuisine of historic bistros can arouse very personal responses at different times and under different circumstances. Chartier’s does not summon me back; Le Trumilou’s does. The latter is an ancient and simple bar/restaurant on the river behind the Hotel de Ville. A recommendation first reached me from Walter Trampler by way of Simon Bainbridge; musicians, who are often stuck in foreign cities for days at a time, can be diligent seekers-out of bargain gastronomic intelligence.

On one of Electric Phoenix’s concert appearances in Paris I guided them there for our first night’s dinner. It was easy walking distance from our hotel and well away from the expensive food factories that line the boulevards. Two large dining rooms with old-fashioned white linen tablecloths flank the bar, where academics and laborers sip their coffee or play the pinball machine. The waiters have been there as long as the furniture, and so have the menus, which offer plats du jour on a weekly rota, including stuffed cabbage, blanquette de veau, potée, and catfish with a garlicky aïoli which could make you persona non grata for the rest of your Paris sojourn.

On this occasion I went for their tripe à la mode de caen, a huge bowl of it, properly made. Such dishes are among the reasons I keep returning to France. It’s now almost impossible to cook good tripe in England because it is illegal to sell it unbleached except for animal consumption. There used to be a place in London where you didn’t have to bark for it – the huge Japanese food center in Colindale, North London, where inscrutable Orientals were allowed to purchase their curious foodstuffs. I’m told that it has closed, so it’s back to Le Trumilou or Chez Denise whenever I have an urge for tripe so overpowering that even the London tabloids can’t satisfy it.

Set meals are 13,50€ and 16,50€

Le Trumilou, 84, quai de l’Hotel-de-Ville, 4th, Tel 01 42 77 63 98

##################################################

Ma Bourgogne (Maigret's favorite restaurant) is a good lunchtime experience if you stay with the gaspacho, steak tartare and cantal vielle. The latter has come from the same Auvergne mountain supplier for many years, and is good as one gets.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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I'm often surprised at the range of opinion among reasonable men regarding any particular restaurant. Of course at eGullet, we may expect an even wider range of opinions without surprise. What's even more surprising is how quick people are to take a single opinion from an unknown source.

This does raise an issue. How do you react to widely ranging reports about one restaurant? Do you average them? Are you more or less likely to steer yourself to a place that neither offends nor excites others?


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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