I may not have been able to revisit some old haunts during this trip (Chez Georges, Aux Lyonnais) as well as see some new ones (Bistro Paul Bert, Josephine Chez Dumonet) but it wouldn’t be fair to say I didn’t get my share of good eating when I was there. As a matter of fact I even got an unknowing lesson in the ABCs of the Paris food scene.
As my manager is from Algeria, she brought up the suggestion we go a bit far from the main tourist areas and indulge in some of her native cuisine. Never having experienced it before I immediately said yes and ended up crossing another item off my to-eat list. It reminded me a lot of Marrakesh from last summer, the prawns and the tajine on couscous were quite good, and the deserts were a bane to the waistline.
As our first night in the city happened to fall on a Sunday, this meant most good restaurants were closed but luckily a colleague pointed us in the direction of Rue Montorgueil which appeared out of nowhere and was bustling with business. I got my one and only burger fix for the trip — a double decker topped off by a healthy slice of foie gras, of course. It had to be a LITTLE French. With sweet potato fries and onion rings on the side, our little dining table was heaving from all the food in front of us.
Cafe Menilmontant on the other hand hit the spot with its pot au feu after a few rounds at Bar Le Perchoir nearby. It reminded me of a type of Filipino stew from childhood, with its vegetables and slices of beef swimming in savory clear soup I wish I had some rice on the side. The cafe was in the 11th so a bit far from the tourist crowd but it was full nonetheless with locals crowding around expectedly small tables. The food was fine and the service just the right side of arrogant, quite fitting with the atmosphere. Check check and check.