This is in partial response to a question in Outer
Boroughs put to my brother who is living in Paris, I
don't live there and I'm sure Jason knows a lot more
great "joints"but last fall when I went to Paris to
visit him we went to a place called Astier by
Republique. they have the best cheese platter
consisting of 20 cheeses which they leave on your
table and you can pick and choose fromt he perfectly
ripe cheeses, as many as you want. (we were careful
not to look too gluttonous so we didn't take too much,
but I can tell you everyone else around us had no such
qualms) 10 each choices of entree, plat and dessert.
All of which change freqently. Yum and its only 140
francs for a meal like that in NY you would pay 65
dollars... this restaurant is listed in Cheap Eats
Also Fruit Tart at Les Petits Mitrons in Montmarte top
of Rue Lepic. Probably the best in Paris. very thin,
ultracaramelized crust. Cooked fruit, usually a
mixture and a tart glaze.
Don't miss the pastry places on rue Daguerre (14e, just south of Montparnasse Cemetery) -- that's where tarte au citron became my favorite dessert ever -- great places to sit in the morning, have a cafe creme, and wonder what to do that day. Great food stalls, too, in case you have access to a kitchen nearby.
I love Astier! The cheese selection is truly amazing-
encyclopedic and everything is in tip-top condition.
They also have a very interesting selection of Rhone
wines at highly reasonable prices. Another great cheap
place to eat in Paris is La Lozere- I don't remember
the address but it's very near the Musee de Cluny
(where the unicorn tapestries are-certainly worth a
look) in the Sorbonne neighborhood. They also have an
excellent cheese selection. Portions are enormous-the
salad I had the last time I was there came in what
appeared to be a mixing bowl. I am not a dainty eater
and I have never been able to finish anything there.
But they were cool about sharing, and allowed my sister
and me to split one salad, one gargantuan omelet
stuffed with heavenly wild mushrooms and the
aforementioned delicious cheese plate. Another good
choice, though not as cheap as Astier and La Lozere, is
Brasserie Balzar on the Rue des Ecoles. It's very
French and a real hang-out for a cross-section of Left
Bankers- from women in Hermes scarves and pearls to
students to old guys in berets. The food is imple but
tasty- try the leeks vinaigrette if they're available.