Chain restos in Paris
- wyf4lyf May 20, 2005 01:04 PM
OK...please don't shoot me...but I'm just curious about some of the chain restaurants in Paris. I was thinking it might be interesting to try one of them, just to get an idea of what they're like. At the risk of being thrown off the Chowhound board, I must confess that I do enjoy some chain restaurants here in the states so I got to thinking that perhaps some of the chains in Paris might not be so bad. Might be an intersting experience, if nothing else.
Has anyone dared go into the likes of Chez Clement or Hippopotamus...or any of the other chains?
Like in the US, chains in France tend to not have very good food, but some people don't mind them. I steer clear of even all the Flo and Freres Blanc owned brasseries these days. The food is just not very good value for the price.
If I had to pick one chain I'd eat at in Paris, I'd go for the Hippo, after which I'd go to McDonalds or just get a sandwich Grec.
Leon de Bruxelles is really very decent. They are all about mussels. The fries are good - hot and crisp outside and smooth but not dry on the inside. The gratineed mussels with pesto are very good, and with any of the gratineed menu options you get a second plate of mussels and more hot fries. A real deal for Americans struggling with the exchange rate! The waffles with ice cream and dark chocolate are not a bad way to end the meal.
Aside from Pizza Hut, McDonalds, etc. you will see a number of French chains, Hippopotamus, Bistro Romain, Sgt Recruiter, Leon de Bruxelles come to mind. To me, a trip to Paris is too short to piss away a lunch or dinner slot at one of these.
Contrary to what another poster said, I somewhat like some of the Freres Blanc units, especially le Procope. I often eat there the first night in Paris when I am tired from traveling, so not really up to a gastronomic dinner, but the food is certainly good enough to let you know you are back in France. They have a 24e menu, although with fairly limited selections, so it is not unfairly priced, although you can spend more if you order off the carte.
I have included a link to the Freres Blanc website.
I've had sit down quick lunches and walked away with many GREAT take-away baguettes from the chain PAUL.
I also have posted about the Pizza Pino chain having a nice thin crust pizza with creame fraiche and salmon if you need something late late at night.
We ate at Chez Clement last June and thought it was very good. They have a lot of fresh seafood and the grilled assortment of meats that we had was delicious. Pretty also - I refer to as the French Martha Stewart. I wouldn't hesitate at all.
I've been watching the the proliferation of chains and fast food places since the 70's with alarm. There seems to be a direct correlation between the increase in the numbers of "MacDo's", "Flunch's" etc. and the size of the national waistline!