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Sep 7, 2009 11:18 AM

Simple lunch at Mamie Gateaux -- more like this, please?

For lunch in Paris, we usually like a place that is interesting, local, fairly simple, will not take much more than about 90 minutes -- and also will not make us too full. (After all, we also want to be ready for dinner, and that’s usually our main dining event of the day.) One of our favorite lunch places is Mamie Gateaux, 66 rue du Cherche-Midi (Métro: Rennes or Vanneau). This convivial, bright and friendly tea room is perfect for quiches and other savories, tartes and cakes. Our question: What other places (and preferably a few on the right bank) are similar? A bonus question: Why is Mamie Gateaux’s web site mostly in Japanese? (I assume it’s Japanese, I may be wrong: ).

-- Jake Dear

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  1. Re: language. The blog section is signed "by riquiqui" my guess it is owned/run by someone from Japan.

    I always find it interesting to see which restaurants feature in guides from which countries. Fish, Le Comptoir and Le Regalade clearly feature in many Japanese guides.

    1. My husband who speaks and reads Japanese thought he was very clever. He read over the site and said, 'Oh, it says Salon du Thé." :-) We guess, as Phil said, that many of the Japanese tourists go there. If I go by there in a few weeks (I'm staying not that far away), I'll stop in and ask about it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        A similar place would be L'Heure Gourmande in the Passage Dauphine, 6th arr.

        1. re: Dodo

          Do they have small breakfasts, too, Dodo? I've exhausted places near my hotel and could use a change.

          1. re: zuriga1

            Hm... They only open by 11:30 AM (Monday closed). You can have brunch then, but for what you get, it's slightly overpriced. I like the place for its being away from the busy and noisy places, its coziness and also for its salted tarts and the cheesecake.

            For a small breakfast, you can just go to any café and order your hot beverage, maybe an OJ and a buttered baguette, non? Most cafés do now have breakfast formulas. Oh wait, Le Séraphin is also a cozy place, near the covered Saint-Germain market. They do offer breakfasts too (Continental is €9). Check the online menu. They're open at 8:30 AM.

            If you care for an excellent croissant, there's always Gérard Mulot! You can also get a coffee or an OJ there.

      2. Thanks for the responses so far. We've seen L'Heure Gourmande, 22 Passage Dauphine, and now we'll try it. Still, I'd be interested to hear of similar places on the right bank.

        Re Mamie Gateaux's apparent Japanese connection -- we've not noticed Japanese toursits there. (What we have noticed is that its customers are about 90 percent female.)


        1. Merce and the Muse- Very cute and bright healthy food. David Lebowitz just wrote about it. Reminds me a bit of Mamie Gateaux but over in the 3rd/4th. Great lunch spot!

          1. I realize you've left Paris by now (!), but thought I'd mention Cuisine de Bar at 8 rue du Cherche-Midi (for your next trip?). They offer a selection of delicious tartines on Poïlane bread (w/salad & a glass of wine) . And if you need something to take with you, the Poïlane bakery is next door.

            2 Replies
            1. re: boredough

              Krueg42, thanks, that goes on the list (for others, here's the David Lebovitz link:

              Boredough (I like your name), yes, we've "left" a couple times since then, but like more than a few others we are in a state of perpetual planning for returns. And we like Cuisine de Bar & its Poïlane tartines -- we've gone there when the wait at Mamie Gateaux is too long . . . .

              1. re: Jake Dear

                I believe a couple owns Mamie Gateaux and the wife is Japanese, which possibly explains the website. Also, the Japanese are very fond of that French brocante aesthetic and the owners actually have a very good brocante down the street. (We have an old 60s school map of theirs on our dining room wall, with the 'vigne et fruits' of France on it.) The husband told me they even considered opening in Japan at one point. An equivalent right bank institution might be Le loir dans le théiere on the rue des rosiers, which also does tarte salées and cakes. Or one of the various Rose Bakeries. Or the canteen at the Palais de Tokyo (as opposed to the restaurant they also have).