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Paris restaurant suggestions

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I will be in Paris for 3 days in June. Have reservations for Chez Marcel for dinner. Would like suggestions for restaurants that are comparable. Note, I am a fan of diners, drive-ins and dives.

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  1. If it's funky you want:
    Afaria common table
    Cantine de Troquet no rez's
    Cheri bibi
    Les Papilles
    Cocottes de Constant - diner like set up
    Cafe Constant - elbow yourself in
    Le Grand Pan
    l'Atelier de Joel R - upscale diner-like
    Cul de Poule - dive
    Rich - not Rech - baccarat-gaming/etc tabled bar/boite and downstairs a hip bar

    24 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Thanks, John. I really appreciate the help.

      1. re: sugargirl1

        It's too bad you haven't had more replies, I suspect the title looks like a thousand others whereas you really want something completely different as Monty Python would say (anyone out there ever heard of them?)

        1. re: John Talbott

          John, it was the "I am a fan of diners, drive-ins and dives." that stopped me. This genre isn't Parisian so it is tricky to recommend. Even restaurants that look like dives are really stylishly distressed, and those where you can eat at the bar don't serve "short-order" food.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Who's them?

        2. re: John Talbott

          Can I butt in here? I'm going to be in Paris in a few weeks for just 2 nights (then heading to Campania), and currently have reservations for Chez Michel and Afaria. But I'm wondering if we should switch to L'Ami Jean instead of Afaria....any thoughts???

          1. re: Shooley

            Sure butt away.
            I think they're very different; the same in unstuffy ambiance but CAJ is tightly packed and what we who were misfortunate enuf to have been born in the US not Kenya think of as a real bistro serving real bistro food with a Basque twist, whereas Afairia has both bistro fare (in the dining room) and "tapas" with a Spanish-French border touch at the common table in front which I think is more fun. If you challenge me to differentiate between Basque and Spanish-French border food, I'd take the 5th (anyone remember that?), both use espilette peppers, etc but CAJ would never think of serving cod balls.

            1. re: John Talbott

              We were in the Basque area of Spain last year for a couple of days, then headed south to Rioja, so I'm familiar with the cuisine. But, just wondering if one is a better overall food experience...we have a reservation already at Afaria, but not for CAJ, and someone somewhere mentioned bank week??? We'll be there only May 10 and 11.

            2. re: Shooley

              I think you should switch to CAJ instead of Chez Michel, which is pretty much the same only less good.

              1. re: souphie

                As always I agree with Soup.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  I agree with the two sensei.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Sensie = a five piece, melodic, rock band from Jacksonville, Florida.
                    Oh man, let's go back OT.

                  2. re: John Talbott

                    May I disagree that y'all always agree?

                    1. re: dietndesire

                      When we eat together we do; Internet dining is another story.

                  3. re: souphie

                    My last meal at Chez Michel was disappointing, compared to its former glory.

                    1. re: Nancy S.

                      Merci a tous!

                      1. re: Shooley

                        But, wait a minute! If I switch to CAJ, then is going to Afaria the next night too much Basque?

                        1. re: Shooley

                          CAJ isn't really Basque. Jego may come from there, and the old bar he took over may have been a old Basque rugby bar, but his cooking, and the restaurant he established in the bar, is Parisian bistronomique. Yes, a few Basque influences, but also influences from lots and lots of other regions.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            Are you guys on some kind of expense account, or what? I envy your constant dining experiences. I want to eat for a living.

                            1. re: Shooley

                              I'd call it more like an expensive account. Hard work too.

                            2. re: PhilD

                              Agree with Phil; as I tried to explain on another thread discussing Basque places, both the above use espelette, etc but CAJ is more of a classic bistro with Basque twists, Afaria has stuff on the tapas menu Jego wouldn't serve and the front room common table (which is where to eat) is more like sitting on the Spanish-French border than anywhere else. Au Bascou is truly Basque - axoa - for instance as is La Cantine du Troquet with things like merlu a la Basquaise.

                              1. re: John Talbott

                                What is known as Basque cuisine has itself gone through a lot more evolution than other French-Spanish region cuisines.
                                Is it just me (I)? Once upon a time I identified Basque cusine as stewy hearty dishes. The restos in the Basque region have largely moved away from that, perhaps led by all the young Basque chefs who rule the world. It is now light and inventive and, more so than other cuisines it seems, excells in the aigre-doux game

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  Not just you, I agree. I see the Basque region of France being very influenced by their Spanish cousins. The Spanish push the boundaries more, but the ideas seep across the border. My strongest memory 100% Basque food was a very cold Christmas market in Bilbao with copious amounts of cider, mountains of soft black pudding, and a very merry atmosphere.

                                  That said food regions in France are quite porous. Few restaurants will stick 100% to regional dishes and thus most menus will have dishes or influences from across France.

                                  1. re: PhilD

                                    Hola! Thanks one and all. And, hard work aside, I still like your job, JT! Though, mine is second best: I sell wine for a living...

                                    1. re: Shooley

                                      bonjur! I am from france myself,my mother taught me english though. One of my favorite resturants is Arpege! Delicious! Hope i could help you darling!