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Nov 8, 2010 06:24 PM

Help for Visiting 20s: A High Standard of Ordinary?

I'll be in Paris over the Xmas and New Year's holidays with my two offstring. Both in their 20s and neither are familiar with, nor enthoused by French food. Can anyone suggest bars/restaurants/brasseries etc. etc. with good or interesting food, and either menu items or a la carte to -ahem- young American tastes? We're talking here things like *french fries*, (frittes perhaps?), student type dishes, and, er, pizza. Maybe just some good university type places. Whatever, all suggestions welcomed.

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  1. "A High Standard of Ordinary?"
    Doesn't John Whiting own that line?
    In any case, if they're not "enthoused by French food" why come? San Diego is nice then.
    OK, seriously, French fries and steak - Venise or L'Entrecote.
    Pizza - Speed Rabbit, Pizza Hut.
    Student food: Cinese, Thai, Lao, Viet in one of the Chinatowns our local experts have expounded on.
    Brasseries - see above.
    Between XMas and NYears, the RestoU's in universities are closed so they're out.
    Where are you staying?, I'm sure there are standards of ordinary nearby.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      There are some rather nice Neapolitan-style pizza places around, and while it's not French cuisine I see a lot of French people eating in them. Sometimes you just want something relatively easy. Here is a list published by Le Figaro (in French, but if you look at the PDF you should get some ideas) :

      Places I have been and liked include:
      Amici Miei (see Figaro list
      )Briciola (see Figaro list)
      Maria et Louisa (rue Marie et Louise right off Canal St Martin in the 10th)
      Pink Flamingo (this is a very casual chain but not unpleasant - several locations)

      1. "Both in their 20s.....young American tastes" - I could understand this may be true for the under 10's but adults in their 20's...?

        Isn't this a good opportunity to experience things that are different, aren't the early adult years the time they should be pushing the boundaries? Recreating American food like frites and pizza isn't a great idea, they will be different and probably equally as "bad" (to the youngsters) as normal French food. Use it as an opportunity to challenge their taste buds. Lots of great suggestions on the board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PhilD

          yeah any American type food be wrong. go with what France does best. bistro.

          I tried VN in Paris once, thinking given the long history between the two countries might have something interesting not found in the US...nope, dumbed down even beyond what's found here. (granted it was just one place, but still) forget pizza, there are tons of sandwich stands to be found on the go, if they really want junk, skip the McD's and hit a cafe for a Croque Monsieur.

        2. I guess Lenny Kravitz isn't the hot ticket he once was, but his endorsement of the falafel place in the Marais was dead on. forget which street, just off Rue de Bourgeois or Temple (is it still there and any good?)

          are you sure you want to take them? I'll go and be appreciative of anything. I could be the son you didn't know you had (and while you were still in grade school, talk about freakish)

          2 Replies
          1. re: hill food

            "Lenny's" place is L'As du Fallafel at 34 Rue des Rosiers in the Marais. Closed all day Saturday and Friday at....sundown...ish). Otherwise open non-stop.

            1. re: boredough

              Rosiers - thanks, always just kinda stumbled on it, makes sense they keep the sundown Friday through Saturday rule.

          2. John Talbot:
            We're staying in the Marais (and I understand the falafel place to be a definite).When you recommend Venise or L'Entrecote are you think steak fries? Is there a Belgian frites place-they're very big on frites. Can't find one on Chow or on line. And BTW San Diego is nice and allow me to recommend there some of the best bread ever and the best schinkenspeck you've ever had).

            Why Paris if they're not big eaters? One is an IT specialist at NYU and the other studying natural resources at Edinburgh and neither thinks of food as cuisine but rather as resource. Who's to say what the right track may be? And, food aside, Paris is still Paris.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mr B.

              "neither thinks of food as cuisine but rather as resource."

              Tell me it ain't true !

              1. re: Parigi

                Food as resource or food as fuel? - chowhound may not be the best site for Mr B's purposes.

                I wondered what a website like the lonely planet might have to offer in the way of restaurant information. From my quick skim, the organization is easy to navigate and the short descriptions are pretty good for their length and the info they contain:


                1. re: Parigi

                  I too am rubbing my eyes with the back of my fists.

                  Reading the whole thread it really sounds like they might faint from shock the first time a plate of proper food is put in front of them. I have read a lot of interesting requests here but never a specific one for bad food in Paris. I'd say this would be a great opportunity for them to discover there is a whole universe waiting for them, aside from fries and pizza, not even entering the sophisticated realm - by the way, they should be warned that Le Relais de Venise is not just beef and fries. It is absolutely French cuisine.