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Nov 21, 2011 12:26 PM

Any "not fancy" suggestions?

I've used Chowhounds recommendations for trips to Vancouver, London, and Washington DC in the past, finding some really fun places that way.

My husband and I are very excited to finally be going to Paris, which I've been dreaming about for 35 years! There are a lot of great recommendations here, but they may be a bit too fancy/foodie/expensive for us.

My dream experience for France is to go into local shops to purchase bread, cheese and pastries, and I'm most excited about that, but I'm not sure if we should be trying for certain restaurants within the limits of what will make us happy or just stick with lower-end places.

I am allergic to crustaceans. I don't like oatmeal, polenta, or scrambled eggs for their texture. I love to cook, so I'm always trying to figure out what spices and methods chefs use. Darling husband detests mushrooms and everything about sushi. He is happiest with bbq chicken, pizza, and burgers, but also likes meat and potatoes type meals or fish. I love soup; he doesn't. Neither of us like wine or beer. Believe it or not, we do enjoy trying new things. (He even tried Scorpion appetizers at a food tasting event!)

The trip is taking up most of our funds, so I wouldn't want to spend more than about 30E each for more than maybe one special meal.

We'll be staying in the 7th the week of Christmas, and we already have plans for Christmas Day. Je comprend un peu de Francais.

I have Les Cocettes, Cafe Constant, Le Petit Cler, Pizza Positano, L'As du Fallafel, Au Bon Coin, and even Brioche Doree sandwich shop on my list.

I know that our limits bump us out of most of the awesome recommendations that are here, so I hope you'll be gentle with us. :)

L'As du Fallafel
34 Rue des Rosiers, Paris, Île-de-France 75004, FR

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  1. Not fancy, in the 7th, and we've not been for years, but I think it's still there and may be a good fit:

    Restaurant Chez Germaine. This is a tiny and very simple neighborhood restaurant. There are seven tables, and you may have to/get to share yours with others (who, in this area, seem to include a fair number of Americans residing nearby). We remenber roast beef, salmon, kidneys in cream, celery rémoulade, eggs with house-made mayonnaise, salt pork with carrots or lentils, beef tongue in tomato sauce, and a great chocolate cake. 30 rue Pierre-Leroux. Closed Sat. & Sun, as many such neighborhood places are. -- Jake

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jake Dear

      Thanks! I love the idea of sharing a table! More people to meet. :)

    2. None of the bistros we went to this past summer were "fancy," and these included Chez L'Ami Jean, Papillion and Les Regalades. All are pleasant and comfortable place where you'd be fine wearing jeans (if clean and with no holes). However based on your no-likes list, you might be better off avoiding the popular foodie restaurants and bistros altogether and cooking for yourself. You run a real risk having one or both of you being unhappy with a meal at any given place and will be upset at the money spent over a regretted meal.

      You'll have a blast buying from neighborhood supermarkets, cheesemongers and boulangeries and patisseries. It's a great way to eat very well while staying on a budget. You can get baguette sandwiches for cheap lunches. Many supermarkets sell excellent ranges of pates and prepared "gourmet" food for takeaways.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Roland Parker

        Thanks! We plan to do a lot of buying from markets, since that's part of the dream. :)

      2. Unless you're planning to be near Au Bon Coin anyway, I wouldn't go out of my way to get there... It is a great Bar à Vins, with some original and nice wine selections, but the food is just average (not bad if you're in the neighborhood, but nothing special that would make me take the metro for it...).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rio Yeti

          Thanks! Good to know. I'll take it off my list.

        2. Brioche Doree is not worth your time. There are so many better places in Paris for croissants, brioche, le sandwich, and the like.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            Yes, it didn't even occur to me that you meant the "brioche dorée" chain.... please go to a real bakery instead.

            1. re: ChefJune

              Definitely skip Brioche Dorée. If you absolutely can't live without it, there's one in O'Hare, one in John Wayne Airport, and one in CDG 2B. Ask in any shop where to find a good pâtisserie.

            2. Bistro St. Andre.
              36 Rue St André des Arts, 75006 Paris, France
              01 40 51 74 00
              This is an inexpensive neighborhood place. Latif, the chef, is a really nice guy. The place is very unassuming. We go here at least once a week when we are in Paris. In the warmer weather the tables are set outside and it is a nice place to people-watch and dine. The inside, though is cozy and warm. Food is decent and not fancy. Do check it out if you have the time.

              3 Replies
                1. re: colleency

                  Colleency, if you make it to Bistro St. Andre, write if you liked it. I'm interested to see what you think. Also, almost diagnally across the street to the left, is a great little crepe place..I'm pretty sure it is called Le Creperie. It looks very cavernous when you go inside. Very cozy and fun. Decent crepes at an inexpensive price. Crepes and wine. Nice!

                  1. re: jarona

                    I'll try to write about anyplace that I get to that people have recommended.