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Sep 30, 2013 06:18 PM

Oct trip - what needs reservations and other questions...

Little help, folks?

12th trip to Paris. These days the trip is bi-annual, traveling with hubby and 11yo son. I use a wheelchair so we are limited to walking, taxis, or buses-and-a-lot-of-patience. I can leave the chair and am reasonably portable so the usual tight quarters are no problem; flights of stairs are a problem. Survival-level French, and the wheelchair seems to make people more patient as I butcher the language; we are not afraid of French menus. We enjoy a mix of modern and traditional French, casual and less so. We have learned that not every meal need be the lights-out-best - but I also do hate to "waste" a meal on poor/mediocre food when that can be avoided.

Range is really an issue for us; we rely so much on taxis that we can make a few far-flung trips from our hotel in the 6th, but too many are $$ and hassle-filled. Combining food with other options help - will probably spend some time at the Canal St. Martin as we haven't had a chance to check it out yet. We are arriving on a Sunday, which makes dinner a challenge between the few places that are open and our own jet lag.

I've been working from my own interests/experience, and reading the boards to try to catch up with all the changes between trips… here's a list of possibilities by location. I would welcome your thoughts, particularly on:

* where to eat on Sunday when we're cranky and tired - would L'Ecume des Bulles work for a full meal?
* if ANY of these places (or others?) are either so roomy (or outdoor and step-free) that I might consider visting in the electric chair I'm renting for the first time - would be shocked to get a recommendation here, but you never know…
* what places really need reservations - we're late in planning this time and are hoping to be a bit more casual schedule-wise in any case.
* has anyone been to KGB? Might be a better fit for us this trip than Ze Kitchen Gallerie
* whether any of these are now "consensus-awful" :)

Thanks for your patience reading this far! The list (*s are places we've enjoyed in not-too-distant past):

1st: Chez Denise - La Tour de Montlhéry, Yam'Tcha
2nd: Chez Georges*
3rd: Cafe des Musees
4th: Premices
5th: Le Bistro des Gastronomes, Itineraires, Petit Pontoise, La Rôtisserie La Terrasse du Laurier, Terroir Parisien
6th: La Bastide Odeon*, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, La Cuisine de Philippe, L'Ecume des Bulles, Joséphine "Chez Dumonet", Kitchen Galerie Bis (KGB)
7th: Cinq Mars, Les Cocottes, Cafe Constant*
10th: Youpi et Voilà
11th: Le 6 Paul Bert
14th: L'Assiette
17th: Petit Champerret, L'Entredgeu

JT, Ptipois, mangeur, et al, what say you?

Many thanks -Karen

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  1. I say that your list is wonderfully rounded.

    I would not consider my electric chair a hindrance. We do see them in many rooms. Also, please know that many buses are wheel chair accessible and that drivers and riders are extraordinarily patient and helpful in receiving them and accommodating riders.

    Our MO is to always reserve, if only the day or morning before. It shows that you care enough about dining at a given place to commit beforehand. You can always cancel if you decide not to go, and, of course, please do when necessary to do so. Also, I would mention a wheelchair when making any reservation, if only to allow them to save a particularly comfortable table for you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      Thanks mangeur! I travel in a manual chair when I'm not in the US; adding an electric this time to add some independent range; but really, pretty much EVERY place I can think of has either a large threshold or step that would prohibit entry. Which is really fine, as I'll use the manual for meals 95% of the time. But if you know of the specific 5%...

      Agree on the same-day resos, that's often our MO too. Was trying to identify places that absolutely need more notice.

      1. re: kvdcmu

        I am not familiar (read: it is interesting how much evades our consciousness when it doesn't affect us! ) with steps except at one restaurant you didn't include. You mentioned that you could walk a bit away from your chair. Would this allow you to leave it for a few steps to walk up just one step into the room? This might make a major difference.

        If I were planning a visit, I would book at least a week ahead at Yam'Tcha (probably 2), Itineraires, Terrior Parisien, Josephine, KGB, Youpi, 6 Paul Bert. But that's just me and I'm an overplanner as well as a practicing paranoid.

        1. re: mangeur

          I agree with the booking recommendation especially for the evenings, lunches can be more spontaneous.

          Also a very good call on the buses and their access - it is very good with suspension that drops to facilitate access (and big spaces near the door for chairs or strollers) on many of them - especially the new ones. The RAPT site has an excellent app for route planning and mapping out stops - its in French but is easy to navigate.

          One word of caution - don't get caught on the wrong side of the Canal - the bridges have steep narrow steps...!

    2. "JT" Sorry, just saw this: I've found Itineraires and Petit Pontoise inconsistent; never been to La Rôtisserie La Terrasse du Laurier and La Cuisine de Philippe and not been to L'Entredgeu in several years (in fact that's true about a lot of places since I eat out at new joints about 85% of the time).
      " I might consider visting in the electric chair". When I used to work for Time Out Paris we were required to look at the door entrance and bathroom access and note their friendliness to wheelchairs and crutches. I just Googled them and no such notation survives but David Liebowitz has a nice summary of sites and there are others as well. My mind doesn't work like Parnassien's so I cannot recall roominess offhand but none of these places is excessively roomy in my recollection. We wrestled with a similar issue Sunday with a pousette and it was not easy.
      I think for Sunday night you'll find some recent discussions here (my favorite in Axuria) and I prefer Ze over KGB because I love the atmosphere provided by William & Cedric.
      I would agree with Mabgeur to always reserve, even if the same day.