If you remember a few blogs ago I mentioned the fact that as French, we dine in with our friends but on occasions, we will dine out, picking ethnic food for a change. Usually aiming at dishes that are hard to cook or that require lots of skills.
So in Paris let me tell you a bit of the type of food we go for.
It doesn’t really come as a surprise as it is not only widely available, easy to satisfy everyone with the menu and not really expensive, yet because of the sheer number of pizzerias, it can be hard to find a good one, while I can challenge Italians on the cooking of fresh pastas and making a sauce to go with, I’m not equipped nor skilled enough to make a great pizza. So when I eat Italian I go for a Pizza Napolitana and I go to “Pink Mama”, a Napolitan restaurant where the Pizzaïolo is Napolitan, the flour is Napolitan and the tomatoes are Napolitan and for roughly $18 I have a fantastic pizza, the type that you don’t even leave the crust on the side, the pizza is thin, the mozzarella super fresh and the dough texture is literally fresh out of the oven bred (and you are talking to someone that eats bread at every meals).
Metro Line 12 and 2 – Pigalle
This is nearly a national dish, it comes under different shapes depending whether it is Moroccan, Algerian or Tunisian but this is the second most popular dish, the abundance of vegetable that have long cooked in the beef and mutton stock with the spices, served with multiple meats like grilled lamb, spicy Merguez sausages (veal), beef and chicken and the famous semolina, you are in for a treat and long meal. I would give you two tips to fully enjoy a couscous, first drink in as small quantities you can otherwise it will bloat your stomach, the other one is if you like the spicy Harissa sauce use the ladle with some stock and dilute a teaspoon of harissa in it this will avoid having a super spicy sauce stuck with semolina. Also don’t be surprised the best couscous are not found in Posh looking restaurants, this a family dish and the best served couscous are usually in nearly non-descript types of restaurant, my pick is “Chez Mamane” in the 13th district of Paris where for $25 with wine (Boulaouane Gris) you will leave without needing a meal for a good 24h.
Metro Line 6 – Corvisart
Last but not least, this another popular pick for food, however it is tricky to find a real good Japanese restaurant since 20 years many Chinese have reconverted into Sushi/Yakitori restaurants. Two important things to know about Japanese food, it is not cheap, the ingredients, the quality, the import of the sauces and spices make it more expensive than others so if you see a cheap Japanese restaurant it likely is not Japanese or high quality. The second thing is that Japanese food is segmented, traditionally in Japan you go for a type of food that everyone will follow, be it Ramen or Udon noodles, Sushis and Sashimis or grilled Yakitoris so again if you see a restaurant that offers tens of different choices it won’t be fantastic and Japanese do not do Buffet style !!!!
So you can enjoy pork or chicken deep fried cutlets at “Tonkatsu Tombo” for $25
Metro line 7, 4, 6 and 13 Montparnasse
Fantastic Ramen and the best Gyoza dumplings in Paris at “Hakata Choten” for $25
Metro Line 7 and 14 – Pyramides
Lovely thick Udon Noodles (cold or hot) at “Kunitoraya Bistro” for $20
Metro Line 7 and 14 – Pyramides
Fresh Sushi and Sashimi at “Le Bar A Sushi Izumi” with Chef Takahashi $30~$80
Metro Line 2 – Rome or Villiers