Breakfast in Paris

Oct 8th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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"I know that Americans like their fast food, and it is logical that they prefer American-style fast food chains even in France."

Thank you for one of the most idiotic and hysterically funny posts I've ever seen here.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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I'm a VERY early riser and I've often watched and taken pictures of the bakers at Paul on rue de Seine, pulling the dough and forming the loaves for the last rise. It smells pretty good too.
jody is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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How have I managed to miss those croissants with jambon in more than 100 trips to France over all these years? Never, ever seen one of those anyplace but in an American bakery that thinks it's producing French foods.

And FTR, when the original poster asked about getting a half-dozen croissants and a coupla cups of coffee, I assumed he was buying for more than one person. I can't imagine someone eating 6 croissants for breakast (or even 3)! If it WAS all for him, then yes, the 10-euro hotel breakfast is probably a bargain by comparison. If it's for 2 or more people, it would be less expensive to buy the croissants at a boulangerie and the coffee at a café.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Swear to Dieu, it was a croissant - not with jam baked inside with a slice of cheese, like you find in the USand usually too greasy/buttery/slippery to be very palatable, but with a slice of ham served on the side. It's not actually something I'd have thought of, but my friend (a good guy who has a tendency to speak very clearly in English to be understood in any other language) asked for Jam, over and over, and a clever person behind the counter gave him the slice of jambon. True, it happened, around the corner from avenue Victoria.

On the other hand, one of the better French-owned and operated patisseries in NYC (La Bergamote, in Chelsea) has them every day as a sandwich option. Personally I prefer their almond-brioche-french toast.

I must say, some of the remarks here at Fodor's the past week have been remarkably sharp elbowed.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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And, St. Cirq, the last remark wasn't directed at you, my apology if it seemed to be. The rooms in general. I've been reading so many rather nasty comments from people who are (or seem to have been) generally more temperate.

Something in the air?
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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Ah, tomasso, that was just a fluke, then...a cafe server trying to do her best to translate "jam," and coming up with a creative solution...not a typical culinary offering in France, at least not IME.

And yes, there seems to be a good bit of bad energy around here lately.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Thank you for all the replies.

Travelnut, I am totally in the same league with you! I always want breakfast in the room while I get ready. I find that coffee first thing in the morning is the ultimate diuretic for me and "more".

The price is EUR10 for continental breakfast which I understand is a piece of bread. It's EUR16 for the buffet. I'm talking about 4pax here - myself, hubby and 2 kids. I wonder if the kids get to eat for free (6 and 2yo) since they'll probably eat close to nothing. Do I get free coffee refills for the continental? I don't think they have coffee making facilities in Paris hotel rooms, right? I really had no idea that "coffee to go" is practically non-existent in Paris.

Last year, there was a Paul right across our hotel and you could get coffee to go from there. But we didn't really need it.Hubby and I stayed at Best Western in the 6th and breakfast was delivered to the room. Breakfast was included in the price - at least half a dozen pcs of bread and a pot of coffee. I guess I lucked out then especially considering that the hotel room was 50% of this non-breakfast package I am getting this time around. And I thought June was a busier season thatn October.
zizz is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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<<This is a typical element of French culture, which will, of course, be destroyed by chains like Paul and Brioche Doree and Starbucks and McDonalds. Their products might not be bad, but after some time you notice that they taste all the same. And they do not have the freshness and the smell of the neighborhood bakery - no wonder, often the dough is produced in Poland and transported to France.>>

Interestingly, in the US we have concurrent trends, both encouraging and less so. On the one hand, there is still plenty of mass=produced "factory" bread. Then there is the trend to inaccurately named "artisanal" breads at supermarkets: baked on the premises to be fresh hourly, from dough shipped from better-than-factory bakers. Then there is the growing appreciation for good bread made by quality bakers.

Anyway, a lot of us enjoy the bread (and cheese and wine) in France enough to come there for that alone.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Travelnut and zizz... my daughter uses coffee, intentionally, when she needs to..uhm...yeah, you got it. She will be happy to know she is not the only one that coffee has this effect on.

tomas...your unbiased demeanor on this and other threads is much appreciated. I don't know what is going on. Maybe media overdose. Everyone seems to be angry about something and eager to jump on the mob mentality bandwagon. Peace, brother!
sarge56 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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Nothing important to add, just salivating as I read this and thinking about our return in December. I start missing Paris the minute I get home!

Oh, for a cafe creme and almond croissant right now!

MelJ is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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The price is EUR10 for continental breakfast which I understand is a piece of bread.

A typical hotel continental breakfast is:
1-2 bread types(usually a croissant and a crusty roll), butter & jam, juice, and coffee or hot chocolate or tea. Sometimes yogurt... if they start adding cereal or cold cuts/cheese, then it moves toward the buffet style and price.
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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So if I may distill (concentrate?) can go out for a basic breakfast, or eat or your hotel. The hotel breakfast will, in most if not all cases, be more expensive. It may also be more varied. Eating at a hotel may boil down to being a convenience or a food selection issue.

In my case, I don't believe in convenience. Why? Because if I am in Paris, my goal is not to spend my time eating in my room or in a hotel breakfast room. My goal is to be in surroundings that tell me...hey, you're in Paris. So I never eat at a hotel. A croissant, OJ and cafe creme are fine for my breakfast needs. But I want to eat them "in Paris". So I go to the local cafe. I have a relaxing breakfast, read the newspaper, plan my day...and watch the locals coming and going. It plugs me into a little slice of that neighbourhood. After a couple of days, Madame knows what I will order...and for a moment in time I'm a local too.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Michel has a point, but I think I'm the opposite when I travel. I want to get breakfast out of the way so I can move on to other things.

For that reason, I usually do the hotel breakfast. Then I can scoot back to the room to take care of anything that needs to be taken care of -- brushing teeth, etc. But of course that's totall personal preference.

I 2nd Paul and its pastries. Try the pistacchio macaron.

And I too am amused by others who think they know what "Americans like." Mon dieu!
j_999_9 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Paul...pain au chocolat with almond paste ...yum.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Next time book a hotel with breakfast included - there are plenty. 8-)

Also, I second Travelnut's post - nowhere in Paris have I been presented with just a piece of bread for breakfast - usually there are Viennoiserie- I can't spell it, but it means 'pastries', as in Danish pastries, as well as bread, rolls, jam, honey, yoghurts and fruit. Plus tea/coffee/chocolate/fruit juice.
RM67 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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I am pretty sure that ham & cheese croissants were invented for tourists, which is why Brioche Dorée sells them. Not sure about Paul, since I have only set foot in one once in my life.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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"I am pretty sure that ham & cheese croissants were invented for tourists, which is why Brioche Dorée sells them."

What am I missing here? I've seen those Brioche Doree places all over the residential neighborhoods of Paris, and they are filled with locals grabbing their stuff on their way to work. Surely they aren't put in the outlying neighborhoods to cater to tourists? Why would it then be logical to say they have a certain product because they are designed for tourists? Or do they only serve those in the tourist area branches of Brioche Doree and not in the other areas?

There seems to be some repeated implication that all fast food places in Paris are there for Americans. How silly. Parisians are flocking to fast food places as well. That's why more are appearing in totally non tourist areas of Paris (and the rest of France). Just yesterday I saw a report that now 40% of the French population is overweight and the assumption seemed to be that the incredible popularity of fast food restaurants is much to blame.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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What is a cafe creme? I'm going to be in Paris for the first time exactly one week from today!!! It sounds yummy!

And let me tell you, the fact that I can get chocolate and/or almond croissants isn't killing me, either!! WooHOO!!! Man, I could eat that stuff all day!

So..what is a cafe creme?

We're staying on the Ile de la Cite. Where is the closest place to get good croissants and coffee?

Thanks y'all!
sarge56 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Where have you seen a Brioche Dorée in a non-tourist neighborhood, Neo? There is not a single one of them within 2km of my apartment, while there are a number of McDonald's and KFC which have a loyal following among the French residents (okay -- I'll say it -- KFC appeals mostly to African and Chinese immigrants, but they are residents rather than tourists).

I'm not saying that locals don't go to Brioche Doréee -- even I have bought stuff from the one in the Forum from time to time. I'm just saying that ham and cheese croissants are not at all a French tradition and normally a French person would not buy one. However, I would never say that they were invented for Americans, because I always see the Japanese buying them for breakfast, just as you will see the Japanese systematically ordering a ham sandwich with a café au lait for breakfast.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 9th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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cafe creme is, IMO, like a really creamy cappucino--half strong coffee, half thick cream, 100% delicious!

As for where to find good cafe creme and pastries close to the Ille de Cite, just follow your nose to a cafe or patissarie and chances are you'll have an excellent result!

Enjoy your vacation!
MelJ is offline  

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