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"Working Man Bistro's" near 7th... Suggestions?

"Working Man Bistro's" near 7th... Suggestions?

Old Jan 19th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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"Working Man Bistro's" near 7th... Suggestions?

We have just booked our trip (first trip to Paris!!) for June and have spent more on aifaire and hotel than we had planned (yipes, especially the airfare). We're staying at the Muguet (thanks to wonderful reviews on this forum). We are now making a list of places to grab some cheap but good little meals,we love authentic little places, not fancy, with local color and decent food. Would love suggestions, we're making our list.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 06:25 AM
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The Seventh is not an area where you are likely to find anything cheap, and working men haven't been able to afford living in Paris for decades now.

There are plenty of restaurants in the Seventh, of course, but few (none?) in the category you describe. You might try taking the Métro to the opposite corner of town, which still has some remnants of a working-class atmosphere even if the working class has been priced out of the picture for some time now.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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About a block away is Le Bistrot du 7eme, with prix-fixe menus at 12E & 16E. Make sure you have the hotel call in reservations; this place is very popular with locals. The cafe across the street, on the corner, has decent food as well. Here you will see locals eat standing up at the bar (the price is lower if you are not served). Cafe Constant is more upscale, but no pressure to order a complete meal. Quality ingredients and quick service; no reservations taken. For a special dinner, Florimond and Leo le Lion are nearby.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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Anthony is quite right. You won't find a working man's bistro in the 7th. You'll need to get yourself to Belleville or someplace like that if indeed you really are looking for what you say you are.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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I agree with the other responses that you have received but here is a website that I have used to locate inexpensive places in Paris.
www.restos-pas-chers.fr
Click on arrondissment at the left and the map of Paris will come up and you can search the 7th and all the rest of Paris for that matter. Most listings have a photo and some reviews, mostly in French. Maybe it could help.
Peg
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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One of my most memorable meals in Europe in '06 was in Paris while staying at the Muguet and I would consider it to be a "working man's bistro". My memory is sketchy and I don't remember the name so I will attempt to describe exactly where it is. I do know that it was on Rue Cler. Walk to Rue Cler from your hotel (don't worry, they can tell you how to get there). There will be a post office on the corner on the left side when you get to Rue Cler. Walk about half way down the block on your left and there will be a little cafe with outdoor (think patio) seating and a bar when you immediately walk inside. From doing a little research on-line, it may be Cafe du Mache'. It was such a simple meal but oh, so good! We had a sandwich that we here in the US (or at least in the midwest) would call a pizza bread. It was served with a salad that had the most amazing mustard-based vinagarette. We tried to duplicate the dressing by buying several different brands at the grocery store there but, although good, did not compare to that little cafe! Perhaps they made their own?? Nothing like it has ever been found in the US. The sandwich was just so incredibly tasty. I wouldn't even bother to think it could duplicated here in the US. Last day in Paris, I went to the cafe for the same meal for a takeout to go take back to the hotel so my mother didn't need to go out (don't tell Catherine, the owner of the hotel. Eating in room strictly forbidden.) Alas, the cafe didn't sell lunch and we were not going to be there by dinner time. That one simple meal stands out among all the others in all the rest of Europe! If the cafe is gone when I return this year, I'll be in a lifelong depression .

As for the hotel: nice, but be prepared for an attitude from the owner. One day when we asked her where to go for lunch, she went into a tirade about "no eating in my rooms. I am the owner and I do not allow eating my rooms!" I simply didn't think there was a reason to tell her we weren't planning on eating that lunch in our room. Besides, I think her main reason for pointing this out was to let us know she was the owner of the hotel. How superior that must have made her feel . Of course, the defiant, child side of us took over and we felt a tremendous compulsion to eat in that room. All others at the hotel were very nice though so our stay there was mostly pleasant. We were somewhat surprised when the taxi dropped us at the hotel. We were in what would be considered a back alley here at home! We quickly got over the back alley feeling though and felt the hotel was well located for what we wanted to see and do. I don't recall the hotel being as nice as their pictures on their site (everyone knows those fresh flowers in the rooms are just for the pictures, right?) but all in all, not at all bad.

A tip that I don't see very often on these forums: try the hop-on, hop-off buses (they seem to be in every good-sized European city). You will find them at every tourist location (Louvre, Notre Dame, etc). You get on, go to whatever site, get back on when you are finished visiting the site, and travel to the next. They seem to appear at each site about every 15 minutes or so. They have headphones available in several languages. I seem to recall the buses were reasonably priced for what they offer. The stop closest to Muguet was practically behind the Muguet. Again, memory is sketchy but I'm sure they can tell you where to hop-on.

Another Rue Cler suggestion, again on the left side (when walking from the hotel) is a great little creperie. Don't even think about sitting there to eat one though. I think the additional cost was like 7E! We got ours and sat across the street on a cement wall and ate and people watched. Who needs their darned table anyway!

Congrats on your first trip. I bet it won't be your last!
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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I just gotta chime in again about the Café du Marché, which IMO is one of the worst places to eat in all of Paris?

Ever peeked into the kitchen? It looks like a slaughterhouse. Check out the waiters' aprons - look like they just butchered a steer. That place is just downright dirty. It gives me the creeps. And it's not a local, working man's place; it's filled to the gills with Americans carrying their Rick Steves guides.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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St Cirq has really hit it on the head. Besides it not being a "working man's" neighborhood, it IS a Rick Steeves followers neighborhood
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Rue St. Dominique must have a few. Otherwise, the place to look would be around La Motte Piquet-Grenelle metro station.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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>Ever peeked into the kitchen?

One should never peek into a resto kitchen, anywhere.

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 01:05 PM
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Fouquet's received a warning on rats and cockroaches.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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I want to clarify that the restaurant I was referring to may not be Cafe du Marche'. As a matter of fact, after further searching, it's possible it may be Tribeca. It may be neither, but I still suggest checking it out, Rick Steve's neighborhood or not. If tourists are there, they're usually there for a reason.

You're absolutely right Ira, "One should never peek into a resto kitchen, anywhere." It ain't Grandma's kitchen.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Well, to be precise, I didn't "peek" into the kitchen. I was seated in that warren-like, overheated, smelly room at the back of the restaurant, close to the door of the kitchen, and every time a waiter went in or out, the door flew open and I had a direct look in...NOT a pretty sight!
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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>>If tourists are there, they're usually there for a reason.<,

Often that reason is fast food, food like we have at home in the USA (or wherever they're from), large places that can accommodate tour groups, restaurants that look pretty from the outside, "theme" restaurants, restaurants praised by travel guides, etc.

The restaurants most visited by first-time tourists (Fisherman's Wharf restaurants) where I live (San Francisco), are avoided at all costs my most locals - who probably have a better understanding of the dining "scene" than most visitors.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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&quot;<i> If tourists are there, they're usually there for a reason.</i>&quot; - yes - because it was recommended by some guidebook that is carried by every third person off the plane.
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 02:47 AM
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I just returned from Paris. My favorite meal is the creperie on rue Cler, order the &quot;speciale&quot; for 5 euros. Take plenty of napkins and walk around the upscale neighborhood. Yum. I also love to go to Chez Agnes [it's like going to your French aunt's house for dinner] and l'Auberge du Champ de Mars [get the fish in a bag]. Both are on the way to the Eiffel Tour from the hotel.
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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Travelynn: I am in the midst of planning yet another trip to Paris ( 10th or 11th) and have some definite places we will be eating at.
Your needs could be taken care of at: Le Bar des Artisans, 40 rue de Montreuil(metro;Faideherbe-Chaligny)
OK - it's not in the 7th - but hey, 3 courses for 9.50euros!

Another Dave-in-Paris reccommendation which was great was the the delightful Bistro du Peintre, 116 Avenue Ledru Rollin.
Delicious food like mom's (if mom were a very good French cook! ).

Next on my list (never tried) is
Le Vin Sobre, 25 Rue Feuillantines,(near the Val-de-Grace). The food looks amazing on the website.

And of course you HAVE to endure the very famous Chartier, 7 Faubourg Montmartre ,9eme.
Customers are an interesting mixture of students, tourists( a lot) and impecunious Parisians. Look for the 'Menu Conseille`' which is always good value.
The 1920's decor alone makes the place worth a visit!

Lastly, Le Polidor, 41 M.-le-Price, 6eme(metro Odeon) was mentioned on this board sometime last year. Described in one of my many books on Paris as really &quot;Vieux Paris&quot;. Be warned though - the toilets are a`la Turque and ancient.

Happy hunting!
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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There are indeed some little inexpensive places serving decent, non-gourmet food in rather spartan surroundings where the local working(not necessarily residents) people eat; 2 that come to mind are Chez Germaine on rue Pierre Leroux with no reservations and usually a line out on the sidewalk;and Au Babylone on the street of that name, just around the corner from Le Bon March&eacute;. Oakglen's recommendations are also tough to beat for the price and are closer to your hotel.
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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I love hearing the usual suggestion that if tourists are there it must be bad -- really even funnier than if tourists are there they are there for a reason.

Tons of tourists here and on numerous other websites ask and seek out good restaurants. Dozens of people here talk about going to Tallievent. Are we to assume that it is now strictly a &quot;low class&quot; tourist place because you'll always see lots of tourists there? There are all kinds of tourists and many will see a place that looks like home or pick a place that is listed in dozens of guidebooks. But even today's guidebooks CAN be very selective in recommending really fine and &quot;authentic&quot; type restaurants.

I really laugh these days when someone says they want a place that the tourists haven't found. Many tourists are obsessed with finding the best and often the &quot;off the beaten path discovery&quot;, so if a place does not have ANY tourists, it probably isn't very good!
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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When I go to Asia, I almost always go to tourist restaurants. Otherwise, it is too complicated (for me).

There are some excellent tourist restaurants in Paris -- I have been to plenty of them myself without being a tourist.
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