Chez Grand-Mère – Le Chablis in Paris

There’s a small restaurant around the corner from my office in Paris. It’s affectionately called “Chez Grand-Mère” as it is owned by the grand mother of a colleague. But there’s more than just a tangential relationship; as the warm reception makes everyone feel like her favorite grand child.

Even though I moved away from Paris a few months ago and returned this week, my Parisian grandmother didn’t miss a step. When it came time to order she remembered I was a vegetarian and suggested a wonderful spinach/cheese tart for an appetizer and mixed omelette with fries. Frankly, I was ready to change the fries to spinach as a customer was given their plate with a pile of great looking greens.

From inside the cafe

Chez Grand-Mère Le Chablis has a small menu written on chalk boards hanging on the walls. You can expect at least one lacto/ovo vegetarian option. I especially enjoy their terrine with chevre and sun dried tomatoes.

They are open for lunch and you can expect to pay 12-16 euros for a two or three course meal. That includes a healthy dose of grandmotherly love.

Le Chablis
12 rue Guillaime Tell (17°)
Metro: Porte de Champerret, Pereire
01 43 80 02 83
Wheelchair Friendly: Entrance and restaurant are a bit tight but it is manageable. No steps for entrance. I don’t know about the restroom
  • Overall: 3.5/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Location: 3/5
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 3/5
  • Vegan Options: 2/5
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Le Bistro du Peintre in Paris

Eggplant lasagna at le Bistro du PeintreBehind the Bastille is an area that is a little rough around the edges. It’s filled with restaurants, bars, and late-night activity. Le Bistro du Peintre sits on the edge of this section.

I stopped here during a chilly, rainy summer evening. The outdoor seating has a nice heater and lighting for a comfortable place to enjoy a meal and a book. Luckily they also had a couple vegetarian options.

While I was in the mood for a salad, their eggplant lasagna sounded like a better choice. The lasagna comes in a small terrine with layers of eggplant and sauce. It’s not your traditional lasagna with gobs of sauce and cheese. This is a lighter version with a slightly spicy sauce.

This also came with a mozzarella and tomato salad and rustic bread. The salad was nice, but had some crunchy bits that made me wonder if the lettuce was washed completely. It had a healthy portion of fresh mozzarella and a sampling of tapenade for flavor.

Comfort + Food

le Bistro du Peintre in ParisAs I mentioned earlier, their outdoor seating area was quite comfortable. I pulled out my French history book and enjoyed reading for over an hour while watching the rain come down in heavy sheets. Evenings are special in Paris during the summer. A hearty meal, a good book, and a comfortable chair are what Paris memories are made of.

Your Meat Eating Friends will be Happy

Le Bistro du Peintre also has a good reputation for the standard meat-based bistro dishes, such as tartar, duck confit, and marrow bones. So this is also a good choice if you are dining with a bunch of meat eating friends.

Le Bistro du Peintre
16, av Ledru-Rollin (11°)
Metro: Ledru-Rollin, Bastille
01 47 00 34 39
  • Overall: 3/5
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 3/5
  • Vegan Options: 1/5
  • Meat Eating Friends: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Location: 3.5/5

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La Chope Champerret brasserie

What do you get when you cross a traditional French brasserie with excessive American portions? You’d get La Chope Champerret, a restaurant in the 17th arrindissement.

It was shocking to see these huge salads for the first time. Not that it stopped me from ordering them, mind you. There’s enough cheese on them to sink a battle ship! And my gut is a combination of a frigate and a destroyer!
Chevre salad in Paris
But this is France and food is about quality over quantity. So I’m happy to report the salads are just as tasty as they are huge. I’ve had the Sequine with a poached egg and chevre tartines, as well as the Parisienne (without the ham). The Parisienne’s cheese count was downright obscene and I loved every minute of it.

I’m still on a damn diet so I haven’t tried the crème brûlée, but I’ve been told it is to die for. I’ve also seen someone with the cafe gourmande that looked decadent.

La Chope Champerret is right next to the Porte de Champerret metro exit (line 3). It has patio seating and only a small step to enter. I don’t know what the bathroom situation is like, but it seems pretty wheelchair friendly.

La Chope Champerret
143, Avenue de Villiers (17°)
01 43 80 80 64
Metro: Porte de Champerret
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Location: 4/5
  • Taste: 4.5/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 4/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 3/5
  • M.E.F. Friendly: 5/5

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Le Pain Quotidien – Marais bistro and bakery

I first saw this restaurant on a cold rainy Sunday. The place was packed and people were waiting under umbrellas for a chance to sit down. Luckily tonight it was slow and I have throughly enjoyed the peaceful evening.

Le Pain Quotidien sits in the heart of the Marais. It triangulates BHV, the grand department store and Quetzal, a popular old gay bar. There’s a steady stream of pedestrians with a soft cacophony of voices and laughter.

Le Pain Quotidien’s attention to details makes this small boulangerie/bistro a real winner. Everything is presented beautifully and with careful attention. I sat outside in the patio where I was provided not only a space heater, but also a small blanket for my lap.

The tables and chairs are simple, yet comfortable. Which explains much of this restaurant’s charm. I especially appreciated individual grinders for sea salt and black pepper, not to mention a nice bottle of olive oil on every table.

The menu is rather short, it features a variety of tartines, salads, and casseroles. Much of it is either meat or cheese based, but there are a few salads for the vegans. There’s also a selection of pastries inside and a small store of organic items.

I recently visited a vegetarian restaurant that featured great food but disappointing bread. Le Pain Quotidien took this organic, whole wheat, daily bread to a whole new level. It was soft, flavorful, and served as not only the foundation for the tartine, but a critical part of its texture and flavor.
Dinner at Le Pain Quotidien in the Marais
I ordered the Tartine with chevre, pears, and honey. It was served with a nice salad and melon. I followed this with a pot of mint tea. The flavors were clean and distinct.

My only criticism is the service. While it was very friendly, the staff ignored the few of us in the outdoor patio. I didn’t mind too much, as i enjoyed the opportunity to relax and catch up on writing cards and working on the computer. Bring a book or a friend to fill the time before appearances.

Le Pain Quotidien is a wonderful addition to my list of restaurants. I will certainly return in the future.

Note: This is a chain of restaurants in Europe. This review is specific to the Marais restaurant and may not reflect on all of them. The branch in the London train station certainly doesn’t have the same atmosphere or food quality. However, it does feature some nice muffins and coffee/tea.

Le Pain Quotidien
18-20, rue des Archives (4°)
01 44 54 03 07
Hotel de Ville
Boulangerie, Bistro
  • Overall: 5/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 5/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 4/5
  • M.E.F. Friendly: 5/5

Chez Prosper – 11th Arr.

Sometimes you need a stick to your ribs dinner. Sometimes you need a joyful place to eat with noisy locals and waiters with a sense of humor. Sometimes you need a place you can always count on for a good meal. Sometimes you need all of the above.

Chez Prosper salad chevalier
Chez Prosper is a busy bistro tucked into the corner of Place Nation. It sits in the shadow of an old tax collecting station from the old gates of Paris. It’s a retro-bistro that looks as if it has been serving the masses for the past 100 years.

It’s not a vegetarian restaurant but it does feature one of my favorite salads of all time.

The Salad Chevalier is simple, yet ultimately satisfying. It starts with a layer of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Then a heaping layer of sautéed potato slices are added. Topping off this salad is a tartine with three melted cheeses.

Salad dressing is provided in an old coke bottle for you to use as much as you like. Personally, I pour on this sunflower oil/mustard dressing. I’ve never left Chez Prosper without being full, happy, and satisfied.

If your meat eating friends are like mine, they’ll enjoy the salmon in blue cheese sauce and the steak tartar. I also recommend the dark chocolate tart with extra crème anglais for the finale.

Pros: Chez Prosper is a great value for your dollar, the Salad Chevalier will cost around 10.50 Euros. No reservations are required. The bread is bottomless. The staff is contagiously happy. Chez Prosper has two sister restaurants with slightly different menus.

Cons: It can get crowded, noisy, and smoky indoors. But that is what you’d expect in a popular Parisian bistro.

Chez Prosper
7, Avenue du Trône, Paris France 75011
Metro: Nation
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 3/5
  • Vegan Options: 2/5
  • Value: 5/5
  • Location: 4/5