Results tagged cafe express from David Lebovitz

A Very Good Steak frites in Paris

Café des Musées

(UPDATE: Café des Musées changed owners in the Fall of 2014 and I’ve heard mixed reports from locals and visitors. I haven’t been back since the change of proprietors so an unable to provide a personal report about any changes. But I will update this post when I return.)

I’m not the only one who is sometimes confounded by the French language. We recently had lunch at Café des Musées and my (French) partner ordered the entrecôte. Which I was eyeing on the menu, as I always do. But since I just finished a holiday food binge of epic proportions (plus a recent trip to San Francisco, where I gorged on tortillas, chow fun, and burritos), I decided to be a little more prudent and order the daily chalkboard special, a game dish that came with a salade de saison.

Café des Musées

Americans have an interesting relationship with steaks and beef: Before ordering, most people want to know what cut they’re going to get. Fair enough, as the French have their own specific cuts, such as bavette, onglet, rumsteack, and faux filet, among others. Much to visitors chagrin, they don’t all necessarily correspond to American or British (or other) cuts of beef that visitors are used to.

And although Americans are used to eating a wider swath of foods than we’re given credit for, most of us want to know exactly what is coming when we order our food: we want to know how it’s going to be cooked, what it’s going to be served with, if there is sauce with it – and often, if we can modify it in some way, and if we can take the rest home if we don’t finish it all.

Beef cuts France

(Since cuts of beef aren’t my area of specialty, I’ve been know to carry around a diagram of a cow with the French beef cuts denoted, showing which cut comes from where, and let them fend for themselves. Yet sometimes the menu or chalkboard descriptions are a little obtuse, like pièce du boucher or morceau de bœuf, which are “selection of the butcher” and “piece of beef”, respectively, which prompts a lot of questions. And for those times, I usually excuse myself to use the restroom and come back after they’ve ordered. Which I hope doesn’t make me a bad friend.)

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10 Ideas for Food Trucks in Paris

Pierre Hermé Truck

Aside from a few crêpe stands here and there, Paris isn’t a city known for street food. And malheureusement, that Pierre Hermé truck isn’t open for business…although wouldn’t that be nice.

(However if it was, I would probably race around my house in search of spare change every time I heard it coming toward me, like I did when the Good Humor ice cream truck approached when I was a kid. Or haranguing my poor mother to dig furiously through her purse to dig up 40 cents for a toasted coconut ice cream bar to calm down her semi-hysterical child.)

Sure, come mid-day, the sidewalks of Paris are packed with people scarfing down les sandwichs (sic), which seem to have taken over as the lunch of choice in Paris. It’s nice to see the crowds and lines at the local bakeries, but it’s sad to see the long(er) lines at Subway sandwich shops, which I suspect are because people are craving a little creativity with what’s between the bread. And while the one Subway sandwich I had in my life was inedible – I didn’t realize you could screw up a sandwich…until then – I think the locals are fascinated by the varieties offered. Plus they’re made-to-order, and served warm.

The French do have versions of les ventes ambulantes, such as the pizza trucks parked alongside the roads in the countryside and there are the gorgeous spit-roasted chickens sold at the markets and butcher shops in Paris. But recently an American launched a roving food truck in Paris to staggering success, and a second one followed her lead. And judging from the line-up, it’s mostly French folks angling for a bite to eat.

While I’m happy for my fellow compatriots, and I love a good burger as much as the French seem to (judging from the crowds), I can’t help thinking how kooky it is that American cooks get to have all the fun, and some French cooks might want to get in on the action. Here’s a few ideas I’ve been thinking about…

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La Caféothèque de Paris

coffee roasting

I’ve pretty much said everything I could about the “coffee issue” in Paris here*, but one place that’s trying to buck the trend is La Caféothèque, a shop and café that roasts coffee beans from all over the world. It’s also one of the (very) few places in Paris where I’ve seen a person preparing café express (espresso) correctly, using a tamping device, and actually taking great care with the coffee they’re serving.

A place that roasts and grind their owns beans is no longer a big deal back in America. Of course, it’s gotten a little overdone with all the pomp and circumstance just to get a cup of coffee. (I prefer the Italian model of lining up at the counter, having a quick, well-made shot, then moving on, rather than the whole big to-do in certain places just to get a cup of coffee.) But in Paris, it’s practically unthinkable to roast your own beans, or spend a lot of time preparing the coffee. Yet a few savvy and concerned coffee lovers have opened a handful of coffee shops that specialize in using good beans, properly roasted, and preparing the coffee with care and attention to flavor. It’s a trend that many of us here are hoping will continue.

coffee grinder controls

I was meeting a writer who is researching coffee at La Caféotheque, who’d brought me a lovely gift of coffee beans, just-roasted, from one of those groovy coffee places back in the states.

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Where to Find a Good Cup of Coffee in Paris

Telescope coffee in Paris

Because of all the changes in the Paris coffee scene, I’ve been updating this post regularly as a good number of places have opened in the last few years in Paris, that focus on well-crafted, artisan coffees. It’s been a wonderful revolution taking place, as many people – some French, others from Australia and the United States, have been conscientiously been upgrading the quality of the coffee available in Paris.

A number of coffee-lovers, myself included, were disappointed in the coffee served in Paris. In The Sweet Life in Paris, I noted a number of reasons why the coffee tastes the way it does, from using inferior coffee beans to laxadaiscal attitudes toward preparing it. However a lot has changed and while the corner cafés are still stuck brewing and extracting that unfortunate brew they’ve been serving since time began, a number of places have opened up and expanded the coffee offerings in Paris. Here are some addresses. Visit their websites for opening hours.

deux express

Below you’ll find a list of places where you can get well-prepared coffee in Paris:


A spate of other coffee bars have recently opened in Paris. Here is a list of them:

L’Arbre à Café
10, rue de Nil (10th)

Café Lomi
9, rue de Saussure (17th)

Télescope
5, rue Villedo (1st)

Café Pinson
6, rue du Forez (3rd)

Tuck
13, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Le-Bal
6, Impasse de La Defénse (18th)

Coutume Café
47, rue Babylon (7th) – and other addresses

Folks and Sparrows
14, rue Saint-Sebastien (11th)

Ten Belles
10, rue de la Grange aux Belles (10th)

Le Rocketship
13, bis rue Henri Monnier (9th)

Café Craft
24, rue des Vinaigriers (10th)

The Broken Arm
12, rue Perrée (3rd)

Belleville Brûlerie
10, rue Pradier (20th) – check website for hours

Holybelly
19, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Lockwood
73, rue d’Aboukir (2nd)

Fondation Café
16, rue Dupetit-Thouars (3rd)

Fragments
76, rue des Tournelles (3rd)



And here are a few others:



Espressamente Illy
13, rue Auber (9th)
Métro: Opéra, RER: Auber

and

15, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie (6th)
Métro: Odéon

Concept stores and cafés for Illy coffee. A machine precisely tamps the coffee into the filter holder with the perfect amount of pressure, assuring you of a real Italian espresso.



Café Malongo
50, rue Saint-André des Arts (6th)
RER: St. Michel

Café Malongo is one of the better brands of store-bought coffee available in France. In their café near place St. Michel, you can drink a decent cup of coffee, but specify exactly how you want it since they often extract coffee “French-style” (ie: watery) The have a kiosk in the Monoprix, near the gare Montparnasse, but the coffee is disappointing.



Caldo Freddo
34, rue Montorgueil (1st)
Métro: Les Halles

A wonderful little panini place serves really good Italian espresso, which you can enjoying standing at the panini-length counter.



La Briciola
64, rue Charlot (3rd)
Métro: Filles du Calvaire

Pizza from Naples is the specialty here, and the excellent espresso they pour, using Kimbo coffee, is a fine way to finish a meal.



Comme à Lisbonne
37, rue du Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: Hôtel de Ville or St. Paul

Portuguese coffee made with care. Be sure to try one of the delicious pastéis de nata tartlets with your excellent cup. (More at Comme à Lisbon)



La Caféothèque
52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)
Métro: St. Paul or Hôtel de Ville

This shop is dedicated to roasting their own coffee, and aside from their café, offers courses in coffee-tasting and appreciation. The coffee is adequate, but they get points for making the effort to extract a proper café express. (More at La Caféotheque de Paris.)



Sugarplum Cake Shop
68, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (5th)
Métro: Place Monge or Cardinal Lemoine

Organic and fair-trade coffee, served in a bottomless cup, American-style in this laid-back bakery and café.



Pozzetto
39, rue de Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: St. Paul

Pozzetto is one of my favorite gelato shops in Paris, and one of the few serving the real thing. Ditto for the coffee, which is a true Italian espresso.



Cafés Verlet
256, rue Saint-Honoré (1st)

One of the classic Paris coffeehouses with Parisian-style coffee, although connoisseurs from elsewhere might be disappointed, and it’s not at the top of my list. (But locals seem to like it.)



Gocce di Caffè
25, Passage des Panoramas (2nd)
Métro: Bourse or Grand Boulevards

Wine bar with good coffee.



Kooka Boora
62, rue des Martyrs (9th)
Métro: Saint-Georges or Anvers

This Australian import is one of the latest places to bring good coffee to Paris. There is outdoor seating. (More at Kooka Boora.)



Nespresso
Various locations (click on link for addresses)

Nespresso has its fans and while I’m not as enamored of it as others, the pre-determined machines and capsules ensure the coffee is extracted to their standardized specifications. There are shop and cafés at various places in Paris, including on the Champs-Elysées.



goûtez un café rare





Related Entries and Links

La Caféothèque de Paris

Belleville Brûlerie and Holybelly

Good Coffee in Paris (Paris Coffee Blog)

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Aussie Coffee for Paris (Financial Times)

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking & Shopping

How not to drink black tar in Paris (ChezPim)

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

Making Perfect Espresso at Illy

Espresso granita affogato (Recipe)

Coffee and Espresso Makers For the Home

10 Things I Just Learned About Coffee

New wave hits Paris (The Age)

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Cake (Recipe)

Delving Deeper Into Coffee

Bad Coffee in Paris? (Lonely Planet)