Freddie’s Deli

Pastrami at Freddie's

[Update: As of November 2015, Freddie’s Deli has closed and Kristin has turned it into GreenHouse.]

Parisians have been welcoming an influx of foods coming from a few unexpected shores for a number of years now – tacos, hamburgers, tortillas, banh mi in mobile form, and now, pastrami. I’ve never seen anyone with a more far-away look of longing than my French partner after recounting a giant pastrami sandwich in New York, piled high on soft rye bread. On a tip a few years ago, someone sent us to Coffee Parisien for his fix. And he was so irked with the thin, wan slices of pastrami between the bread that he walked over to the kitchen and told them they were doing it all wrong. (And now you know why I have to be on my toes around here all the time!)

However there was no need for that at Freddie’s Deli. Located in a charming little square, you’ll find the white tiled storefront, the brainchild of Kristin Frederick, who launched the burger and food truck craze in Paris with Le Camion qui Fume.

Pastrami sandwichFreddie's deli in paris
Tyrrell's chipsbrownie

She just opened her place, but since it was mid-summer and everyone else had pretty much scrammed from Paris, we took a nice walk up toward the Belleville neighborhood. It was a nice evening and a few folks were hanging out at the tables outside. I was a little surprised that the menu is in French, which sounds funny, but I think things like “pastrami” and “cheese-steak” are kind of universal (like croissant and macaron). So although I haven’t had to do it in a while, I had to ask the counterman to translate the menu into English. The Brooklyn Beer, I understood.*

Brooklyn Lager

Le Goodman is bœuf fumé, cornichons, moutarde (pastrami, pickles and mustard), and that was what we came for. But there are also Fines tranches d’entrecôte, légumes grillés (Philly cheese steak) and Le Olé Moly, carnitas with guacamole and spiced cheese. (Sandwiches are €10-12, and there is a formule that includes a drink and chips for around €13**.)

Freddie's Deli Paris

Of course, we both ordered pastrami, made on the premises, which is brined in-house for 7 to 10 days then left to marinate in spices for a few days before it’s ready to be smoked and steamed. Since it was near closing time and they still figuring out how much to order, they had two slices of rye bread left (made by baker Gontran Cherrier) so I was a good sport and had my sandwich on a bun made by another local baker, the same ones Kristin uses for her hamburger truck. Pastrami sandwiches anywhere are kind of a happy heap o’ meat, and these were no exception. I was glad I got the bun because the sandwich was hard-to-contain, although Romain had no trouble finishing it all off…then tackling the rest of mine.

pastrami on rye

I couldn’t wait to get to the brownie, which I had my eye on ever since it landed at our table. (Which they gave me to try – and it was great.)

Wash Your hands

We were very happy with everything, although I’ve lost my ability to tackle American-sized portions. Luckily I was with a French person – and the tables I guess, have turned, and it was he who polished off every last bit of pastrami on our table. Thankfully Paris is still a walking city, especially during the summer. And thankfully, the trip home was downhill.

22, rue Crespin du Gast (11th)


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  • Diane Cooper
    July 28, 2013 12:43pm

    That is a tasty looking pastrami sandwich!! The rye bread looks like an afterthought though!
    Wipe your chin, I think there is some mustard there!!!

    (holy, first commenter!)

  • Chzplz
    July 28, 2013 1:25pm

    Toasted rye? That’d be sacrilegious in Montreal. Is that a NY thing?

    A smoked meat on rye (medium fat please) with fries at Schwartz’s in Montreal would run you CAD$11.25 (abt €8.50?), so I’m not slightly surprised at Freddie’s prices.

    • July 28, 2013 1:28pm
      David Lebovitz

      In New York, it’s usually untoasted rye, except on a Reuben. Schwartz’s is great and that’s pretty reasonable for a sandwich with fries!

  • ron shapley(NYC)
    July 28, 2013 1:53pm

    Sorry to be piling on……..but TOASTED rye…. OMG… Pastrami on Rye at The Carnegie….about $18……

  • Katie K
    July 28, 2013 2:15pm

    Try the great pastrami on rye at Eisenberg’s on 5th Ave between 22nd and 23rd Sts in NYC the next time you’re over (it’s $10). Sit at the counter and experience what it’s like to be in an Edward Hopper painting.

  • July 28, 2013 3:17pm

    A decent pastrami sandwich, even in Little Rock, Arkansas, will run you about $8.00 with some chips and no drink. The food here is typically really inexpensive, so the prices in Paris don’t sound bad to me at all for a large city. The sandwich looks amazing, by the way. I would pay almost anything for that pile of deliciousness.

  • July 28, 2013 4:44pm

    I crave a good pastrami sandwich because I cannot (or do not?) make them myself. And I am also happy to see each time you let us in on a window into another place in Paris that is going the distance to put (truly) well-sourced food on the table, rather than just relying on the fact that being a Paris eatery might be enough (it’s not).

    If you are ever near Seattle, I recommend the pastrami sandwich at Hitchcock Deli (next to Hitchcock Restaurant) – they use Michael Ruhlman’s method for their pastrami. And the sandwiches are the best I have ever tasted. (Though I have not had Freddie’s!)

  • limegimlet
    July 28, 2013 5:07pm

    SO psycHED. The last time I had pastrami in Paris, it was at a place in the Marais where they charged 16 EUR for something that tasted like beef jerky that had been stored in a vat of salt for, like, 2 years.

    And it’s open Sundays – now I know what I’m having for supper tonight! The cherry on top will be to convince Kristin to carry Montreal smoked meat too.

  • kittrasis
    July 28, 2013 5:23pm

    I just returned from Norway where that sandwich would cost $40, assuming you could find it. If you want good deli you have to go to Brent’s Deli in Northridge, California. Brent’s is just the best of the best. That burnt rye bread is an insult to good meat.

    • July 28, 2013 5:35pm
      David Lebovitz

      The bread wasn’t burnt. The light was fading and I was trying to eat, so wasn’t able to get a good picture of it.

  • July 28, 2013 6:01pm

    Any restaurant in France cooking their own food with good ingredients is fine by me….so many these days, as you said, buy in frozen food. The myth of the Paris bistro, or rural family run restaurant barely exists…. hopefully people like these will buck the trend and people can get excitet about French food again. French people love to try different foods, they just don’t often get the chance…

  • July 28, 2013 6:02pm

    Not sure I care about getting deli sandwiches when on vacation in Paris, but if I lived there I guess I’d feel differently. Prices in Paris are not high compared to any big U.S. city when you consider tax and service is included.

    Have heard the reference to more frozen food passing as fresh in Paris, but how can you avoid that? Would a small, local place be more likely to cook from scratch?

  • Patricia
    July 28, 2013 6:07pm

    Happy dance here!

  • July 28, 2013 6:38pm

    I am one of the people who is guilty of thinking that 15€ is too much for a sandwich. Mainly because sandwiches just aren’t my thing. (unless it’s a croque madame, which I love, but I don’t consider that a sandwich)
    However I totally agree that restaurants who are taking the time to make their own bread, cured meats, etc., should charge a fair price and consumers should support places who aren’t reheating their food in a microwave.

  • Christina
    July 28, 2013 7:51pm

    Looks perfect! Thanks for the tip!

  • Dina
    July 28, 2013 7:58pm

    Yumm! Question: what was the mustard used? I think here in Schwartz’s they use French’s mustard. (anyone who’s been recently, correct me if I am wrong). I, on the other hand, love & swear Dijon mustard. BUT BUT when it comes to a smoked meat sandwich, Dijon just doesn’t work. It might be a blasphemy, I don’t know, but it just doesn’t taste the same to me.

  • Sarahb1313
    July 28, 2013 8:15pm

    Katz’s pastrami… there is no equivalent, even other NY establishments can’t come close. I think the whole thinly sliced thing throws me- at Katz’s it was hunks of meat!

    Going there when my grandparents visited, I can still remember the man behind the counter reaching over and handing me a hunk as he was making my sandwich: hot pastrami on (untoasted) rye with mustard.

    Although I have to admit it is not as good as it was back in the day, it’s still a worthy trip. I just don’t bother ordering it elsewhere. It never lives up.

    But I do have a friend who doesn’t hesitate to go behind a bar or up to a chef to “help” with preparations…. Can’t imagine the French, let alone Parisians, going for that.

  • GB
    July 28, 2013 8:16pm

    Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor MI for pastrami-nothing more needs to be written.

  • July 28, 2013 8:28pm

    I applaud this trend toward well-prepared food in Paris, made by real cooks using carefully sourced ingredients.

    How I wish you had not had to write this sentence! When I lived in Paris, in the early 1970s – and yes, I know that is a very, very long time ago – all restaurants did exactly that! Food was fresh, seasonal and freshly-prepared. Even cafés that did food – and most of them did, if only the basic sandwich, croque-monsieur, hot-dog, fried eggs and omelettes – prepared your order from scratch when you ordered it. I worked across the road from a wonderful charcuterie that did hot meals to take away every lunchtime, where I tried all sorts of delicious food that I might not otherwise have done.

    One thing that is better nowadays is the bread – back then, it was basically white baguette or nothing – and the sandwiches tend to have lettuce and tomato and so on in them, which they didn’t back in the day. But the French love affair with chain restaurants has not done their reputation any good at all!

  • July 28, 2013 9:01pm

    Two thoughts:
    I DO think I could never pay that much for any sandwich, and after careful thinking I agree with you that REAL products and made-on-the-premises merit definitely a higher price but I am a good cook and I always think ‘oh I could do such and such for so many people for that kind of money’ which of course is not right to compare to a restaurant with all the costs for rent, employment, social charges (extremely high in France), fresh produce etc – so you have just found a new convert :)
    I also did not realise that Pastrami is a US/CDN ‘product’. I think I had it first time in UK but if somebody cd tell me since when Pastrami was available in Canada, I wd be grateful – I absolutely ADORE it but only ever had it as in your first photo, rolled up: that one looks AMAZING!!! :))))
    Thank you for this brilliant post

  • July 28, 2013 9:05pm

    @ Annabel; you can still get fresh produce in many, many restaurants in and around Paris – but of course it takes a bit of time to ‘research’ (or read David’s blog for one…). I’m just back from Switzerland (my home country) and I’m always amazed at what great deals we can get in Paris – in Switzerland restaurant food is mostly super good but really expensive (though still cheaper than in most cities I’ve been in the USA & Canada). So please come back and enjoy your resto food here. Bon appétit,

  • July 28, 2013 9:16pm

    Oh no, this topic touches on one of my biggest food pet peeves. Warning: entering the preachiness zone. Turn back now!

    To me, “sticker shock” moments can arise from the fact that we’re out of touch with the cost of REAL food, at least in North America. Lower pricing often depends on use of prefab ingredients produced in industrial settings — that is, with weird additives galore aimed at facilitating mega-batching, extending shelf-life and increasing yield with fillers. Yum? NOT, and a sleight-of-hand rip-off to boot because of lowered nutritional value.

    My modest budget doesn’t run to couture restauranting very often, but artisan foods in the price range you mention can and do make several weekly appearances. I’m thrilled to support the trend toward artisan foods in my town. I regard them as (not so) minor miracles. They make my meals into fabulous mini food vacations, but also help me to eat more healthfully daily ( … and stickin’ it to corporate food man ain’t bad either).

    In conclusion, GO FOODIES GO !!!

  • July 28, 2013 9:33pm

    Hi David, I’ve read your blog for quite a while but never commented but thought that today is the day to break that- your posts to me really are inspirational and you really do have a lovely blog with stunning photography! I’m jealous!
    That top sandwich looks amazing…..what I’d do to be back in France again…..

  • Ed Wilson
    July 28, 2013 9:36pm

    Nice to see you again supporting those producing and cooking good food

    I see that the French Gov. is so concerned about prepared(elsewhere) that they are arranging for restaurants to show if the food is prepared by restaurant or not. Keep up the good work

  • July 28, 2013 9:57pm
    David Lebovitz

    Ed: It’ll be interesting to see if that passes. (In Italy, by law, restaurants need to state on the menu whether an item is frozen or not. There’s nothing wrong with frozen foods, but people, I think, do have the right to know if their meal is frozen or pre-packaged in some ways.) Am not sure there is support here for it, but we’ll see.

    Shelleyorama: I don’t think folks have to pay a lot to eat well but there was an article a week or so ago in the NYT – or perhaps it was somewhere else – about how underpaid people who work in fast-food restaurants are. (One fast-food organization listed how employees could save money to live on, assuming one pays $20 month for health insurance and $0 for heat.) So there is a “price” to pay for all that stuff. In France, people get better benefits, so prices may be higher than elsewhere to compensate for those.

    Kiki: I don’t know for sure, but since most American food was originally from elsewhere (because it is a nation mostly of immigrants), it’s likely pastrami – a way to preserve meat – was from elsewhere, some say either Eastern Europe or Turkey, which was eventually brought to America. So it wouldn’t be far-fetched to serve it in France.

    Loulou: €15 is not inexpensive for a sandwich (there are no sandwiches here that cost that much – in fact, the ‘formules’, which are a whole meal, are less) but I’ve paid €15 for some pretty dreadful food. And thanks to you – now I’m craving a croque monsieur! UPDATE: At the café I just went to to get one, it was €13 : )

    • July 28, 2013 10:50pm

      AND they’d get fired for snacking @ work !! XD

  • July 28, 2013 11:31pm

    Thanks for the tip, David. My husband and I went to Freddie’s Deli this evening for an early dinner. I had the Rueben and my husband had La Guidette with salami, copa, mortadelle, jambon blanc, frommage et crudites. I could only manage half of the tasty Rueben so my lucky husband got the other half plus his sandwich. With chips and Brooklyn Summer Ale the sandwiches were a full meal deal! Next time we will have dessert too. We told the staff that we had read your blog and they were most appreciative that we visited and loved their deli. And they were busy! We had not been to the beautiful Park at Belleville before so walked there after the meal and enjoyed the fantastic view of Paris! It would have been a great place to watch les feux d’artifice on Bastille Day.
    Thanks again for the great recommendation.

    • July 29, 2013 7:33am
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you liked it. I think when that bit of construction in the square clears up (according to the city, it’ll be done in September), it’ll be an even lovelier place to sit. Interestingly, just next door, a ping-pong bar opened – supposedly the first in Paris!

  • naomi
    July 28, 2013 11:31pm

    I’m not a meat eater, but I slurp up seafood and fish. Down the street at one nearby place (parkway bakery) a full oyster po’boy (available only on Mondays), fries, and a couple of drinks runs about $24. Of course, a half sandwich is six inches long and the oysters – or shrimp or what have you – are falling out the sandwich before you can pick it up but that’s okay, they’re appetizers and too many are still on the “french” bread. Still, I’d really enjoy being in Paris checking out even U.S. style food, especially as it’s getting hot now in New Orleans.

    • July 29, 2013 7:36am
      David Lebovitz

      One of the things that always surprises me when I go back to the states (just because I’m not used to it) is having to add tax and tip to things. A $7 glass of wine in a restaurant becomes $9-$10 by the time you pay the check, and a $8 sandwich becomes close to $11. So when people see prices in Paris, they think they are more expensive than in America. But in reality, they’re not all that different.

  • Astrid
    July 29, 2013 12:49am

    Craving Room on 4th and Mass in DC is amazing for the pastrami sandwich!

  • Kate
    July 29, 2013 1:11am

    Bravo for reminding us that the “price” of the meal includes employee benefits such as health insurance…we have gotten away with this far too long in the US. It’s time to remind ourselves that what we want for ourselves from a job is often what service workers desire…..Bon appetite.

    • July 29, 2013 7:31am
      David Lebovitz

      Employers in France pay “charges” on each employee, which includes payments for their health benefits. (Independent and freelance workers pay their own, directly from their own earnings.) It’s part of the national health care system.

  • wendy
    July 29, 2013 1:40am

    where is that tap from ???!!!!

  • mslewis
    July 29, 2013 1:59am

    I’ve never been able to stomach pastrami. I always order a TURKEY Ruben. Anyway, do they have turkey sandwiches at Freddie’s Deli? I’m curious because I will be visiting Paris in the next few weeks and I would like to visit there. (I just read a novel based in Belleville. It would be nice to see the neighborhood.)

    • July 29, 2013 7:29am
      David Lebovitz

      They do have other sandwiches, including one with tuna, chipotle, and aïoli (garlic mayo), another with turkey, bacon, avocado, and cheese, as well as a vegetarian one with gratinées eggplant with cheese. (Subject to change, perhaps?) Since there is turkey on the menu, they may make a turkey reuben but not sure if they do substitutions since I didn’t ask.

  • Lynn
    July 29, 2013 3:05am

    David, you need a new app. This one would tell us where to find all this amazing non-French, non-sushi (which is practically French these days, anyway) food that you keep writing about: burgers, pastrami, burritos, yum. It would be fabulous, especially if you got over to the Left Bank once in a while. Maybe if you tried these two places, you’d get hooked: Coutume Cafe, at 47 rue de Babylone, 7th — great coffee and real-but-not-pancakes-type breakfast; and Comptoir de l’Epicerie de Père Claude, 47 (coincidence? perhaps not…) avenue de la Motte Picquet, 15th — truly the best burgers in town.

  • NicB
    July 29, 2013 9:44am

    I go to the Brass Rail inside Selfridges department store on Oxford St, London and their sandwich costs £8,75 inclusive of all taxes/service charges. it is delicious and covers all the major food groups. (!)

  • Geraldine in Spain
    July 29, 2013 9:58am

    :-) The only thing I hate about being a longtime vegetarian is NO PASTRAMI….gads,

    I eat veggie burgers all the time, just for the pickles and mayo. There is no sub for a FABULOUS pastrami on rye as in New York City!!!!

  • July 29, 2013 1:33pm

    You were JUST around the corner from la fine mousse, aka, the best craft beer bar in Paris. My waistline will not appreciate the proximity of good beer and a (good?) cheesesteak (wit onions? wiz?), although I’m sure my cardiologist needs a new boat payment.

    Brooklyn is pretty new to France. I was at the launch party earlier this year, and was told that they had chosen France as their starting point for the brand in Europe. They’re now building a brewery in Stockholm. I for one am just fine and dandy with your average Parisian putting down the Leffe or Kro and picking up a well-produced, interesting pint of Brooklyn. It will ONLY do positive things for the beer scene here. It warms my heart to see so many of the neon signs popping up, knowing that sales are doing well, and that most of that is due not to the (tiny) beer nerd population, but by people who are finding out that good beer does exist and doesn’t have to cost any more than that shitty pint they’ve been drinking previously.

  • Samantha
    July 29, 2013 3:00pm

    That sandwich looks divine! I won’t be able to think of anything else all day. Thank you!

    You reminded me of something, I had a business associate from Denmark and when he would visit the states, he would never leave a tip for the waitstaff (which got him some very nasty looks from the kitchen!) and he thought it was insane for us to do so, until I explained to him the “tip” situation. He had no idea!!

    He also thought it was rude to take your leftovers home in a box or bag. He almost seemed embarrassed if I asked for leftovers to be boxed. Not sure if that was his personal opinion or a cultural difference. Any idea, David?

  • oliver
    July 29, 2013 3:10pm

    I’m an American living in Europe and I understand the sticker shock. I’m guessing the Pastrami in NYC you’re referring to is from Katz’s or Carnegie’s. But both are tourist-driven institutions that can charge that much, not because they’re good (though they are, or were at one time) but because they’re famous. While I don’t agree with the high prices they charge, and certainly don’t think they’re worth it, I get it – they can. But in my opinion, if someone in Berlin, where I live, were charging 15 Euros for a pastrami sandwich I would never buy it. That is far too expensive for a non-Katz pastrami sandwich. Pastrami was created as poor mans food. And when I think of international equivalents like a delicious Bahn-Mi with fresh vegetables and meat for 5 Euros, a 15 euro good-but-not-great Pastrami sandwich cannot be justified. The Brooklyn Lager, on the other hand…!! (non-existant here).

  • Anna
    July 29, 2013 5:57pm

    I live in Brooklyn, NY and was surprised/amused to see Brooklyn Lager being served at Le Mary Celeste on my recent trip to Paris in June! It was a welcome taste of home and came as a relief to my tastebuds after a week in Portugal and Bordeaux wine :)

  • Amanda
    July 30, 2013 10:38am

    I don’t find these prices outrageous at all.

    I have noticed the same trend however.

    I pay approximately 600-800€ a month for food for my boyfriend and I (in Germany which already has low food costs for the EU) but this includes food we eat at home and restaurants as well (hence the fluctuation from month to month). But we buy almost exclusively organic products and my boyfriend eats meat 3-4 times a week (organic Gulash 500g cost us yesterday 13€). I have no problem with that, it made two meals for him (dinner and lunch the following day with Knodel and carrots/peas). I am a vegetarian so I don’t consume meat otherwise our monthly expenditures might be a bit higher.

    My girlfriends don’t think twice about getting facials for 50€, manicures for 25€, pedicaures for 30€, going to the movie theater and watching a movie for two costs approximately 20€ per film here, some of them have a small collection of designer hand bags that range in price between 600-1000€+.
    But paying for well sourced, sustainable good quality food? No way! They buy 3€ packaged frozen meat at *Aldi instead. I call that scary cheap meat!

    *I do shop at Aldi and buy several organic products there. They have organic eggs, butter, cheese, mushrooms and pasta which are all cheaper there than at my local organic food store. So I start there and buy all the organic products that they have and I use and then I go to my local organic food stores/farmers markets for the rest of what I need.

  • mia
    July 30, 2013 5:42pm

    Well, thank god France’s gastronomy has protected UNESCO status. I mean, if I’d wanted that typo o food, I’d stayed in NYC or SF. Keep Brooklyn in Brooklyn. France has wayyyyyyyy more to offer. Sad state of affairs today. Sorry to be a Debby Downer.

  • July 30, 2013 5:45pm

    mia, what exactly is wrong with having a pastrami sandwich available in Paris? One of the worst things about this country is the way that everyone seems to think that everything must. Stay. The. Same. No thanks. Good things will stay. Bad things will go. Experimentation is absolutely necessary.

  • Anisey
    July 30, 2013 11:03pm

    @Phil in France, Amen Bro! Very well put and you were far nicer about it than I would have been.

    Experimentation and French gastronomy need not be mutually exclusive.

    • mia
      July 31, 2013 7:01am

      @phil just not into the effect of globalisation on la belle france, no offense meant. i liked it when it was only possible to get my jambon beurre. it made me miss nyc and sf foodstuffs to have less choice.

      or perhaps I should let maureen dowd articulate better my point: “The intersection of globalization and the French spirit is especially painful,” he said. “We have this feeling that everything we were used to is disappearing and what we are offered is not as good.” The French gave up the franc but don’t want to give up anything else to mesh into a bland global society.

      For sure the pastrami sandwich is quite delicious (it looks as much) and as good as the Jewish delis of ny, but I would rather forego my pastrami in paris and not end up meshing into “bland global society.”

  • Sasha Barker
    July 30, 2013 11:28pm

    Harry Morgan’s deli in St. John’s Wood NW8 London. Sandwich always wrapped in waxed paper to carry out.

  • Gael N
    July 31, 2013 3:12am

    Speaking of pastrami, do you know the French word for brisket? I would like to smoke a brisket for some people when I am in France and I have no idea what to tell the butcher when I get there.

  • Laura Thompson
    July 31, 2013 7:17am

    Cheers and kudos to the French for including medical and some benefits in the cost of their restaurant fare. Having been in the business myself for 25 years+ it’s nice to see waiting tables recognized as a profession and not some job relegated to students and losers.

    Also, nice pastrami. Best I ever had? A little place near Dodger Stadium that served Cuban food.

  • July 31, 2013 11:48am

    Advanced warning, I am low on coffee today and so this is a bit of a ramble.

    @mia No offense taken. But I disagree with your idea that things were better when less selection was available. The problem with less selection is that it reduces competition – a jambon buerre is really simple to make, and can be really, really great. But it can also be extremely poorly made, and if it’s your only choice, and you as a consumer don’t know any better, lots of places are going to serve crappy product. Injecting some dynamism into the market forces your local boulangerie to innovate, or at least improve the quality of their product, because they know (or at least they should know) that as more and more of these places pop up, people will start trying them, and a not insignificant percentage of those former customers will take their business elsewhere.

    An important thing to think about here – there is a big void of ‘middle’ restaurants in France, and although it’s to a lesser extent in Paris it’s still something you notice. What I mean by that is, lately there’s been a big growth in fast food – kebab shops and creperies, typically very poor quality as well – and of course a smaller growth in haute cuisine and ‘fusion’ or what have you, expensive places. The ‘middle class’ places are closing, because of the cost of labor they for the most part stopped making their own food a decade ago and switched to sous vide pre-made meals, and so every menu looks the same. So where do you go if you want something well-made, but not too expensive, and filling? Made by hand? With local ingredients? You could of course go to a boulangerie or butcher shop, but it’s not the same as a sit-down place. The void of those sorts of restaurants is being filled by American-influenced places, because true American cuisine (yes, it exists, for all of you America-bashers who think our culture is all pizza and mcdo) does not have as many social expectations to it in France, so you can serve food without fuss.

  • July 31, 2013 12:15pm
    David Lebovitz

    Phil, mia, Ainsey: It’s true that there is a hunger for mid-range places in Paris that are serving fresh food at affordable prices. The increase in fast-food places is likely because a number of people are just looking for a meal quickly, and reasonably, and they are the alternative. It is easy to get swayed by thinking that a jambon beurre you’ll get in a bakery will be good, or fresh, but with the alarming rise in frozen foods (I linked to a few articles at the end of this post), just because you see a croissant or a baguette, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a good one. Even in a bakery. You need to scope things out and know where to go.

    As Phil mentioned, a lot of these kinds of places opening in Paris at the moment are by non-French people, by folks who’ve lived here a while and are integrated into the culture and communities. And they’re being well-received. Because Americans (and others) are not bound by “rules” of what makes a restaurant, or even how to conduct a business because we are wired to “think outside the box” – many are taking advantage of the food truck, or “stand” format, which allows them to keep prices reasonable yet serve good food.

    I love French food – good, honest French cooking? Well, there’s nothing better. (Okay, except Korean.) Yet France isn’t a museum and tastes have changed. Few people want blanquette de veau for lunch anymore (some still do, but it’s not something you’d want to eat daily..) so it’s nice there are alternatives for locals who don’t have a lot of time who want something affordable, made with fresh ingredients. Hence the rise of places like this. I do hope that more people open places serving honest food, where locals (and visitors) can take their daily meals – no matter what kind of cuisine they are serving.

  • July 31, 2013 4:53pm

    Well, Pastrami is one of the best beef sandwich fillers you can actually get. And yes, this sandwich looks amazing.


    Let me share with you one more interesting use for Pastrami.

    Get fresh white Baguette, some good butter (best will be unpasteurized one but if you can’t get one like this, just go for Kerrygold, Lurpark or whatever you like..).

    Put pan on a fire, wait till hot, put Pastrami for few seconds on each side. Of course, prepare baguette with butter and cut thinly fresh white onions…

    When pastrami is ready, put it into baguette and sprinkle onions on it.. :)

    This is simple… but… I love this recipe :)

  • BelleD
    July 31, 2013 5:44pm

    @Andy Kochkkniv, you just reminded me of my current favorite use for pastrami. Mission Chinese Food (in San Francisco and now NYC) makes an incredible Kung Pao Pastrami. Talk about a blending of cultures. It’s these things that keep excited about all foods, new & old.

  • mia
    August 1, 2013 10:19pm

    hi david, just wondering why you didn’t post my 2nd reply to phil….

    was it too rangy? sorry.

    I will keep to keeping off your blog and continue to just admire it for it’s food value. I love your posts for what it’s worth . You are great. [ you don’t have to post this ] [ anyway, i never comment on blogs — been reading yours for donkeys years / do love it ]

    • August 2, 2013 12:28am
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Mia: Thanks. There was no response in the comments that came from you. Did you get a message it was being moderated? Sometimes that happens, or comments go into a spam folder, which I go in and check daily to make sure no “real” comments are getting filtered out. Sorry if yours somehow didn’t get published – if you’d like to try again, you’re more than welcome to – and apologies for it not appearing.

  • Marty
    August 2, 2013 10:56pm

    Love your blog, been reading for years. Great meeting you in Chicago in 2011, come back – we are having a very cool summer. We really love the Pastrami/rye at Manny’s Deli on south Jefferson (Chicago), piled about 5-6″ high, runs @ $10-12. A really true type of old deli with lunch trays that glide along as you walk past all the food in a big long steam table, all served by friendly old gentlemen! Read that it was 95′ F in Paris Thursday, oh my. When it’s that hot here we use the ice water wash cloth draped behind our neck, looks terrible but cools you down. For in-house only! We missed Freddie’s Deli when we were there in June. Will go on the list for the next time!

  • Adella
    August 3, 2013 3:45am

    David, is it still verboten in France to take food home if you can’t finish it? That huge pastrami sandwich is more than I could finish and I’d love to be able to take half of it home. Je sais que ça ne se fait pas, etc., etc. but just the same, I’d love to be able to do it.

    Once when I was in Brittany we had just been served a gorgeous dinner of scallops when one of our party got very sick and we had to leave. All of the food remained on the table, untouched. We paid the bill and left, not having eaten one mouthful. Somehow that doesn’t seem right.

    • August 3, 2013 9:18am
      David Lebovitz

      Most traditional restaurants, it’s highly uncommon (ok, practically impossible) to bring food home with you. That said, if you ask really nicely, sometimes they will do it for you. (I’ve seen it work on Parisian waiters when woman friends and guests ask – but I don’t think I’d have as much luck!) Since Freddie’s Deli is a take-out as well, I’m sure they would be fine with folks taking the rest home.

  • August 5, 2013 11:29am

    You know after this post, what I’m thinking this city needs is some corned beef. And then you take the corned beef and you make corned beef hash. That’ll get the Parisians back from vacation!

  • Stuart
    August 6, 2013 12:23pm

    Not a massive fan of Brooklyn Beer, but that Pastrami on Rye looks amazing.