Paris is the capital of gastronomy there is no doubt about it. This doesn’t mean that every food is good in Paris.
Paris often rhymes with tourists, and some people do not hesitate to take advantage of it to scam visitors and serve them very average quality dishes for the price of a starred dish! We have prepared this little article to warn you against certain products and places to avoid in the capital! According to the multi-star chef Alain Ducasse, of the150,000 restaurants in France, three-quarters serve only industrialized products. (http://bit.ly/2t8wAYg)
(Do not) Follow the guide!
- Mussels and fries from Brasseries
Be wary of all fresh products, especially those from the sea in local brasseries or in tourist areas. There is a good chance that the fish is frozen and badly thawed. Many visitors may be tempted by the traditional dish of mussels and fries, but there are several factors to take into account: the brasseries are not supplied with fresh products every day and even if Paris takes advantage of the Seine, don’t forget that these mollusks have to travel to end up on your plates. If you are a fish, mussel, oyster and other seafood enthusiast, we advise you to avoid generalist brasseries and to go to the numerous restaurants specialized in seafood and fish.
2) Frozen baguettes and pastries
Don’t rely on some establishments that sell bread, sandwiches and other pastries! There are many “fake” bakeries in Paris, that is to say, shops that sell all the usual products of a bakery but none of which are homemade: they simply buy their frozen products and thaw them before selling them! This is the case of some chains such as La Mie Câline, or La Brioche Doré for example. The same goes for chopsticks bought in supermarkets, even if it is more obvious here. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to recognize a bakery that offers industrial products. Try to trust your intuition: if the products are a little too identical and perfectly regular, there is little doubt that they are not homemade products.
3) Wine jugs
“Oh, how wonderful! There are wine jugs about half the price of bottles in this café!” Stop! Don’t say no more. We’re not going to let you make that mistake. Some restaurateurs do not hesitate to mix the leftovers of different bottles in a single decanter… If you are lucky it is at least the same type of wine but sometimes sauvignon and chardonnay can be blended and you can expect the worst. In general, we advise you to take a bottle by checking that the waiter opens it in front of your eyes!
4) Burgers from Brasseries
Nothing inspires you on the menu? Tempted by a burger? Please don’t do that. In addition to the fact of paying for this rather common food from 18 to 25€, it will not be a “good” burger. Whatever the server or the menu says. Taking a burger is always a bad choice in breweries. Bread is too thick and overcooked, too much sauce (often mismatched), chopped steak is thick, but it makes all the other ingredients non-existent, and salad is soaking wet. The whole is mediocre, so stuffing with badly adjusted quantities that you will end up leaving a piece of it, often the bread to end up with a seasoned chopped steak.
5) Chocolate cake
According to Europe 1 and France Info, two serious french media the chocolate cake is one of the most industrialized products served in restaurants. Unless you are in a very nice restaurant or it is clearly specified on the card you can be 100% sure that this softness comes from the freezer. It would be silly to pay 10€ (or more) for a frozen dessert that you could make yourself! Choose a cheese plate (you are in France), ice cream, pancakes or fruit.
Our tips for making sure you are eating in a good restaurant :
Check that the number of dishes offered is in line with the size of the restaurant and that the menu changes regularly.
Claire & Le Food Trip