Carol from Antwerp,
If there’s a spot in Antwerp to enjoy fusion cooking
(Thai, Indian, Italian) for me it's Farine’s
Food. Expect a small restaurant with the
feel of someone's home. All preparation is done right in
front of you. Farine's Food serves simple but decent food
using what I think are the best of all existing veggies
on earth. Order from the blackboard, the menu or just take
a look at the plates of diners to your left and right. This
is not difficult because all Farine’s customers share
the one and only big, big table in the house. A perfect
location in Antwerp for an amusing talk with fellow diners,
lovely food and nice prices too. Address: Vlaamsekaai 40,
2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. Tel: +32 (0) 3 238 30 48
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Veronique from Paris,
Since I was a little girl, we have been going to this amazingly
delicious place. The owner has always been there with the
same dress, same hairdo (no kidding!). My mom said she went
to that restaurant as a young girl and that woman has not
changed at all.
There is always a big line up. There is (Hallelujah) a
non-smoking room all by itself upstairs.
It's real name is Le Relais de
Venise. However, most Parisians gave it the name
of L'Entrec�te and refer to it as such.
When you come in, no need to choose. After sitting down,
the waitress will ask you: Saignant (rare)? Bien cuit (well
done)?, as here the menu is always and has always been the
same. Steak thinly sliced in an amazing sauce and served
with delicate fries. Desserts are a dream -- all of them,
and you get the chance to choose. Le Relais de Venise doesn't
take reservations. It's located at 271, boulevard Pereire,
right at the Porte Maillot.
Karen from Paris,
In the heart of the Latin Quarter, a quiet pedestrian passage
runs from the lively rue Dauphine west to rue Mazarine.
To find it, head south on the rue Dauphine from the Pont
Neuf and keep an eye out for a tall iron gate on your right.
Step through (it's always open during the day) and mid-passage
there's L'Heure Gourmande,
an elegant sanctuary with gold-washed walls and a lofty
ceiling painted blue and white like the summer sky. What
a lovely place for lunch! Try one of the five quiches, a
generous salad, or an assiette chaude (hot plate) served
between noon and 3:00 p.m. What kind of hot plate? Well,
there's the Mezzaluna (mushroom-stuffed ravioli with cream
sauce), the Frileux (chopped steak with cheese sauce and
scalloped potatoes), and for vegetarians there's the Jardin
(a large plate of steamed vegetables). Main dishes run from
48 to 109 francs and they leave room for dessert -- cheesecake,
chocolate tart, fruit crumble, or ice cream (not just any
ice cream, but the famous Berthillon brand -- well worth
the calories!). Address: 22, passage Dauphine, 6th Arrondissement
Jeanne from Paris,
This may surprise you, but my favorite neighborhood restaurant
is Indian. Within the last five years a large immigrant
community of both Indians and Sri Lankans have found a refuge
in Paris, many living just south of my neighborhood. The
restaurant is called Mounshi Taj.
Large windows allow light to stream into the airy space,
and you'll immediately notice the beautifully folded napkins
standing upright like a fan on each plate. With Indian music
playing in the background, plus the pink and gray walls,
you can well imagine yourself on the set of a Bollywood
movie. And, the owner, Ali, is almost as cute as a Bollywood
movie star. Definitely a plus!
The service is friendly and efficient. First you are offered
a small glass of juice (a mixture of pineapple and carrot
juice they told me), at no charge, to sip while you order.
For both lunch and dinner, they have "menus" or fixed price
meals including appetizer ("entr�e"), main dish ("plat")
and dessert (no translation needed), ranging in price from
7.50 to 18.00 E.
The last time I was there I had the "menu" for 9 E. First
came a small silver platter of samosas and carved carrot
flowers on toothpicks, accompanied by a selection of 3 chutneys.
My main dish was lamb ("agneau") curry with plenty of basmati
rice and then gulab jaman for dessert. All excellent.
Mounshi Taj is located at the end of a pedestrian shopping
street, Rue L'Olive, which, with it's bazaar-like atmosphere,
is growing livelier each year. At the other end of Rue L'Olive
is one of Paris's covered food markets where they sell all
sorts of fresh food. Address: 92 rue Riquet, 75018 Paris.
M�tro: Marx Dormoy. Tel: +33 (0)1 4209 3608. Open every
day from noon to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 11:30 pm.
I highly recommend a small Mediteranean cuisine restaurant
in my lively immigrant neighborhood of Paris. It's called
2 rue l'Olive, Paris, Metro Marx Dormoy on the line 12.
Not only is the food freshly made and cheap (a Greek sandwish
costs 4 E), but you get to meet Momo, a neighborhood pillar
who has created a small haven on a pedestrian shopping street
near one of the covered markets or Paris. If you speak French,
don't miss conversing with opinionated and elegant Momo.
We call it le Fast Food Thai, and it’s got to be
the best restaurant deal in Paris. Loads of rice, two main
dishes plus tea is 4 E at La
Maison Thai, 2 rue de L’Evangile,
Paris, Métro Marx Dormoy. It’s small and basic
and you may have to share a table – and it’s
always crowded. A French friend of mine who eats there says
a lot of artists from the neighborhood are regulars. Closed
Sundays and Mondays. If there’s no room at all, they’ve
just opened another place, larger and more elegant, Le Sud
Est D’Asie, around the corner at 10 rue de la Martinique.
But you’ll have to pay more – 5 E per meal instead
If you are a vegetarian visiting Paris I recommend scheduling
a meal at La Fourmi Ailée.
This is a charming and informal writer's getaway type of
place filled with shelves of books. There's a non-smoking
section upstairs, something still very rare in Paris. La
Fourmi Ailée features a wonderful, varied menu that
includes several thoughtfully crafted vegetarian items.
I had a lip-smacking tofu lasagna with just enough cheese
and Roma tomatoes to hold the ample noodles together. Look
for La Fourmi Ailée between Notre Dame and the entrance
to the Latin Quarter neighborhood at 8, rue du Fouarre -
75005. The metro (subway) stop is Maubert-Mutualite. A votre
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