Ken and I are food tourists and we eat well in France. But sometimes we get tired of foie gras, delicate vegetables, and French menus (just what are St. Jacques' nuts? Mussels? Scallops? Clams?) When we get overwhelmed and want comfort food in Paris, Ken and I head to one of several steak-and-fries places.
Couldn't be simpler. You sit down and the waitress immediately hands you a little salad (walnuts, mustard dressing). No menu, just two questions. How do you want the steak cooked? A point. Do you want wine? Yes. (But get the wine list: the house red is awful.) The waitress swiftly comes back with a plate of delicious steak bathed in a yummy mustard and sage sauce, along with some perfect pommes frites. You eat your steak and fries, they bring you a second helping (kept warm over candles), and then it's on to dessert. Skip dessert.

The whole process is the opposite of the usual French temple-of-food experience. But it's very satisfying and, judging by all the Parisians we see there, quite popular with the locals. The restaurants are a franchise. We've been to Le Relais de l'Entrecôte in the 6th (20bis rue St. Benoit, conveniently a block from St. Germain de Prés) and Le Relais de Venise in the 17th (271 bd. Péreire). The joint in the 6th even has the same 1945 Cognac Rouyer poster I have at home!

Half the blogerati have been there too
  2005-06-15 15:26 Z