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A Bistro is a Bistro

Great cooking tips can be had by eating at a simple Parisian bistro. For instance I had a steak and fries at a bistro that definitely made me re-think steak sauce. The peppercorn sauce and crisp fries were perfect together. $14.50 and I can compare the meal to Ruth Chris. Alright, the meat wasn't nearly as tender, but the sauce, ooh la la.

I recommend the Rue Le Courbe area for great typical bistros. What makes this middle class Parisian neighborhood worth visiting is the multitude of grocery stores and bakeries mixed in with typical French cafes filled with locals. Basically, you're a mile from the Eiffel Tower yet there are no other tourists around.

With such good basics, bistro food really never loses its appeal. It is about a few simple ingredients, served quickly. It’s thought the bistro started in the 18th century, when landlords started selling simple food from their basement kitchens to hungry workers who had no need for fancy fare. These days, it’s very hard to find many of the classic bistros, with their high ceilings and zinc bars, left in Paris. The food style carries on, however, especially since the 1990’s revival via young chefs who wanted to elevate that short list of ingredients with so-called bistronomie.

Lastly, I recommend beer with this kind of “pub grub”: either a Pelican or an Amstel. Rue Le Courbe is off Metro line 6, three stops past the Bir Hakeim (Effel Tower) stop.

John Romano -

Image: The Champs Elysees in Paris, France

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