From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.

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Fast food, Fast Review: SAaM

Although I have a cold that won’t go away, I am currently in good spirits as my friend S from Canada is visiting me in Paris this week! Both of us share a love for good food, so when we randomly stumbled upon SAaM, a little Korean eatery near Canal Saint-Martin, we were more than thankful for our discovery!saam_Paris_our lunchWe were actually on our way to a craft fair in the area when S suddenly stopped and said, “Hey, Korean food!”, as we passed the small wooden exterior of SAaM. It wasn’t yet open so we couldn’t really see inside but we studied the menu, which consisted of Gua baos (or steamed Taiwanese buns) filled with Korean ingredients, and decided that this was where we were going to come back for lunch!saam_paris_interiorWe returned at around 1 pm and the place was packed, but we were seated in about 15 minutes, and by that time already knew what we were going to order. Inside, the place was super cute with a real mix and match decor that included an unfinished blank wall with a strip of pretty ceramic tiles in the middle, a pastel colored geometric design on the other wall, lots of dangling paper, bamboo and glass lamps as well as funky mirrors and plants. Adorable!saam_paris_kitchenWe ordered the lunch special of two buns and salad for 12 Euros (14,50 in the evenings and weekends) and I added a cup of jasmine green tea, to soothe my cough. From our seats we could admire the efficiency and energy of the Korean chefs in the open kitchen, silently preparing the buns with care in a sort of assembly line. The excitement for our meal only escalated as plates of food exited from the bustling kitchen.Saam_paris_carteOnce the colorful dishes had arrived and we had taken the necessary amount of food pics (I was not the only one at the table with my camera out!), we grabbed our chopsticks and dug in! I had chosen the pork belly and Dak (fried chicken) buns, while S had the Dak and the Boulkogi (marinated Black Angus beef) buns. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the accompaniments were more than just a salad; they consisted of pickled carrots and daikon, an arugula salad with a soya sauce-type dressing, two deep fried gyozas (not sure if there’s a Korean name for them, but I didn’t ask) and some seasoned, crispy potatoes. Saam_paris_gyozaThen we took a bite of our Dak buns: the little steamed buns were packed with a  nice piece of ginger breaded deep fried chicken, kochujang sauce, wild sesame, peanuts, apple slaw and pickled white radishes. The combination of flavors was amazingly good! My pork belly bun was next and it did not disappoint either as the tender and fatty pork came with sisho sauce, salted plum, spicy cucumbers, pickled red onions and was garnished with cilantro. They were finger-licking good (literally!! get the napkins ready and beware of the sauce that drips at the end)! saam_paris_bao chicken and porkI tried a bite of the fragrantly spiced beef from the Boulkogi bun and can confirm that the Korean marinade used was out of this world! Both of us found our lunch to be filling enough, but if you’re someone with a huge appetite you can always add another bun to your meal, or one of their accompaniments (such as the kimchi balls for 7 Euros, that looked super good) or desserts (like yuzu cheesecake, 5 Euros). saam_paris_bao chicken and beefSo, I think I have fully conveyed the fact that I loved my lunch at SAaM! They have very friendly service and the most tasty bao bun sandwiches. S and I have already decided to go back this week to try the fish and tofu buns before she leaves! That’s one huge stamp of approval from two Canadians!

Restaurant Details:

61 Rue de Lancry

75010, Paris

+33 (0)9 83 50 84 94

My rating:

5 kimchi balls out of 5!


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Fast Food, Fast Review: Gustave

In my opinion, long weekends in Paris (when the weather is nice) are for being outside! If, however, you can’t find a coveted spot on one of the sunny terrasses, then getting some food to go and eating in one of the closest parks is always a great option, especially if you’re in a hurry! This long weekend I discovered Gustave, a trendy new sandwich joint in the always trendy South Pigalle (SoPi) neighborhood. Gustave serves up their own creation called “claps”, which are whole wheat flour tortillas (or thin pitas) stuffed full of a variety of yummy ingredients, folded up tightly into a square, and then grilled until toasty.

gustave_paris_exteriorThe little shop is located on rue Henry Monnier, a total foodie street, just across from Buvette Gastrothèque and Luz Verde. It is tiny inside, with a few chairs and small bar table along the window, and decorated with only a deer’s head and some tattoo art on the wall… for that hipster touch. The menus is simple: claps are 7,80 Euros, a claps and drink are 10 Euros, and a claps, drink and dessert are 12 Euros. They also have a selection of baguette-style sandwiches (4.50-6.50 Euros), for people who like to stick to something a little more traditional, as well as soups and salads. When I arrived with my friend M, there were already a couple sitting on the two-person bench outside and to their left we saw the chalk board menu with the list of fillings to choose from.
gustave_paris_menu_carteThere were so many choices (including a daily special), but after reading them all carefully and consulting with two guys who were self-proclaimed “regulars” we decided on 1) marinated chicken, bacon, cheddar, honeyed confit onions, apples, arugula and tomatoes and 2) pastrami, coleslaw, Emmental cheese, tomatoes, confit onions and lettuce. I have been back since (yes I know…twice in a space of 72 hours! But I was in the area!) and have also tried the one with chorizo, feta, grilled veggies (big chunks of eggplant, red peppers and potatoes), tomato, lettuce and confit onions.


gustave_paris_pastrami claps

gustave_paris_chicken claps

gustave_paris_chorizo clapsWe took our carefully bundled sandwiches, walked up to Abbesses, and sat on a bench in a little park just behind the Métro with the “I love you” wall in front of us. We unwrapped them like presents and were instantly drooling over the colorful display in our hands. At this point I am going to have to say: Warning: They are VERY hard to eat without “food juices” from the dressing and marinades dripping all over you! So, if you are about to go to a job interview in your best suit and you need a quick lunch, I wouldn’t tempt fate with one of these. Similarly, if you’re not totally comfortable with the person you’re with, then choose something else. But, if you want something full of flavor and don’t give a s#*@ about how messy things might get, then you are sure to enjoy these sandwiches! My fave was the chicken and bacon (total perfection) followed by the chorizo (which was the messiest to eat, if you’re wondering, thanks to all the yummy veggies). The pastrami was also good, but I have to admit that I’m used to having some sauerkraut or pickles with the salty meat, and the coleslaw just didn’t cut it for me. All of them were really filling, and as crumbs and sauce dropped to the ground, the little birds of the park agreed with us that these sandwiches were the real deal!


gustave_paris_birdsA great place for a low-carb lunch or dinner (as they are open until 10 pm), Gustave is definitely worth a try!

Restaurant Details:
21 rue Henri Monnier, 75009 Paris
+33 (0)1 48 78 96 52

My Rating :

3.5 tasty and low-carb sandwiches out of 5

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Fast Food, Fast Review: Bob’s Bake Shop

I had the immense pleasure of taking a day off work last Tuesday, which gave me the chance to wander around Paris on a weekday and check out a place I have wanted to try for a while now: Bob’s Bake Shop!

bobs bake shop_paris_lunch

This American eatery is located in the new, eco-friendly Halle Pajol (which totally deserves  its own blog post…I will eventually get around to it), giving it a very unique and natural feel. It has a definite North American diner look and the staff speak English and are all casually dressed in loose sweatshirts and beanies, reminding me of coffee shop staff in Vancouver or Seattle.

bobs bake shop_paris_coffee

As soon as I walked inside, the smell of freshly ground coffee (from La Brûlerie de Belleville) drifted into my nostrils while my eyes were drawn to the glass display cases full of good old-fashioned pies, cheesecakes and brownies. I was hungry and craving a bagel so I looked up at the wide choice of homemade bagels and the list of possible ingredients to fill them with.

bobs bake shop_paris_pies and cakes

bobs bake shop_paris_sandwich menu

I was tempted by the Kalamata olive, feta, and grilled vegetable filling (7 Euros), because feta is the best thing ever!!!, but instead chose a classic smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel (8 Euros) from the list of delicious lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian choices. I equally asked for a fresh mint infused lemonade (3,50 Euros) and a matcha and chocolate chunk cookie (2 Euros) from the pile that were strategically placed on a plate along the counter by the till (it is not possible to resist taking one). Then I sat down by the window at a little table whose color matched my mint lemonade and waited for my bagel to be brought over.

bobs bake shop_paris_interior

From my cozy corner I looked around as soft folk/pop songs like Angus and Julia Stone “Big Jet Plane” played over the noises of milk frothing and ceramic cups clinking from behind the counter. They have an impressive list of other lunch choices available such as salads, soups, tartines, fresh fruit juices and even chia pudding! I glanced outside at the rain and imagined how nice it will be in summer to come here and eat in the sun on one of their large wooden picnic tables. My random musings were interrupted by the arrival of my sesame seed bagel. I took a bite and Wow! It was seriously delicious and filled with a generous amount of cream cheese, smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes and pickled red onions. I hadn’t had a bagel sandwich like this in a long time and tried to eat it as elegantly as possible, but I ended up with cream cheese all over my cheeks and fingers (hopefully no one was watching me eat, as I’m sure it must have looked like something similar to the porridge scene in Beauty and the Beast)!

bobs bake shop_paris_bagel

After sipping some refreshing lemonade I moved on to the green colored cookie and was very surprised by how light and crumbly it was, with large chunks of chocolate throughout and a mild taste of matcha. I was pretty full at this point but considered ordering a slice of pecan pie (4 Euros) before leaving. I hesitated for a moment and finally decided I would save that delight for next time…because I’ll definitely be coming back!


With a great selection of high quality North American baked goods, I definitely recommend Bob’s Bake Shop. It is bound to please health freaks, or people like me who once in a while feel bad about all of the baguette and fromage they constantly eat and want something a little more wholesome/less fattening! So make your way up to Marx Dormoy métro station in the 18th arrondissement and check out this bake shop as well as Halle Pajol, which has really rejuvenated this often overlooked neighborhood. I think I will be dropping by fairly often for my bagel fix from now on!

bobs bake shop_paris_exterior2

Restaurant Details:

12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018 Paris

+33 (0)9 84 46 25 26

My Rating:

5 irresistible cookies out of 5!

FYI: For info on Marc Grossman’s two other health food establishments in Paris, Bob’s Juice Bar or Bob’s Kitchen, please see: