First, The Known: Back To Beaubourg
2 rue Brisemiche (overlooking the Stravinsky Fountains)
Can one go back to a place, to a restaurant, and not be disappointed?
Yes. In all the years we’ve been traveling to Paris we always come here at least once for lunch, and in all these years it’s hardly changed at all.
The setting is the same— the Creperie has an indoor seating area colorfully decorated with paintings and pictures of life in Breton/Brittany, and the shelves on a part of one wall stacked with jars of pickles from around the world, and various cider bottles. The interior hasn’t changed as far as I can tell, the tables still very close together. There are also tables outside on the cobblestones, on either side of the pedestrian walking space, overlooking the Pompidou Center and the Stravinsky Square and its colorful fountains. Next door is Merri Church, and the wall opposite has a large mural and some graffiti. The graffiti has probably changed a few times.
It’s a popular square, lined on one side with cafes, with tourists passing through, local families with kids coming to play ball or ride scooters, and at one end buskers usually performing, often a pavement chalk artist and sometimes a juggler or musician. It’s vibrant and fun, and most of the year it’s great to sit outside and watch the action.
Every few years we notice a couple of different wait staff but even some of those are the same! And the food is the same.
The food is casual, but fresh and tasty, and prices are very good, the emphasis on galettes, crepes, and salads. There’s always a special of a savory galette with salad, plus a sweet crepe and a glass of cider for only around 10 euros, and many people choose that. We have done so too and it’s good, but our absolute preferred favorite is the Salade Champetre (that only costs 9.90 euros)—a large plate of mixed greens, with tomato wedges, topped with raw and cooked ham, a healthy sprinkling of lardons (cooked bacon bits), all topped with a fried egg. That, with slices of fresh baguette and a pichet of rose wine, followed by an espresso, is our idea of a wonderful lunch. We’ve been enjoying it for years and it’s pretty much the same.
So, for us this place is a great example of “can you go back?”, and “do some things remain unchanged?” I think it’s a case of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”