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A couple weekends ago, my friend Maggie and I road tested a rockin’ brunch place in the 7th arrondissement called Coutume. We couldn’t have been more pleased! Surprised by their reasonable prices (considering the area), the great food, and almost scientific coffee, the whole brunch experience ended up lasting a good three hours!

Coutume’s specialty is by far their coffee. Roasting the beans themselves, they have a large selection of pain-stakingly chosen coffee beans that once roasted, are used to produce their coffee beverages which are prepared in four different ways: expresso machine, siphon (very strong), conical drip, and the very rare cold drip apparatus. For coffee conoisseurs, there isn’t anything else like this in Paris, so a definite must!

However after a coffee or two, if you have the tendacy to get the jitters like Maggie and I, you might want to sit down and enjoy the 3 course 20 euro brunch. A to die for home-made muesli with apple compote and fromage blanc starts it off in addition to freezed squeezed orange or grapefruit juice. The next course can be a standard eggs and bacon with potatoes, or variations with salmon, or a breakfast burrito. Everything was just delicious and the service was unprententious and helpful, always a plus!

The ambiance, with its beaker water carafes and clipboard menus, was halfway between laboratory and trendy resto. With plants creatively growing out of sinks, bags of green coffee beans lining the back, unfinished paint on the walls, and a large roaster, one gets the taste of the craft and science involved in making good coffee while enjoying a warm luminous yet slightly industrial atmosphere.

Coutume welcomes the coffee drinker with his or her newspaper (or should we say iPad these days?), so don’t feel obligated to brunch if you just want to hang out at the coffee bar or study. We saw several people in there who were simply enjoying a great coffee while websurfing or reading! So give it a try, experiments in this “lab” are always a success!

Coutume

47 rue de Babylone

75007, Paris

http://www.coutumecafe.com/ (site in progress)

Sésame, 51, quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

So as I mentioned in my last post, a lazy Sunday isn’t complete without a deliciously late brunch. A brunch where I can sit outside (preferably on a sunny “terrasse”) and watch life go by as I sip a café crème. The Canal St.Martin is perfect for this preferred activity of mine, and since I have become rather routine about it, I have sampled a great number of restaurants along the canal that are MUST TRYS if you haven’t done so already…

Sésame – A very cute but small restaurant that serves a proper brunch with all the bells and whistles. Eggs, toast with different kinds of spreading options like jams, honey, and nutella, salads, smoothies, great coffee all for the great price of about 20 euros.  The hippie-like ambiance comes with the meal. Bonus: All fresh produce is organic!!

51, quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

http://www.au-sesame.com/

Canal St. Martin

Chez Prune – Grunge-like atmosphere à la Brooklyn before it got all hipster. Lots of tables outside for people watching, and the food is solid French brunch fare. Stops serving at 2pm so make sure to go before the kitchen closes.

36, rue Beaurepaire, 7501,0 Paris

La Marine – They have a killer goat cheese salad, but they are also know for their fish and seafood, hence their name “La Marine.” Their spacious interior is nice as it makes it easier to get a table on weekends when it is the most busy. It has the old French bistro thing going on, but for the prices (which are reasonably) you get a great meal overlooking the canal.

55, bis quai de Valmy, 75010, Paris

L’Atmosphère – Small bistro with outside tables that are splashed with sunlight and the glimmering reflections off the canal’s murky waters. Right next to the charming Antoine and Lili shops, it serves some delicious French dishes, but doesn’t necessarily have that traditional brunch of eggs, bacon and potatoes etc.

49, rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010, Paris

And last but not least….

Les Enfants Perdus,

Les Enfants Perdus – I HEART this place. Both a bar and a restaurant, they have a sweet courtyard in the back that is great for an afternoon beer or enjoying a late brunch. The place is a bit hidden, so when you go in, you really feel like you’ve discovered a kind of secret garden (with alcohol and food!). They are happy to let you linger over a Mariage Frères tea, and they have an selection of magazines and books you can browse through.

Food, well I will have to let the menu speak for itself. Click here to review it. It is hands down delicious! A wee bit pricey, but worth it. Whether it is a filet de Bar with provencal butter and fresh veggies, or braised lamb with honey and cumin and a broccoli gratin with almonds, everything is done just right and with a unique twist you won’t soon forget! My official Grisette rating is three Yums up!!

9, rue des Récollets, 75010, Paris

http://les-enfants-perdus.com/

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