Brunch at Joe Allen’s

Joe Allen

On Sunday, we went out for a brunch with friends of ours, Baptiste and Véro. We decided to go to Joe Allen’s, a place our neighbor Stéphan had talked to us about, that was also mentioned in our “Guide du Fooding”. This is a very good guide to eating out in Paris. It is issued by Nova Mag, a hip Parisian magazine that could be compared to Time Out. We have had luck with most of the places they recommend, so it has become our trusted little companion. (Nova Mag has a sister radio, called Radio Nova, which I listen to often.)

Joe Allen’s is an American restaurant located in the 1st arrondissement, that has been around for a good 25 years. It is a little dark inside (there are no windows and wooden slates line the walls, cabin-like) but the atmosphere is very warm, crowded and bustling, with old music hall posters on the walls. The wait staff is mostly, if not all-, American, so we got the opportunity to order our food in English, which is always fun.

Now, for the food. What did we have? Well, the typical brunch fare we always used to have back in the US : eggs benedict (with canadian bacon or smoked salmon between the egg and the English muffin), roasted rosemary potatoes, muffins and pancakes. The 21 euro brunch menu included coffee, juice (I had cranberry), the egg dish and the muffin. Pancakes had to be ordered on the side. Only the muffin, dry and tasteless, was below average. The rest of the food was okay, nothing extraodinary, but it hit the spot and satisfied you in a way only eggs in hollandaise sauce can.

It was a really nice relaxing way of spending a few hours with friends on a Sunday. And you don’t get that many authentic American restaurants in Paris, so this one is worth mentioning. We’ll have to go back and try the burgers and hand-cut fries!

Joe Allen
30 rue Pierre Lescot
75001 Paris
01 42 36 70 13

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  • Clotilde,

    You must forgive me because this is not a post about your entry, but rather your picture. Is that a Diet Coke behind the placard? Because while it’s the same can design, it says, “Coca-cola light” (?) on there?

    I don’t know why I find this so fascinating. I wonder if it was a marketing technique. I suppose they could have called it Coca-Cola Diete, but *why* they didn’t is the question.

    Oh, and BTW, I love eggs benedict, but I like burgers and hand-cut fries even more. :-D I bet the hollandaise for the EB was wonderful.

  • Hello Miss B.!
    I certainly do not object to your commenting on the pics, on the contrary, keep’em coming!
    I see you are quite the sleuth! :) And you are right : in France, Diet Coke is called Coca-Cola Light (and we usually just say “Coca Light”). The word “diète” in French is not really equivalent to the English “diet”, it’s sort of old-fashioned. A more accurate translation would be “régime”, and “Coca-Cola Régime” just sounds too weird! Plus for Coke, you really need to keep an American name. And “light” is the word used all-around by French marketers for lightened products (as well as “allégé” and “0%”)… So there you have it, Coca Light!
    I just wanted to use some American symbol on the picture of the restaurant’s card, but I had really not expected it would prompt this comment! You never cease to surprise me… ;)

  • Deb

    “Coca-Cola Régime”
    now that’s funny AND scary!

  • I love it. They should have named it Coca-Cola Régime. Oh, life… how wonderfully ironic thou couldst be. That’s going to have me laughing all day today. But not in that joyful sort of way, but more in that “that’s so damn appropriate it hurts” sort of way.

    I was also wondering if you put the can there on purpose. Now I have my answer. I’m so smart. ;)

  • You know, next time I order one in a café, I’ll just go along with that denomination, and see what happens! “Garçon? Un coca régime, s’il-vous-plaît!” Who knows what I’ll be served… :)

  • I wonder if this is affiliated with the Joe Allen’s in London (tucked behind Pall Mall, near Charing Cross train station)? It’s a place with a lot of history; actors appearing in West End productions have been going there after their shows for decades. I have only eaten there once, and found it a bit overpriced for only slightly above-average food…but, eh, it’s London, so not a surprise on that score.

    Joe Allen’s in Paris, however, sounds much better than the American-style restaurants (Buffalo Bill’s, I think?) I saw all over the roadsides on the drive from Calais to St Foy le Grande!

  • Jackie – You know, the card (pictured above) does say London, so I guess it must be affiliated!

    It’s funny you should mention Buffalo Grill, because this is actually a French chain restaurant, created by two brothers after a trip to the US. They were recently accused of having sold infected beef meat during the mad cow crisis, so I don’t think they’re in such great shape these days…

  • Lamar Cole

    Love is two people sipping Coca Cola from the same straw on a warm sunny day.

  • John Peterson

    Why does Coca Light in France taste soo much better than Diet Coke in America? How come I can’t buy this French diet Coke and have it shipped to the US?

  • Funny, we used to live right by Joe Allen when we lived in Paris. In fact, we couldn’t get our Noos internet cable sorted out, so we ended up using Joe Allen’s free wi-fi because we were that close. We felt guilty about it, so we used to eat there regularly, once every couple of weeks. They did make a decent steak frites…

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