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I had known about Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen from when I first arrived in Paris. It was sort of staple of something I knew was American. I will admit I never went often as whenever I randomly passed it or planned to go, it was always closed for some reason. Bref. When Bob’s Bake Shop opened, this was a whole new ball game in my book. Expats in Paris sure know how exciting it is when Thanksgiving rolls around because many shops sell their pies for Turkey Day celebrations. I for one was just excited to be able to get pie all the time.

Aside from the pie thing, I was also excited about it being somewhere NOT in the 11th. All of my favorite things I find group in one area. It’s not a BAD thing it’s just something I’ve noticed. I like when peeps get risky and open outside of the trendy spots of the time – cough – the Canal Saint Martin or Oberkampf area. Bob’s chose to open up north in one of my favorite places to stroll since my Lamarck Caulaincourt days, by the Marx Dormoy metro stop. North of my Indian cantine Chettinadu, the Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute is up against the tracks of Gare de l’Est, sandwiched between those also of Gare du Nord. It’s one of those randomly modern areas that is sort of becoming a new sort of trendy thanks to some snazzy restaurants and a youth hostel, but is definitely like a small pocket of trendy in a rather unique part of Paris that is the La Chapelle quartier. Bob’s Bake Shop graces us with its presence here.

A diner in the true sense of the term, Bob’s Bake Shop offers quality food without giving too much of a shit about the overdone awesomeness of the interior. So many places look the same these days. What I love about Bob’s is that it is what it is, and it is wonderful. No subway tiles and wood finishings and inconvenient table arrangements, like in so many other restaurant or cafés popping up around the city. It is spacious, comfy and feels just right – is that my inner American? Table booths line up the window, and the cafeteria-like set up displays everything they’ve got to offer: homemade bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, salads…. the works.

Stop in for a coffee or juice and a treat, or for a sane lunch with a delicious lemonade with a pal (like I did, with my homegirl Ylenia). We went with a open faced bagel sandwich with hummus and pickled veggies on top. Long story short: friendly staff and delicious food. An authentic American spot in the city. I will admit though, I am secretly awaiting some banana cream pie.

Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol – 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018
Métro: Marx Dormoy (12)
Tél: 09 84 46 25 26

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Breakfast out is one of my favorite things. In Paris if it’s the weekend, no matter what time your breakfast out happens, it’s a brunch, apparently. Lauren, Carin and I chose to have some grub at Holybelly, as I had never had bfast grub there – only coffee or afternoon tea.

I usually am not the type of person to wait in line for a new trendy place as all the cool peeps in Paris are at the same places every Saturday and Sunday at noon, but I was pleasantly surprised and how quick the time went by, and I must say Holybelly is an exception. Our 20 minute wait was the perfect opp to head to the other side of the canal to grab an espresso to go at one Paris’s renowned specialty coffee shops, Ten Belles.

We had wandered back just in time to sit down. I must say, restaurants with menus that aren’t fixed for a weekend brunch really is a luxury in Paris. The fixed menu brunches are often so overpriced and I can never even finish them (not to mention many places pile on pastries which are the cheapest thing possible, ugh). Holybelley’s simple and somewhat american style “eggs any style and 2 sides” really hit home for me (€11,50). I was in a savory breakfast paradise, with quality food and friendly service. Carin’s pancakes were photogenic as hell, and just as tasty as they were adorable. Topped with a flat white with quality Belleville Brûlerie beans, we found ourselves in heaven.

They’ve got a little something extra going on in that café, I tell ya… everyone is always so friendly, and with the changing menu you’re always in for a surprise each time you pop in. If you follow Holybelly on social media, you’ll know that the duo that runs the place, Nico + Sarah, communicate not only about the latest HB happenings, but also support other spots on the block and culinary adventures. By having shared their story – and continuing to do so – their café is really a staple of the neighborhood.

Thanks, Holybelly, for being so awesome.

My first time at Holybelly was for a Pinterest party, discover the photos here.

Read more lovely things about Holybelly.

Holybelly
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Closed Tues/Weds

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Ivy Chang featured me on her Inside Kitchen Project series a few months ago. When she asked I knew exactly what I wanted to make: my mom’s French toast that I grew up eating.

It’s insanely simple and quick, but so delicious. I have memories of running up the stairs like a crazy person and plopping myself on the high metal stools we had in our kitchen, in pajamas, with a ginormous glass of OJ, as soon as my mom yelled down to tell us breakfast was ready. I always stacked 2 slices of French toast, covered them with maple syrup and cut them in a grid of 9 squares. Why you ask? I have no idea. But hey, it’s funny to think about. This recipe always hits home for me, it’s quick and hearty and brings back so many memories of breakfast at home in the Rockies with the family.

Ingredients:
– 8-10 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
– 2/3 cups milk
– 4 eggs
– 2 tablespoons cinnamon
– A smidgen of vanilla extract
– Maple syrup (optional)
– Berries & bananas (optional)

Instructions:
1. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
2. Melt a bit of butter in your skillet.
3. Soak your bread slice in the egg mixture, both sides.
4. Place that bad boy on your skillet and leave until golden on both sides.
5. Serve with maple syrup, berries and banana slice to taste, with a big glass of juice or a cuppa Jo.
6. Enjoy.

Discover more Inside Kitchen posts over on Ivy’s blog.

frenchy-to-go-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-11A real hearty and savory breakfast in Paris is hard to find. Mostly because this is usually associated with brunch (aka overpriced fixed menus that are only served on weekends). Breakfast is an important meal of the day, and sometimes a tartine with jam or yogurt just won’t cut it.

Luckily, Frenchie To Go opens early on weekdays, so a savory breakfast is possible BEFORE work… How great is that? They’ve got a bacon sandwich, which has quite a bit of bacon, I’m not going to lie, but you can add cheddar and an egg if you’d like for a couple of bucks and it becomes the perfectly complete breakfast sandwich. Plus, Frenchie To Go, a hotspot near Sentier that is packed during lunch, is never packed before work (at least when I’ve been), it’s basically perfection. The only downside about going in the morning is not being able to get one of their beers, as they’ve got quite a fine list! Other breakfast options: homemade granola, bacon scones, pastries.

With a little cuppa and one of these bad boys, we started our day with a bang. The donuts sure were tempting.

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Frenchie To-Go
9, rue du Nil, 75002
Métro: Sentier (3)

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Lately I’ve been slightly drowning a bit. Transitions are in the happenings and I’ve been trying to find motivation to get out and do things on the weekends, to maintain the social aspect of my life and discovering cozy new places in this fantastic city. I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to go to places that are just good at what they do. Places I can go away from home where I can just enjoy myself with no expectations of awesomeness or from hype. Just genuineness. It’s not as easy as it seems, eh? I find myself going somewhere because that is where everyone is going and sometimes after I leave, I think to myself, “I wonder if I’ll go back there”. How sad is that? Marlette stood out to me in many ways for its genuineness, so I had been quite anxious to check out their café for a little while, especially since I find their mixes so precious and clever. This particular day in question was filled with sun rays and surprisingly warm temperatures, so rolling out of bed to go and stroll through the 9th and see some girlfriends seemed like a bright idea.

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Café Marlette is a the new kid on the block of the rue des Martyrs, mand seems to be on everyone’s “to stop by” list lately. Marlette is at its origins a little brand sold across Paris, with little kits for baking delicious things (including gluten free kits!), created and run by 2 sisters. Their café features a section with all they’ve got to offer, and also a place for a delicious little breakfast. Lali, Faye, Anja and I decided to go one weekend morning.

We saw that it opened at 10am, so gave ourselves rendez-vous at this time (I am that asshole who is totally not in the mood to wait at a busy place), but we quickly found out that the kitchen only opens at 11am (not sure if that was communicated somewhere? I couldn’t find it). This little misunderstanding actually turned out for the best as the little fresh as can be breakfast menu was just perfect : a hot bevvie (coffee from Coutume), fresh juice, a fromage blanc or other little sweet treat, and a pastry of choice for 12 euros. I’ll just mention here that their banana bread is what the French would call a “tuerie”, incredibly delicious. As 11 o’clock rolled around and the wave of brunchers came in, we realized that the little breakfast was just we needed and that the brunch actually didn’t really seem worth it’s buck.

I’ll save my brunch frustrations in a later post.

I’d like to go back to Café Marlette for a goûter, a little snack and coffee with a dear one. The space is illuminous and minimalistic, cozy and modern, with precious finishing touches every left and right.

Check out Lali’s review on Café Marlette here.

Café Marlette
51 rue des Martyrs, 75009
Tél: 01.48.74.89.73
Métro: Pigalle (12/2), Saint Georges (12)