"The evolving Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Le Café du Commerce -- Restaurant Review

50 Rue du Commerce
Ouvert tous les jours de 12h à 15h et de 19h à minuit
Tel : 01 45 75 03 27
Métro : La Motte Piquet, Emile Zola, Commerce

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

2.80 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 4 - Bell

It's funny how you can live in a neighborhood and never really explore the restaurants close by. It took my language coach and friend to invite me to this place and it turns out to be a short walk from our apartment.  We had no idea it was going to be a warm day, and we thought of finding a place to eat outdoors, but we decided to keep our reservations. All the tables were inside and as I mentioned, there are no outdoor seating "al fresco" dining. Unbeknownst to us, it's an extremely popular neighborhood restaurant and was quite busy.  In fact, our lunch reservations were for 1:30 pm and we got seated about 10-minutes later, and there was still quite the line to try and get in.

The inside is immense. There's 3-stories, but only 2 were occupied today.  It felt like you were outside, even though technically you were inside the restaurant. The main dining room was open, and there's lots of greenery to make you feel like you were outdoors. And, I noticed as I entered they had a full bar, nice start. Later on, I also found out they had special cocktails of the day, which we did not partake.

The menu was quite extensive and they even had specials of the day. It almost felt like an American menu, but with many more French choices. I did, however, see the "fish and chips", which I came very close to getting, but decided later to do French country.


Maquereau (mackerel).  We both decided to get the mackerel entrée. It was mackerel in a light vinaigrette and sat atop a preserved lemon. Interestingly, it did not have that typical very sour taste, it was actually quite mild. My friend got a few bones in his, but I had none. It was served with a sort of crostini of tomatoes. Overall a good, simple dish, but nothing out of the ordinary.


Cuissot de cochon de lait, linguini, chips de bacon maison (Suckling pig that sat atop a linguine and some bacon chips). The combinations sounded fabulous. My friend said it was good, but again a good wholesome dish, nothing out of the ordinary.

Pied de porc maison grillé (cuit: 12 heures) (grilled pigs feet cooked for 12-hours).  Now you have to like pigs feet if you order this dish. The dish looked immense, but in reality it's more bones than anything else. I liked the dish. It was crispy on the exterior as a result of the breading, and the interior was very tender and moist, albeit characteristically fatty, but like I said you have to like pigs feet, which I do.  As if the dish couldn't be any richer, it was also served with a side of mild tartar sauce and fries. It was a good wholesome dish. 

What does one drink on a very warm summer day, why rosé. My friend knows more about wine than I do, so he ordered a "Domaine Turenne Cotes de Provence Camille".  It was a really nice rosé, a little on the tart side, but extremely refreshing, and actually went well with my pork considering how fatty it was. But then again, I'm partial to rosés.


It took a friend to introduce me to a neighborhood restaurant. This restaurant is extremely popular with the locals in the neighborhood, and seems to always be very, very busy.  Even though it's an extremely large restaurant, it's also an extremely noisy restaurant, as a result I gave them a lower rating than I would normally.  While not a fine dining establishment nor would you want to go there for a romantic dinner, they serve good wholesome food at reasonable prices.  In an odd way, it sort of reminded me of the "Cheesecake Factory" restaurant chain, with less choices and more charm. It's a really fun restaurant. The waiters were charming and liked to joke around. Would I go back, sure, it's in our hood.

For 2-entrées, 2-plats, a bottle of Rose and 1-coffee our bill came to 79.90€ about 40€ each. 

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