Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘brasserie’

1 julien

.

Eating in style for a reasonable price is still possible in Paris, as attractive historical interiors abound in the city. They have been revamped with care and, unless they had been invaded by the nonsensical cuisine nouvelle, they serve hearty traditional meals at affordable prices. They are usually called bouillons or brasseries. These establishments were meant to serve simple dishes to people on a budget, yet they did it in sumptuous interiors. We are used to minimalism, which forces us to eat in a simple environment and often without the slightest comfort for the eye. In the eateries of our ancestors, every surface was an invitation for an artist to leave his mark. To eat in those places brings pleasure to both the body and the soul. You can still enjoy the same well-being in the following places:

.

BRASSERIE JULIEN

.

.

The restaurant is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau. Admire remarkable craftsmanship while eating at equally remarkable low prices. If you are a fan of Edith Piaf, request table # 24, where she used to meet the tragic love of her life, the boxer Marcel Cerdan.

Métro: Strasbourg Saint-Denis or Bonne Nouvelle

.

BEEFBAR PARIS

.

Under this harsh name hides the former La Fermette Marboeuf.  A fermette (little farm) indeed! In this luxurious glass and art tiles interior, you would feel like a precious plant in a Victorian winter garden. As the current name indicates, the restaurant is meat-focused with Kobo and Black-Angus steaks as the key items on the menu. According to the current reviews, the service is not entirely satisfactory for the prices asked.

 Métro: Alma-Marceau

.

BOUILLON CHARTIER GRANDS BOULEVARDS

.

.

Founded in 1896, this was the first of a chain of popular eateries operated by brothers Edouard and Camille Chartier. This restaurant has already served fifty million meals for relatively cheap prices. The fare is simple and there is always a line outside.

Métro: Grand-Boulevards

.

BOUILLON CHARTIER MONTPARNASSE

.

.

There was a plain restaurant in the same place since 1858 before Eduard Chartier scooped it up in 1904 to make it into another of his successes. He gave the interior an Art Nouveau facelift with a stained glass ceiling, floral tiles, and a profusion of intricate mirror frames. Simple cuisine at very reasonable prices.

Métro: Montparnasse – Bienvenüe or Saint-Placide

.

LA BRASSERIE VAGENENDE

.

1 vagenende

.

Located on Boulevard Saint-Germain, this jewel box of Art Nouveau was created in 1904 as one of the Chartier restaurants. A superb Belle Époque style reigns throughout with mirrors and remarkable woodwork. The place was saved in time from being turned into a supermarket. Restored with the utmost care, it is now classified as a historic site. The main dishes are priced between 21 and 40 Euro.

Métro: Mabillon or Odéon

.

BOUILLON RACINE

.

.

You’ll find this enchanting creation of Cartier brothers tucked away in a quiet street near the Luxembourg Garden. It has been carefully restored to its former beauty. The main dishes are priced between 14.50 and 21 Euro.

Métro: Cluny – La Sorbonne or Saint-Michel Notre-Dame

.

MULLARD

.

.

August 1837 marks the departure of the first train from the Saint-Lazare railway station. The Saint-Lazare district was then a suburb, almost the countryside. The Mullard family opened a bar across the street from the railway station and in thirty years amassed enough money to transform the venue into a restaurant for prosperous businessmen. The interior design dates from 1895 and features marble columns, a mosaic ceiling, and painted tiles picturing countryside attractions that could be reached by train. Despite the apparent luxury, Mullard offers a 3-course menu for a mere 32 Euro.

 Métro: Gare Saint-Lazare

.

2 mollard brasserie

Mullard’s mosaic ceiling

.

LE TRAIN BLEU

.

This palatial restaurant can put Versailles to shame. It was opened in 1900 to serve the visitors of The Grand Exposition. It is located in another railway station, the Gare de Lyon. Regardless of the Art Nouveau fashion overwhelmingly used at the time, this interior recalls the excessive splendor of the Second Empire. Le Train Bleu refers to the legendary overnight train, which first left in 1868 and still links Paris to Nice and the azure blue of the Mediterranean Sea.

The prices are high but not excessive. However, if you think of going in for just a cup of something cheap, they are ready for you. The price for tea or coffee is 18 Euro.

Métro: Gare de Lyon

.

.

3 Train-Bleu-restaurant-ceiling

The ornate ceiling of Le Train Bleu restaurant

.

The above list is not exhaustive. There are more fabulous and budget-accessible restaurants in Paris. If you know of one that should be mentioned here, let us know in the comments.

Merry Christmas everyone!

.

Related posts:

Merry Noël from Paris

The Many Faces of French Santa

Les Halles: The Belly of Paris

.

Read Full Post »

“Come and See Pretty Pussies” – Street advertisement for a brasserie

 

 

Among the big headaches for municipal authorities of Paris in the second part of the 19th century was the appearance of the brasseries à femmes. Until then, drink and sex were generally served apart. A man looking for a drink would go to a café and, should he feel the need for female company, he’d make his choice (and an abundant choice it was!) among the streetwalkers, or he’d visit a brothel. In accordance with the law, the staff of the maisons de tolérance, was kept under weekly medical supervision and therefore more or less free of venereal disease. However, a license for opening a brothel was not easy to come by and, should any complaints arise, the business would be mercilessly closed by the authorities. This was not the case with public places offering alcohol. Traditionally, these employed male waiters, but in the 1860s a few establishments appeared where drink was served by pretty women in seductive garb whose duty was to encourage the consumption of alcohol by being friendly with the patrons. This new way of serving drinks expanded rapidly not only in Paris but in all large cities across France. By the end of the century, in Paris alone, the brasseries employed between 1,500 and 2,000 waitresses. Although the interior of a brasserie might appear above reproach, most of them contained rooms for private encounters.

beraud

With the growth of the brasseries à femmes, the statistic of venereal disease shot up accordingly. Unlike registered prostitutes, waitresses were not subjected to medical control and, as there was no shame attached to entering such an establishment, many patrons, who would hesitate to be seen in a brothel, became victims of both drink and disease. Young men were the most at risk. Students and apprentices saw their future dissolve in excesses of drink to the chagrin of their parents and teachers. Patrons became attached to the girls and when a successful waitress crossed the river to “remake herself a virginity” on the opposite bank, some of her clients followed her like faithful dogs.

Serving in a brasserie was no sinecure. Twelve hours a day in the noisy and smoky atmosphere, where the women were required not only to serve but to sit at the tables and match the patrons drink for a drink, took a heavy toll on their health. Very few lasted more than ten years.  The following is a questionnaire filled by an applicant from Marseille seeking a job in Paris:

An early brasserie poster, circa 1875

Have you already served in brasseries?

Yes, in Lyon and here.

Are you young?

I’m 24.

Pleasant?

Like a jewel.

Pretty?

See my photograph.

Flirtatious?

With art. I offer, I attract, and I hold.

Do you have a good stomach?

I have a robust constitution and if I don’t have sobriety, the virtue of a camel, by contrast I possess the stomach of an ostrich used to all kinds of drinks, even adulterated ones. I have, like many of my co-workers, begun to practice fraud and today I can drink without getting drunk. You will hear my voice, you will see my chic and you will appreciate my talent for manipulation.

She, no doubt, got the job.

Why were these women so keen to apply for a work in which their health and morals suffered irreparable damage?  The answer, of course, is money. Morals set aside, a smart brasserie waitress made in a day the monthly wages of a factory worker.

After many protests, a law put an end to the brasseries à femmes. With the exception of the owner’s family members, no other female employees were allowed to serve in these establishments. It was also forbidden for a waitress to drink with the patrons.

Related posts:

Degrees of Prostitution

Prostitutes in Paris

(more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: