Opinions on France

I've only been to France twice, but a friend asked, so here it is. The tininess of this page gives an idea of just how little I know about France, but I've kept track of where I've stayed and ate. I won't discuss the sights; get the Michelin green guide. Currency in French Francs will have a trailing F, and phone numbers will give the full, international dialing, starting with 011 33 for France. The right way to dial while in France is currently unknown to me.


I won't stay in a room without a private bath, so assume all rooms in a place have one if I don't mention it specifically.

Hotel Champ de Mars. rue de Champ de Mars, Paris, 011 33 1 45 51 52 30, fax: 011 33 1 45 51 64 36, 410F 8/99, reservations cancellable 1 week prior to arrival. There are no fans, let alone air conditioners, in the rooms, so in hot weather you get either noise from the bistro across the street until about 11PM and delivery noise to the shops around the corner in the morning, or you get the chatter and noise from other people on the airshaft. Rm 25 with a queen-sized bed facing the front for the street noise, or rm 24 with twin beds for the other. That aside, it's really a nice place in a great location.

Hotel Etats Unis. on the right bank, near the opera, about 600F 5/90. Decent place in a good area, but the rue Cler area, like the Hotel Champ de Mars, was more fun to be in.

Hotel Gutenberg. 31, rue des Serruriers, Strasbourg, 011 33 3 88 32 17 15, fax: 011 33 3 88 75 76 67, 460F 8/99, cancellable 24 hours prior to arrival. Rm 302 is air conditioned, a minor advantage, and the toilet is in a completely separate closet from the rest of the plumbing, a minor disadvantage. Quiet, comfortable, centrally located, with pleasant hosts. I would definitely go back here any time I was in Strasbourg.


This is not the guide to fine dining is Paris. I'm too cheap for that. Don't expect places I give one star (*) to be anything like a place that would get one star from Michelin.

All Our Ancestors. Ile St Louis, Paris, ** gah 4/91, $24. Unlimited wine, pate, bread, vegies, an entree, dessert, fromage, etc.

L'Amanguier. 110, rue de Richeliue, Paris 2e, 42 96 37 79 rs, * rpk 6/90, daily, jacket s, cards, $21. Cheese ravioli, duck in raspberry-vinegar sauce, steak au poivre, chocolate & raspberry cake w/raspberry sauce, gateau chocolat amer. Avoid: crab cocktail, fish in cream sauce, house red.

Ambassade d'Auvergne. 27, r. Grenier Saint Lazare, Paris,, * sm 9/91, $cheap. Hearty French country cooking in generous amounts.

Au Diable des Lombards. 64 rue des Lombards, Paris 1er, 42 33 81 84, eh rpk 6/90-8/99, daily, casual, MC V, $13. OK: cheeseburger. Avoid: (limp) fries. No, it wasn't "eh" in '90; back then it was pretty good. It was on our return in '99 that it earned the "eh".

Aux Charpentiers. 10 rue Mabillon, Paris 6e, rr, fair rpk 6/90, M-Sa, jacket s, AE DC V, $25.

Berthillon. Ile St Louis, ** 8/99. Ice cream.

Bofinger. Paris, * bm 2/90, casual, $cheap. Traditional brasserie food.

Brasserie de I'lle St Louis. 55 Quai de Bourbon, Paris, * mom 3/94. Choucroute garni.

Brasserie Honor. rue du Faubourg St. Honore (a few blocks east of Arc de Triomphe), Paris, * rpk 5/90, casual, V, $5-15. Croque monsieur, salad Nicoise.

Cafe du Commerce. r. Commerce (2 blocks from Commerce stop of subway line 8), Paris, ** pp 9/91.

Cafe du Marche. r. Cler at r. Champs de Mars, Paris, * rpk 8/99. Duck, tarte Normande.

Chez Catherine. 65 rue de Provence, Paris.

corner bakery. corner rue St Augustin & rue Gaillon, Paris, * rpk 6/90. Tarts, chocolate stuff. NB: no hot drinks.

corner brasserie. NE corner of ave des Gobelins & blvd St Marcel, Paris, eh rpk 6/90. Eh: croque monsieur, croque madame.

La Petit Chaise. 36 rue de Grenelle, Paris 7e, rr, fair rpk 6/90, daily, jacket s, MC V, $30. Tournedos in Madera sauce. OK: pasta in cream sauce. Avoid: onion soup.

La Regalade. 49 avenue Jean-Moulin, Paris.

Le Trumilou. 84, quai de l'Hotel de Ville, Paris 4e,, * rpk 6/90-8/99, Tu-Su, casual, MC V, $21. Terrine lapin, pate compagne, duck in prune sauce, chocolate charlotte in creme Anglaise (** if they put it back on the menu).

Le Villaret. 13 rue Ternaux, Paris.

no-no-no. Pl. de l'Opera on corner between Capucines & Quatre Septembre, Paris, * rpk 6/90, casual, no cards. Raspberry tart, chocolate croissant, quiches, tea, citron presse.

Petit St. Benoit. 4 rue St. Benoit, Paris 6e, nra, * rpk 5/90, M-F, casual, no cards, $20. Terrine maisson, duck pate, roast chicken, ham w/sauce, gateau chocolate amer (whisky), pear charlotte.

Polidor. 41 r. M. le Prince, Paris, * nj 9/91, $15. Fish of the day, cheap red wine.

Taverne Kronenbourg. 24, Bd des Italiens, Paris,, fair rpk 5/90, daily, casual, cards, $25. Roast chicken. OK: house white, apple tart, mousse of 3 chocolates. Avoid: house red.

Vaudeville. Paris, * bm 2/90, casual, $economical. Traditional brasserie food.

The opinions expressed in this guide were provided by myself.