By Joe Ray
This is a public service writeup for the “run away” column.
I’ve spent the last few weeks on the road, working on a Frommer’s guide update in Burgundy and the Rhône. Meeting an out-of-town colleague and his wife for brunch right after my return to Paris, I was happy to have someone else choose the location.
Les Editeurs sits across the street from Yves Camdeborde’s wonderful Le Comptoir and a stone’s throw from the Odeon metro. Walls of books and red-leather chairs make Les Editeurs look like a nice place to while away an afternoon, perhaps that’s best done with a beer or something else that they didn’t create on site.
Yesterday morning, 25 euros bought Sunday brunch at Les Editeurs. Brunch is a Parisian trend I’ve never understood in ten years here - a bad translation from the beautiful, bountiful American original. The French version is often overpriced and boring. Les Editeurs version included watery OJ, bad coffee, a basket of croissants and soggy toast and a plate with small ramekins of unremarkable scrambled eggs, a fruit cup, yogurt and something else that my mind has blocked out.
My colleague’s wife ordered a fifteen-euro club sandwich which she asked for without bacon. She was informed the sandwich was pre-made, but she could remove the bacon.
Really? Why do you need to pre-make a club sandwich in a restaurant? There are other time-saving/corner-cutting measures to take in a kitchen that don’t make bread soggy.
She did her best to push the sandwich around on her plate, but couldn’t bring herself to eat it. The waitress asked her about it and she couldn’t lie. To their credit, they comped it.
I’ve just come off of three days of incredible food in Lyon - fantastic three-course meals for under 20 euros. Yes, you can argue you pay for a prime location, but today’s brunch made me want to walk to the train station and have a few more meals in the Rhône before returning to Paris and pretend like I just got back.
4 Carrefour de l'Odéon
Food and travel writer and photographer Joe Ray is the 2009 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year and author of the blog Eating The Motherland. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @joe_diner.