Letter from Paris: Good Casual Eats in Paris
By Alexander Lobrano
For a variety of reasons, the French have been slow to come up with a good Gallic gastronomic retort to the creeping American concept of ‘fast casual-dining’ (Boy, do I hate that phrase, which resonates as a pretty unconvincing euphemism for fat-and-unhealthy). In fact, in many large American cities, it’s difficult to find anything but the chain gain, including Applebee’s, The Olive Garden, Chipotles’s, Hooters, The Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster and their ilk. These formatted restaurants are rapidly going global, too, and inexplicably seem to be finding large numbers of receptive customers in Asia, as well as more traditional markets like Canada and the United Kingdom.
Alexander Lobrano was Gourmet magazine’s European correspondent from 1999 until its recent closing. Lobrano has written for almost every major food and travel magazine since he became an American in Paris in 1986. He is the author of “Hungry for Paris” (Random House), his personal selection of the city’s 102 best restaurants, which Alice Waters has called “a wonderful guide to eating in Paris.” Lobrano’s Letter from Paris runs every month in Everett Potter’s Travel Report. Visit his website, Hungry for Paris.(Photo by Steven Rothfeld)