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Le Petit Vendôme, an authentic Parisian bougnat

If you like real Auvergnats bistrots (called "Bougnats"), typical Parisian ambiances in the spirit of the café des deux moulins from the film "Amélie", then this is the place for you. It is a 7-minute walk from the Relais Saint-Honoré.

Neon lights, zinc-plated bar, checkered tablecloths, tiles, and 60's decorations, hanging hams... it's all there. If you like your privacy, this isn't the place for you, the bar is always full and the tables are close to each other. On the other hand, it's an excellent restaurant if you appreciate simplicity, authenticity, and good food. Coming for lunch or before a show is a very good idea in the neighborhood.

Among other things, the establishment has the reputation of making the best sandwiches in Paris. It is a real institution.

You are quickly welcomed and found a table when you enter. If you've come for a sandwich, go to the bar: you can not only watch your order being prepared, but also be at the heart of the play being performed in front of you.

Local cuisine is served: Onion soup (8 €), Mayonnaise eggs and fresh vegetable Macedoine (7 €), "La belle Iloise" sardines (8 €). There are a dozen boards with very good charcuterie and Auvergne cheese (between 6 and 9.50 €), as well as Argoat string andouillette and homemade fries (18 €) or a grilled pig's foot, cider vinegar, and homemade fries (17 €), veal stew and pilaf (17 €), or a beef stew with seasonal vegetables and marrow (22 €)...

This neighborhood bistro doesn't have a website, so you can't see the menu online. Here it is :

Mayonnaise eggs and fresh vegetable Macedoine (7 €)

The mayonnaise eggs are irreproachable, the macedoine is very crisp and with light cream.

Argoat string andouillette and homemade fries (18 €)

Straight from the Breton andouillette specialist, the andouillette is very crunchy and not greasy. The fries are wonderful, it becomes difficult to enjoy "home-made" fries.

Lemon pie (5 €)

The lemon pie is fresh, the dough stands well, the filling has a good texture and taste, though it is a little too sweet for me.

If you opt for a sandwich, go see Sophie at the bar to order. You will see her behind the hanging hams and sausages and the national cheeses, such as the Laguiole de Jeune Montagne tomme, which is used to make aligot or truffade.

The sandwich menu is full of options: Rillettes, pâté, ham bone from charcutier cantalou Mas, country hams, crickets, garlic sausage, saint-nectaire, fourme d'Ambert, bleu d'Auvergne, Comté, and cantal are the basic ingredients that can be combined and embellished with condiments such as olive oil and pickles. The bread comes from the Julien bakery in the 1st arrondissement (famous for the quality of its bread). Sandwiches cost between 4 and 6 €, but the quality is clearly worth it.

You can water this very good sandwich down with a Saint-Pourçain served with the string (18 € a bottle), or a small quincy of Jacques Siret (6 € a glass).

Gilles Caussade, owner of le petit Vendôme, explains the secret of a good ham sandwich:
  • A crispy baguette of the day, or even half a day
  • A soft, creamy butter
  • A ham bone without dyes or preservatives
  • Prepared when ordered

The sandwiches are prepared when ordered as they will lose all of their crispness even if they only stay out for an hour.

In a nutshell, a very good little bistro with an authentic atmosphere that serves good food. Eat to your fill!

8 Rue des Capucines - 75002 Paris
tel : 01 42 61 05 887

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