Around Paris: 11th: Les Funambules

15 07 2010

If you do any amount of reading about the food scene in Paris these days, chances are you’ve heard of the rue Paul Bert.  Tucked away on the outskirts of the 11th arrondissement, this tiny street is home to the much-lauded Bistrot Paul Bert, its seafood-oriented sibling L’Écailler du Bistrot, and the nearly impossible to book Temps au Temps.  Nick and I found ourselves in the neighborhood during a recent soccer match, and since the bar where we were watching the game had illogically closed their kitchen, we decided to step out at halftime to find some dinner.

Les Funambules

Despite having called the 11th home for two years, I’d never actually been to this part of it before.  But I knew that we were in the vicinity of the rue Paul Bert, and that good eats had to be nearby.  Looking more for a quick bite than a full-on dining experience,  we crossed the foodie destination restaurants off our list.  In our wanderings, we passed by this fun-looking restaurant on the corner of Paul Bert and rue Faidherbe.  Everyone was eating out of huge, brightly-colored ceramic bowls, which intrigued us, so we walked closer to get a better look.  The bowls contained salads, of the big variety so popular chez moi.  We were convinced.

Sitting down at a table on the patio, I gave Nick the seat with the view of the TV (the wandering took up some time, and the game was about to start again).  We looked through the menu and found a number of tasty-sounding salads, as well as a Cantal cheeseburger.  Sold.  It was then that Nick noticed the fish and chips on the chalkboard menu.  We arranged to share bites and ordered our dinners.

Fish and chips at Les Funambules

My fish and chips arrived crisp and hot.  It was served with a little ramekin of sherry vinegar, which was an interesting but not at all unpleasant substitute for the more traditional malt vinegar served across the Channel.  The tartar sauce had an air of housemade about it, and lacking ketchup, it made a fine dip for the fries (industrial, but not half-bad).  The fish (cod) was tender and flaky, the breading a thin and shattery counterpoint.

Cantal burger

Nick’s burger, with a nice, thick layer of gooey cheese underneath, came speared with a pickle.  Classic.  A sweet pickle.  Strange, but then, I’ve always had a weakness for sweet pickles.  We polished off our pub grub just in time for the end of the game, which delayed the waiter quite a bit.  He was too busy cheering for Spain to bring us our bill, but I’ll let it slide this time.  I mean, the World Cup only happens every four years, right?

Would I make a special trip to come back to Les Funambules?  Probably not, but I would happily eat there again the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




6 responses

15 07 2010

Yay to trackbacks 🙂 Also, yay to tasty looking fish ‘n’ chips. Although I found some here at a factory Irish pub, those look so much better. You may not go out of your way, but I could be convinced too!

16 07 2010
hungry dog

I love that first photo, the restaurant looks so cozy!

I also love the photo of the burger. Looks perfect.

16 07 2010

It seems very unfair to me that even in Paris, meals sometimes come with pickles. Never once, in Australia, have I been given a pickle. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t know if I could even find those big pickles in the shops if I looked. I do have some baby gherkins in the fridge, though.

End pickle story.

P.S. I’d forgotten the awesomeness of vinegar with fish and chips. Mmm.

17 07 2010

Researching Paris – As long as I get a chance to try that burger at the pub, too…

hungry dog – It was a fun, convivial place. And the interior decor was neat, too – sort of Belle Epoque-meets-modern industrial.

Hannah – If you can find a cucumber, you can make your own pickles! Really, it’s much easier than I thought.

17 07 2010


I live just up the road from les Funambules and I was really surprised by your post on the place.

The only time I went I thought it perfectly summed up the mediocrity of the average Parisian bistro: industrial vinigrette, a complete disdain for the quality of vegetables, a dismal selection of wines and an awful expresso. Admittedly the kitchen staff may have changed since my only visit and the food in the pictures you took does not look bad at all (tastiest looking burger i’ve seen in a long time).

On another note, if you have not been yet check out “Au Vieux Chene” just opposite les Funambules 7 rue du Dahomey.



18 07 2010

AB – You could be right, considering I had neither vegetables, nor wine, nor espresso during my visit. 🙂 What I can say is that the pub-style food was not bad at all. Thanks for the recommendation!

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