Around Paris: 9th: Rose Bakery

18 11 2010

They’re lucky the food’s good.

Rose Bakery, Paris 9th

I’m not sure what I was expecting, exactly, when I went to Rose Bakery for brunch a few Sundays ago.  Other than visions of sticky toffee puddings and Neal’s Yard cheeses, neither of which featured on the brunch menu, I guess I thought it would be an English tea room of the cozy, quaint sort.  I was wrong.

The front of the shop features a bakery case, a small refrigerated case with cheeses (no Stichelton, though, sniff) and English beers, a few English pantry items, and crates of organic vegetables piled up around the perimeter.  There’s a rather disorganized line of people, some waiting to make purchases, some paying for their meals, and some (like us) waiting for a table.  Fortunately, as a party of two, Nick and I didn’t have to wait long.

We were seated in the back dining room, a room whose decor left me puzzled.  Concrete floors, a bright orange Smeg refrigerator, flourescent lights hanging vertically on the walls… it was certainly more post-modern/poor man’s Dan Flavin than I had imagined.  The menu was equally minimal.  Bacon and eggs, salmon and eggs, savory tart of the day, coffee, tea.  And on the expensive side.  I have a hard time justifying paying 15 euros for simple, easy-for-me-to-make-at-home breakfast dishes like these, or 4.50 for a cup of tea, even if it is really good tea.  Nick and I both ended up ordering the cheese scone with scrambled eggs and braised endives, because they were out of the savory tart, and I wanted something I couldn’t whip up myself in five minutes.  Nick also ordered a coffee, and I splurged on a tea.

Coffee at Rose Bakery

The coffee was served in a homey-yet-modern ceramic mug, and came with a cute little shortbread cookie.  I eyed it hungrily and a bit jealously, as my tea had yet to arrive.  Nick said that the coffee was good.

Rose Bakery bread board

Next came the bread board, a welcome surprise.  The bread was chewy and flavorful, with a crispy, deeply browned crust that gave the whole a slightly nutty taste.  It was served with good butter (but then, what butter in France isn’t?) and I was glad to have something to nibble on while I waited for my meal.

I guess it was here that the service missteps started to become glaringly obvious.  The place had no more than ten tables, and I counted no less than five servers, and yet everyone seemed to be running around like they had way too much to do.  There was some mix-up with the table numbers, and people kept bringing us things that were intended for the table next to us.  At one point, a server asked a customer to help move the aforementioned fridge to accommodate a new party who ended up being reseated later.  That tea I ordered?  Never came.  It was, by all accounts, a train wreck.

Cheese scone, eggs, salad, endives

But like I said before, the food is good.  Quite good.  The scone was savory, buttery, and rich, with flavors of tangy cheese and fresh herbs.  It sandwiched some of the most perfect scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  (I have strong opinions about scrambled eggs.)  The endives provided a nice, bitter counterpoint to the creamy eggs, and the green salad on the side tasted lively and fresh.  (It was topped with sprouted mung beans, which prompted a “damn hippies” from me, but they were actually pretty tasty.  I’d eat them again.)  It was a surprisingly hearty, filling meal, perfect fuel for a rainy Sunday in the nearby Gustave Moreau museum.

Would I go back though?  Probably not to sit and eat.  I will, however, be back for incomparable English cheddar, Samuel Smith’s beer, and probably a few of the homestyle pastries.  To go.

On this day in 2009 (well, almost, but it’s pertinent): Thanksgiving Menu Plan

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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9 responses

18 11 2010
Babygirl

Wow, this looks amazing

19 11 2010
Hannah

Surely breakfast isn’t breakfast until you’ve had to move a refrigerator? I bet that customer was having the time of his life. :)

At first, I was thinking $4.50 is about standard for a pot of tea here in Australia, but then I remembered that 4.50 euros is more like $6.50 here (at least, it was when I was over there), and that made me cringe a little.

That said, scrambled eggs with a savoury biscuit and endives would never appear here in Canberra, so I do think you got a winner there :)

19 11 2010
Fiona

Wow…..I am seriously underprepared for a return to the western world with its pricey breakfasts and cups of tea. Better stay here and eat congee and dumplings. Surely that decor was worth the price though?

19 11 2010
Nanan

At least you didn’t have to move the fridge hehehehe. I sure hope they didn’t charge you for that tea! Those eggs DID look good – I am picky about them, also! I now ONLY do yard eggs – after living in Colombia – where the chickens aren’t messed with at all! Soft scrambled – low and slow – stir often. Yum! I am glad I live in a rural area and several folks raise chickens here. My dad even approached me about raising chickens when I return from Colombia in 2012!!! Might have to!

20 11 2010
Tammy

Cracking up about moving a fridge! I, like you, have strong opinions about scrambled eggs and don’t think they’re ever right so if you’ve found it, yum. It was worth your experience.

20 11 2010
Ann

Oh, but that picture of the scrambled eggs and biscuit looks amazing. Really amazing. Fridge-moving will just help burn off the calories.

21 11 2010
croquecamille

Babygirl – Fresh food, prepared correctly, is always great!

Hannah – Yeah, the exchange rate does not do us any favors over here.

Fiona – Mmmm, dumplings for breakfast.

Nanan – No, I wasn’t charged for the tea. In fact, I had to tell them again what I ordered before paying – they’re lucky I’m honest! :)

Tammy – It was kind of the icing on the bad-service cake. Funny, though.

Ann – It did taste good enough to overlook the other shortcomings. :)

21 11 2010
GirlonRaw

Hmm sounds like a disappointing place sorry to hear. I would have done the same thing too (tried to pick out something I couldn’t whip up easily myself!)

Have you been to Relais Gascon in Montemarte? It is my favourite restaurant in Paris, however I haven’t been to many!

I wrote about it here http://girlonraw.com/2009/07/im-not-perfect-but-i-am-trying/

24 11 2010
croquecamille

GirlonRaw – Well, it was good, just a bit overpriced in my opinion. I haven’t been to that restaurant, I’ll have to check it out!




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