A Word About Parisian Salads

the exterior of a cafe in paris

So the thing I have noticed about salads in France is that they are not so much salads as ham with a side of lettuce. I clearly remember my first salad in Paris, which was at a cafe called Le Sully near the Ile St Louis. It had potatoes and goat cheese on toast, plus a lot of ham. It was not this, but it looked a lot like it. WTF is that? For the record: I like potatoes, goat cheese, and toast. In fact, I strongly prefer them to vegetables. But this is the point: I eat salad to balance out the times when I eat potatoes, goat cheese, and toast. If the salad is actually potatoes, goat cheese, and toast … that is not a very good system.

This is all to say that today I went to Charonne to explore — Sunday afternoons being made for exploring, of course, since nothing else is open. My destination: Cafe Moca.

I love this place. I’m not breaking any news here — it’s in Le Fooding, for goodness sake. But let me mention two things of amazingness.

First, the salad, which I think was primarily cabbage and did not include potatoes. It was delicious.

(That is not my manuscript, by the way.)

I also want to mention that when I went there, at 2:30 — rush hour on Sunday afternoon — the place was packed. The waiter said:

“Don’t worry — I’ll help you find a seat.”

Let me repeat this:

“Don’t worry — I’ll help you find a seat.” 

I have never heard these words before in France.

Cafe Moco, 177bis boulevard Voltaire, 75011

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