While they call New York ‘the city that never sleeps’ for a good reason, Paris on the other hand, has no problem becoming quite the sleepy city on Sundays. Instead of the constant grind I’m used to, Paris takes its grey, tranquil Sundays very seriously as rest and relaxation time. Naps are–if not tempting–practically unavoidable, especially if it’s raining. It’s hard to make plans on days like this because they’re just so peaceful, and my house is such a calming place to be.
So if I am leaving my house on a cozy Sunday, I am fairly selective about where I go and what I do. Soul Kitchen, tucked along the back of Montmartre, is an equally peaceful place to be. There’s fresh orange juice pressé and coffee, and miss-match plates and cups in every color, but that’s about as lively as it gets. I have had my eye on Soul Kitchen for a while, but had never seen it in person, nor been to eat. Something about it was so peaceful for me though, perhaps because it reminds me of my own kitchen, or of Atlas Cafe back in Brooklyn, where I used to work on this blog every day.
So what about the food? You order at the counter and it’s your usual fare: Muffins and croissant, hot coffee, fresh juice, and specialty drinks like chai latte. Then you’ve got your menu: $15.50 for lunch and it includes a large salad with lentils and a chestnut dressing, which was very fresh and quite good. Then you can choose from tortilla (in the Spanish sense, meaning a large frittata like object). When I say this tortilla was served as a massive cube that was 5 inches on each side, I’m serious. Absolutely massive and stuffed with potatoes, tomatoes and veggies. I think they must change it up each day. You can also opt for mac and cheese with bechamel and smoked salmon. Or, you could get a beef wrap. So, salad, and a main plate.
The mac and cheese was very good, and they had all of my creature comforts (filter coffee, and hot sauce) so I felt quite at home. The service was very good; they were friendly and hustling, something I appreciate more and more here in Paris. I sat with a friend (who was visiting from New York) for a couple hours and they didn’t rush us. Two salads, two mac and cheeses, two coffees, a tea and a very large hazelnut and chocolate dessert cake, and we each paid 20 bucks. At first I thought it was a little on the pricey end, but after I consider how much food we had and how large the portions were, I think I changed my mind. Is it the best value in Paris? Not at all, but the food was good and the ambiance was nice, as was the service, and so I’ll definitely be back. It was, in two words; very pleasant.
PS – I think they serve beer. Location and price info below.
Where: 33 Rue Lamarck. Metro: Lamarck-Coulaincourt. A short walk if you are in the Montmartre / Sacre Coeur area. Open: Every day except Monday, until 6. Opens weekdays at 8:30, weekends at 10. How Much: $7-20, depending. Cards okay.