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Paris Review: Lunch at the Arab Institute

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Paris Review: Lunch at the Arab Institute

Freedom Hound | Jul 24, 2003 08:29 PM

I've read many, many Chowhound posts over the years and have gotten some great, some good, and once in awhile, some not so good recs. Here's one as a small start in giving back to my fellow Chowhounders. It's off my blogjournal which has a link to the Arab Institute in case you want background and further information. I'm in Paris until end-August, possibly longer, so I'll send any other noteworthy noteworthy restaurants/eateries I come across your way. Happy Chowhounding!

Review:
If you're expecting fast efficient serve-- forget it! The ratio of servers to diners was probably 1:8 but it felt more like 1:80. Maybe that was an exaggeration but I'm glad I had a 800-page novel at hand while I waited to be acknowledged. Plus I know better than to expect great service in Paris. That's something that happens in other cities. The menu was small and simple: small or large mixed cold/hot plate, daily special, a vegetarian plate, and a small selection of sandwiches. I caught sight of the daily special at the next table but the roast meat with gravy and potatoes didn't look all that interesting or Middle Eastern in flavour to me. My small mixed cold/hot plate was a perfect choice composed of a small green salad, tabouleh, hummus, a Feta-type cheese (might have been Feta for all I know), beans, and another spread that wasn't familiar to me. Two warm items also accompanied these cold items-- a falafel and a fried dumpling of minced meat and pine nuts. The falafel was one of the best I've had, and the dumpling, although fried, was not greasy-tasting at all. I ordered a Moroccan mint tea to follow. It was a perfectly brewed pot of tea-- fresh unlike the one I would have later in the afternoon at La Mosquee de Paris. The only part I don't get about the tea service is drinking hot tea from Barbie-doll sized glasses but one feels very civilized doing it. Minus the service it was a very good lunch in a beautiful building. Lunch came to 12Euros50.

Link: http://myfreedomjournal.blogspot.com

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