by Paige Donner
Bob’s Kitchen is the place in Paris that all the New Yorkers say is THE place in Paris for Sunday brunch, – and lunch and breakfast any day of the week. Mark, the American co-owner and original instigator of Bob’s Juice Bar, and his French partner, Amaury, import their bagels from Brooklyn. So now you know.
The popping place is open from 8am to 3pm. Good luck finding a stool at one of the two communal tables in this fairly cosy Marais locale. Apparently health is not just a craze with the vacationing fashionables in Paris, it’s a staple to be relied on every day. The partner-owners are young(ish) and for Amaury, who majored in business, this is his first restaurant. He got lots of good experience, however, when he used to deliver pizzas. Mark has been at his Bob’s Juice Bar for a good six years and had already built up a following when Mark convinced him to partner on this new venture two years ago.
Bob’s Kitchen is reliable and tasty, and, yes, reliably tasty. You can count on a daily freshly made soup, juice blend, stew and sandwich (on a – yes, you guessed it! – bagel). The ingredients change every day. So one day you might get a pumpkin soup and the next day a tomato cashew basil soup. And one day you might enter the Paris lunchroom to find a hummus bagel to greet you and the next day it might be grilled vegetables. The countertop also always has the maki handrolls, vegetarian, that people seem to grab as soon as they walk in.
Mind you, none of my hippest Parisian foodie friends (some of them editors) seem to really know about the place. I heard of it when, during Fashion Week, I was strolling one of the showrooms with a chi chi Fashion PR Exec and he and one of the young designers (from Brooklyn) were making lunch plans and the conversation went something like this: “Do you know Bob’s Kitchen?!” “I love Bob’s Kitchen! I eat there every Sunday for Brunch!” “OMG! Me too! Well, when I’m in town from Brooklyn.” And thus their date was made.
The buzz is that all the Fashion Editors ate at Bob’s Kitchen during Fashion Week. But, honestly, if you work as a journalist, or an editor, during Paris Fashion Week, you don’t have a minute to eat, let alone sit down to a meal and eat, and definitely not in the Marais which is near absolutely nothing (from a Fashion Editor’s perspective).
Nonetheless, the reason to go to Bob’s Kitchen is that the food is good, it’s healthy and nourishing, the people are nice, there’s an electric guitar in the window and a piano in the corner and rue des Gravilliers is right smack in the center of the wholesale shopping district, the Marais. Enjoy. I know I do whenever I pop in. And remember to get yourself some of the carrot cake or at least a matcha green tea and white chocolate cookie.