“What do you miss most about the U.S.?”
This is a question I get asked quite often by French people that I meet. Besides the obvious answer, family & friends, the rest of what I respond usually varies depending on my mood at the time. For example, sometimes it’s the customer service that I miss the most, sometimes it’s American TV, sometimes it’s Hellman’s mayonnaise…
But the very first thing that I can remember missing when I moved to France was bacon (I bet you didn’t expect that). When I came to do my exchange program in 2008, I did not know how to find bacon in Paris. I remember going into an Ed supermarket and attempting to explain to the cashier what I was looking for (*FAIL*)… I ended up buying some kind of Italian ham (in my mind, it somewhat resembled bacon…), only to find out when I went to fry it that it definitely was not supposed to be cooked.
To Americans living in Paris who miss the finer American cuisine (bacon, eggs, pancakes, doughnuts / burgers, fries, & milkshakes), Breakfast in America is a godsend.
Since hubby and I had plans to be to visit an expo in the Marais last Sunday, he suggested that we get brunch at BIA and I jumped at the occasion to get my bacon fix.
4 Rue Malher, 75004 Paris
1 minute walk from the metro Saint-Paul (line 1). Great neighborhood to visit on Sundays because it’s one of the only neighborhoods in Paris where the shops stay open.
Crowded, noisy, squishy, rushed… The ambiance at brunch time isn’t the best. The place has the look of an American diner though, so despite the chaos, it kind of feels like home to me. It’s a good place to go with friends, but small groups are better – any more than 4 people and it will probably be hard to get a table. Oh and be warned: on the weekends there’s always a line.
Late as usual, we got to Breakfast In America a little before 1pm (we had planned on getting there at 12pm but I have troubles moving my lazy butt in the morning…).
Since it was prime brunch hour, there was already a line outside the restaurant when we got there. Luckily it moved fast and within 15 minutes we were inside.
The waiters/ waitresses there all speak English which is great for someone like me who, after 5 years in France, still doesn’t know how to ask for my eggs “over-medium” in French.
We chose to get the BIA Brunch Menu which allows you to choose 1 item “salé” (salty), 1 item “sucré” (sugary), + a drink.
I got eggs over-medium, bacon, and a doughnut (for later). I was super stoked because when I asked for crispy bacon, they delivered! My bacon was cooked to perfection. Yum!
Edouard and his BFFL, Sébastien, got “CC’s Big Mess” with pancakes. For our drinks: we all got the unlimited coffee & orange juice.
16.95 € for the regular brunch
19.45 € for brunch if you get CC’s Big Mess
My verdict? The food was awesome, the price was right, and I was a very happy customer.
Because of all the commotion, the service is lacking so if you’re going to eat here, you’ll have to be patient…
Examples: At first, our food was given to the neighboring table; They forgot our orange juice so at the end of the meal we had to ask for it; No cream for the coffee and when we got the cream we had to ask for spoons to stir it…
BUT the waiters / waitresses are all super nice! And I would take a really nice but disorganized person any day over perfect service from someone who’s arrogant and rude : ) What about you?