23 October 2006

La Brasserie LIPP

When I was in Paris last week we went for dinner at “La Brasserie LIPP” 151, Boulevard Sait-Germain 75006 Paris. My boss suggested to go there saying it has been founded in 1880 and over the years it became the meeting place for artistic, literary , political and journalistic figures in Paris.

As we walked in the famous Brasserie the four of us I felt that I do not belong, I was wearing a shirt and jeans while everyone was in suits, they started giving me the dirty look.

The tables are so close to each other that in order to be able to sit the waiters have to pull the tables, which will allow you to pass then they will place the table back, then you are jailed. If you need to go to the loo forget it because if the meal is served they would need to pull the table again and then you will create a mess :) Anyways this is not the problem.

Seated next to us there was an American couple in their 50s I wanted to light a cigarette but I did not want to bother them so I asked my boss if it is OK to smoke in here. He said oh yes. I said but what if these people next to us are bothered. He said I was here 2 years ago and I was smoking a cigar the table next to me 4 Americans complained so I asked the waiter to move us on another table not to annoy them, the waiter replied if they are not happy they can leave.

My boss ordered their famous Choucroute, so did another colleague, I ordered veal liver and the 4th guy ordered Steak Tartare. This raw meat steak was definitely a horrible choice as our colleague suffered terribly the next morning, so be ware.

One of my colleagues a French man said that the last time he was in here was 15 years ago, he came with an American customer who had brought his wife and daughter. They asked for English menus of course they are non existing, he got tired of translating so he ordered 4 steaks and fries. The steaks were served in a long metal plate so the American guy served his family with his fingers, and this was it, the biggest faux pas. The waiter who was rude to start with became unbearably impolite, of course when my colleague asked for a Coke for his guest the waiter looked and it and just ignored him as if he had insulted his mother, and this is why my colleague had never stepped a foot in that place until our boss decided that we should eat here!!!

After telling me this story I felt thirsty and asked do you think I will get a Coke today 15 years later? So my French colleague said of course things changed. We ordered a Coke and the waiter replied rudely we don’t serve sodas. Well some things never change!!!

The food was mediocre, the atmosphere is ass-tight, and snobbish. In one of online reviews someone wrote: “the mechanics you can obtain a table today are a lot easier, and a lot less arbitrary, than when Cazes (the late owner) granted or denied a table in his joint based, basically, on whether he considered you worthy.”

For me brasserie LIPP represents France and explains the Paris Syndrome post that I published earlier!!! No offence to my French friends!

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