74, rue des Gravilliers, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
09 52 55 11 66. Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
I’m no vegetarian, but when I walk out of Bob’s Kitchen, I have the unmistakable feeling that I’ve just done something good for my health.
First, there are the juices. The mash-up of watermelon, kiwi, pineapple, lemon, strawberry and mint sounded more like a grocery list than a recipe for goodness, but my taste buds (and nagging cold) thanked me after my first sip through the bendy straw. I shouldn’t have been skeptical. This is the Bob behind Bob’s Juice Bar, whose name isn’t Bob at all (it’s Marc Grossman). The man knows a thing or two about juice.
As for solid food, you can go in a few directions: there is a veggie burger, served on a whole-wheat English muffin, with three different salads. The patty is made from rice, red beans, herbs and vegetables, including a bit of hot pepper. It’s savory and toothsome, even better smeared with guacamole or tapenade. I could live without the potato salad (a personal bias more than a comment on Bob’s version), but the slaw with sesame oil and rice-wine vinaigrette, flecked with black sesame seeds, was delicious.
The veggie burger.
Those of you who like it raw could order a bol cru, a deep bowl filled with a rotating cast of vegetables and grains of many colors. There are also house-made makitori, Japanese-style hand rolls. There are honest-to-god pancakes, two plate-sized flapjacks with enough fluff to absorb all the maple syrup you care to douse on them. Be sure to ask for them with fruit. An ever-changing “veggie stew” is on the board, too. It can be very good or, in the case of last weekend’s “Thai” version, neither noticeably Thai nor what I’d call a stew, the kind of boring mess that gives vegetarian cooking a bad name. Pass the sriracha, please.
Something about the space makes me feel like I’m in the arts-and-crafts room back in grade school. Is it the piano in the corner? The magnets slapped on the board to form the day’s menu? Or the long table, whose wells could hold paintbrushes instead of flatware? I don’t know, but it’s fun and funky, and I like it.
Desserts are low-guilt minimuffins and oat cookies, and the coffee is ground to order, a rarity in Paris. But I don’t go to Bob’s for dessert. I go to Bob’s because I’ve had too much dessert.
Price check: From 1 euro (for the minimuffin) to 12 euros (for the veggie burger). A bio-bargain.
In a nutshell: The food at Bob’s is good and good for you.
If Bob’s sounds good, you’ll also like that other bastion of the bio-bobo brunch set, Rose Bakery, which has a location in the Marais.
Rose Bakery II
30, rue Debelleyme, in the 3rd.
01 49 96 54 01.