In a most unsuspecting part of the 18th arrondissement you will find one of the new hipster hang-outs in the capital.
It’s a large space (previously the Gare Ornano) at the Porte de Clignancourt which has been transformed into a multi-functional “concept” space by the team also behind the Comptoir Général and Glazart.
We arrive shortly after 1pm on a Sunday for the brunch and it’s packed to the rafters, inside and out. After a quick wander round the second-hand clothes sale on the terrasse, next to the disused train tracks (known as the Petite Ceinture) we are lucky enough to able to bag a table.
I place the bag of spinach leaves that I’d just bought at the market to keep the table while we wait in the queue to order. (Hipster, moi… well yes, but you’re not really surprised are you?)
At the weekend, you’ll find a set brunch menu. It’s one of the best deals in Paris right now. For the very reasonable price of 20 euros (18 for vegetarians or 10 for children) you’ll get a croissant, coffee, grapefruit juice, salad, cheese, ham, eggs, quinoa, chicken, bacon, potatoes, fruit salad, chocolate brownie… all dolloped unceremoniously onto your tray.
Yes, rather like being back at school, you’re obliged to take a tray. You go to the various food stations (“cold brunch”, “hot brunch” and “tartine“) and once you’ve made it to the front of the queue, you receive the corresponding stamp on your receipt.
It’s tasty and the portions are generous. That being said, I get the feeling that the organisation could have been better. On this particular day (is it like this normally?) they were struggling with the number of people.
Despite that, we had a great time and initiatives as forward-thinking and environmentally-minded as this have my full support. I’ll definitely be back to participate in one of their ateliers during the week, to buy some En Vrac wine and to enjoy the terrasse again once the sun comes out.
— Just as an aside, I couldn’t help thinking that if they really wanted to up their game, they’d offer a “Boozy Brunch” with either a beer or a Bloody Mary. —
And finally, watch this space – these guys have some cool new projects underfoot!