« Ein Ort wo man ist und isst. »
« A place where one is and eats. »
Suddenly craving for sauerkraut (« choucroute ») in July? Or in need of a comforting goulash after a rough meeting or of a piroshki* session with friends?
Not a problem. Sure, you can find everything in Paris, but until now, certain Danubian needs could be hard to meet on-the-go. Now, « Le Stube » will satisfy all your longings for Mitteleuropa cuisine, until as late as 10pm!
« Le Stube » is an Alsatian word, that used to refer to the only heated room in Alsatian houses. In conformity with this etymology, this small cookery is a warm, convivial place, where people gather around tasty, unpretentious meals, without having to put up with your grand-mother leaning over you and repeating that you should eat more.
This newcomer to the Parisian cooking scene was founded by 75% German couple. Gerard Weber is not a beginner – on the contrary, he is the offspring of five generations of German bakers and he was sent to do his apprenticeship in the first German-Austrian bakery and pastry shop in Paris, the Viennese Pastry Shop, founded back in 1956 by the Blum family. There, he falls in love with Sylvie, the French-German daughter of the family, and together they start the « Stübli », a name well-known to the supporters of French-German friendship.
Soon they founded the « Stube », right after spending a year on sabbatical to investigate new consumer habits. The « Stube » has three spots, offering German and Eastern-European specialties on the go:
- « Le Stube Richelieu » (where I usually go) – 31, rue de Richelieu in the 1st arrondissement,
- « Le Stube Verdeau », 23-25-27, passage Verdeau in the 9th arrondissement,
- and the Stube counter within the Goethe Institut on the avenue d’Iéna, in the 16th arrondissement.
The offer is quite diverse, whether you want to sit down and eat a nice warm dish (mild cooked sauerkraut with apples, pork or beef currywurst, goulash, smoked pork joint (Kassler), Bismarck herring…) or have a quick lunch between two meetings, in accordance with the Berlin « imbiss » culture – then you just have to pick a homemade hot-dog or burger with frikadelle. As far as I am concerned, I will always go for the Frankfurter with its homemade 100% beef Bockwurst, whose recipe is carefully kept secret by the chef…
Vegeterians, I see you frowning in the back. Sure, Germans eat 60 kg of meat per year… and per person**. BUT roughly 9% of them are vegetarians – and, expectedly, the Stube, in its attempt to give an accurate roundup of Eastern-European cuisine, didn’t forget about them: vegetarian tarts, soups, vegetable or cheese piroshki… There’s something for everyone.
For example, at the Stube Richelieu, the food is prepared in front of you and it is a good thing. Now that the more demanding consumers who come for lunch are getting tired of kebabs and other fat-filled food-trucks, battling yet another sanitary inspection, the « Stube » is a first-rate modern and original option. Stressed Parisian food-lovers are used to Anglo-American fast-foods, to new and improved burgers (so 2013…), to Chinese sushi, to the wide range of salad-bars or soup-bars, but they know nothing about East-European specialties.
In any case, they will be won over by the appealing pastry display at the entrance of the Stube Richelieu : Sachertorte for those nostalgic of Sissi, Streusel (apple and cinnamon, quetsches or rhubarb), Linzer (nuts and raspberries), Marzipan, Black Forest cake in a verrine, and too many others to list. The regular travelers from the Gare de l’Est will find tasty souvenirs from their hometowns and from the German border they may be accustomed to cross. It is even possible to order a whole cake, as in a local caterer!
Ask for some pinot gris from Baden, for Becks draft beer or, if you’re going for non-alcoholic drinks, Fritz-sodas from Hamburg and low-sugar Bionades.
The « Stube » is a hybrid that was born from the meeting of several different Central-European cultures and is worth a visit, in a laid-back German atmosphere. I stumbled upon the « Stube » in a documentary on Arte and always stop by after getting out of the TGV Est!
*small Russian pies
** FYI, French people eat 88 kg per person and per year.
*** if you are not from Alsace or Lorraine, these are a kind of plums!
To watch :
- On Arte, a visit to the Stube in a few minutes, with comments by a culinary critic (in French): http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/l-allemagne-la-france-et-vous-la-gastronomie-allemande–7249110.html
- Get to know Gerard Weber, through the interview he gave for the website Plus d’Europe (in French): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_F6_MaE5sk