With such a fun name, this tiny gluten-free café won me over before I even set foot inside. Thankfully, the deer’s food didn’t disappointment at all. On the contrary, it has been one of the best brunches/lunches I’ve had in Paris for quite some time. Flavorful soups, dishes and desserts with a gourmet edge in a bright (orange!) space and two lovely Slovak ladies running the spot. The deer offers far less cliché food than most other lunch spots in Paris and the bill is very reasonable. A deerful delight.
Thank you my deer opened its doors in 2013 in one of the most bustling nightlife areas of Paris (around Parmentier and Oberkampf) and alas, is located in a very fun neighbourhood. The owners kept the decoration simple but cheerful: a glass front entrance with kissing deer on the door, a small counter with various cakes and desserts on display, a coffee corner, a little kitchen where all the magic happens, and a few tables for guests. While you can chill over a cuppa tea or coffee while nibbling on a cookie or pastry, lunch and brunch deals is what you should come here for. I strolled in on a lazy Sunday afternoon, looking for a good bite, and was impressed with the brunch menu available in weekends. For 20 euros, you have a fresh-pressed fruit or vegetable juice, a starter, main dish, dessert and coffee or tea. Dishes are generous, freshly made (you can see the lovely cook sweating in the kitchen corner), and most importantly, it made me want to come back for more.
The starter included a pumpkin soup with Brussels sprouts which was well seasoned and a pretty big portion too. I am a real soup-lover and this bowl of goodness was very much appreciated. For the main platter, I had a choice between different options of tartines served with a salad. A tartine is basically an open-faced sandwich with some tasty food items or a nice spread on top. It can be topped with anything from cheese(s), ham(s) and potatoes to hummus, tapenade and anything else that mixes well with bread. My pickings for the garnishing (and you get to pick two!) were a pesto of beetroot, almonds, basil and Parmesan; and radish cream with salmon and chive for the other tartine. What a blessing for my taste buds: great (gluten-free!) bread and the spreads and especially the beetroot pesto was ab fab. I should definitely look up how to make this myself. The soup and tartines were just perfect for lunch, not too heavy, delightfully fresh, pretty healthy, and sufficiently filling.
The amazingness continued with a few savory sweet treats and coffee or tea to my choice to wash the goodies away. While my belly was already in a great mood and didn’t need anything more to be pleased for the rest of the afternoon, there is just no way I can ever refuse a pastry. Ever. A doggie bag, which isn’t very much used in France anyway, was thus not an option (although the Deer does take-a-way too so don’t be shy to ask for one). The last course consisted of a brownie, a cute-looking cookie with cream (there must be a different name for this, I just don’t know it), and a few slices of pineapple. Maybe because I had already such good eats, I wasn’t very dazzled by the sweet course of the brunch. Since I have a big sweet tooth, I am blaming this on that I was pretty much stuffed by the time I finished the tartines. Don’t let that stop you from you trying this place: it’s great value, food is home-made and damn tasty, a very adorable setting, and tip-top service. All that and very cute coffee and tea saucers too.
Thank you my deer can be found at 112, rue Saint Maur in the 11th arrondissement, Paris. Tel: 01 71 93 16 24 (bookings highly recommended for brunch!). As explained above, brunches are 20 euros and include a juice, hot beverage, and three courses (all yummy!). They also do sandwiches (7,50 euros), salads (9 euros), lunch waffles on Fridays for 7,50 euros (Awesome idea! Must try that!), and ab fab tartines in the weekend for 7,50 euros. Cookies, cakes, desserts and other sweet treats are between 1,50 and 6 euros. Coffee and teas from 2 euros (excellent bargain in Paris). Discount applies for take-aways. Oh, and they sell gluten-free bread too! Open Tues- and Fridays from 10-18h, Wed- and Thursdays between 8 and 18h, and weekends from 12-18h.