The sixth is the center of our Parisian universe.  Though we take up just a tiny sliver of its 0.8 square mile (about 300 square feet to be exact), we have spent a large chunk of our dining hours within its boundaries, everywhere from hole-in-the-wall joints to nicer sit-down restaurants to the well-frequented Monoprix supermarket for a meal back at home.  There remain many known and unknown gems to be sampled but we have no doubt that we will get through most of them, or fail trying.  After all, we love eating as much as we love living where we live.
 
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Four Baguettes
   
Le Canton
5, rue Gozlin
Closed Sundays
01.43.26.51.86
M° Saint-Germain-des-Prés

 
Euro - 9 to 16
The conventional wisdom that dining in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area is expensive holds true for the most part.  No one is going to charge 5€ for a dish that they can offer at 10€, or even 20€, to a steady throng of willing diners.  Thus, it was quite a pleasant surprise when we stumbled upon this neighborhood contrarian one night after a fruitless search for something reasonably priced and desirable.

In the dim small downstairs dining room, we sat on ornate themed furniture.  If we hadn’t seen the posted menu on the outside we would not have gone into a place decked out like this, Saint-Germain or anywhere else.  The waiter who brought us the menus promptly asked Nez if she was chinoise.  Nez said no.  He then asked if she was vietnamienne and she also said no.  Before he had to reach deeper into his ethnic vocabulary, Riot volunteered that he was, which brought an end to the what-are-you inquiry.
 
 
 
 
 
  A delightful dish to start:  The potage raviolis (7€) delivers tasty wontons in a boiling hot broth.
 
 

 
 
 
 
  The lemon slices notwithstanding:  This poulet au citron (8€) is not your ordinary lemon chicken.
 
 
We began by sharing a bowl of potage raviolis (8€).  The immersed shreds of lettuce that were quickly losing their firmness in the boiling broth brought to mind memories of nursing a bowl of sui cao in Saigon while waiting out the rain.  While the flavor of the soup at hand was not quite there, its wontons were very tasty.  Nez followed this light starter with the poulet au citron (8€), whose giant slices of lemon threatened to devour the tender pieces of chicken with fine, crunchy edges underneath.  Riot ventured away from the basics and got the travers de porc sel et poivre (12€) that was touted as a house specialty.  Once separated from the bones, the moist shreds of pork glimmered with the color and texture of the flavorful spices that had bonded to their surface.
 
 
 
 
 
  Rightly a house specialty:  The travers de porc sel et poivre (12€) is delicious but the real treat is picking at the tiny bits of flavors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  A nice way to end:  The perles de coco tièdes (7€) with their hot sticky shells and steamy, sweet interiors.
 
 
The curious waiter stopped by again, not only to ask how we liked the food (we loved it) but also to make a table side conversation.  Because he was ethnic Cambodian he spoke to us in French and we pretended to understand the portions we did not understand.  He was amazed that we were living here for a year when everything was so expensive; now, that made three the number of people sharing such a sentiment.  Nevertheless, the reasonable prices at this restaurant will definitely help us stay within our budget.  And, the great food will bring us back to this alternative to Mirama on rue Saint-Jacques whenever we do not feel like crossing boulevard Saint-Michel.
 
 
 
 
 
  This place has gotten the salt and pepper dishes down:  The crevettes sel et poivre (13€) is superb as expected.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  A new beginning:  Mixing it up with the raviolis pékinois (7€).
 
 
 
 
 
  Something in the dash of sauce over the crispy skins:  The poulet frit “setchouen” (10€) is an uncomparable dance of textures and flavors.
 
 
 
 
  We finally made it to the beef section:  With the boeuf au poivre à la Mongole (13€), the namesake pepper is unmistakably present but not overwhelmingly so.
 
 
 
  A little bit of greens to ease the guilty conscience:  The salade papaye verte aux crevettes (10€) that is a bit light on flavors.
 
 
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