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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One Baguette
   
El Chuncho
59, rue Saint-André des Arts
01.45.33.29.64
M° Odéon

 
Euro - 9 to 16
All the signs seemed to support the wishful thinking that this was the Eldorado of our seemingly futile search for Mexican food in Paris.  All the signs were ultimately misleading.

On the lovely rue Saint-André des Arts, just due east of the lively rue de Buci, we sat with anticipation at one of the premium outside tables.  Nearby, a tableful of young American boys and girls were play-acting being adults, adults in a foreign land, with successive rounds of margaritas.  We perused the menu with interest and a creeping concern.  In spite of all the attempts to market itself as the purveyor of a certain ethnic cuisine, the majority of the menu offered straight up French fares.  We ignored them, stayed the course, and focused on the short list of Mexican-sounding choices.

But the illusion, or the delusion, was short-lived.  Nez’s pollo chimichanga à la salsa verte (14€) was glorified grilled chicken over a bed of lettuce, surrounded by a cast of characters that looked – and only looked – Mexican.  A real one, as we understand it, is something like a deep-fried burrito, which this definitely was not.  Riot’s menu (16€) began with an average paté de campagne, clearly not something served as a starter at any of the taquerias on Mission Street in San Francisco (but this was Paris so we turned a blind eye).  His burrito con carne was a deconstruction of the real thing and the only thing inside the tortilla was a poor imitation of beans and beef.  (For a deconstruction that actually works, see Mexi & Co.)  Unfortunately, this is a case where the sum of the parts did not add up to anything.

Just because you say it’s so does not make it so.  Just because we set out in an earnest search of our object of desire does not mean we would strike gold.  At least not here.
 
 
 
 
 
  An ominous starter:  The paté de campagne that came with the menu; we never had paté at a Mexican joint before this.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
  Yes, the parts are mostly all there but where is the taste?:  The burrito con carne as a part of the menu (16€).
 
 
 
 
 
  Where is the deep-frying?:  The pollo chimichanga à la salsa verte (14€) was simply grilled chicken with stuff.
 
 
 
 
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