Bol Porridge Bar.
When I heard there was a new restaurant in the 10th arrondissement specializing in porridge, I had to go right away. I love my breakfast oatmeal, sometimes sweetened and sometimes salted, but I had never thought of having it for lunch or dinner.
The Bol Porridge Bar is a tiny, modern place with communal tables and a Scandinavian look – not surprising, since the lovely young woman who owns it is Danish, although she said she got the idea for a porridge bar when she was living in Amsterdam.
We were expecting oatmeal in the dishes we ordered, But if we had looked up the word “porridge” before we left home, we would have realized it can be used for any grain cooked in water or milk. We ordered two of the three available lunch porridges: One was beets, feta
cheese and thyme served over barley, and the other was chicken, sesame, cashews, carrots and coconut served on whole wheat porridge.
We both preferred the chicken dish, which contained a variety of flavors and textures and was really delicious. The vegetarian beet and feta combination was tasty but just less interesting. The one we didn’t try was smoked haddock and leeks on spelt.
One thing is for sure, this lunch sticks to your ribs. We had no desire to say, like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel in the workhouse, “Please, sir, I want some more,” but I did want to try a dessert. Instead of the dessert granola, muesli or fruit, we ordered the cake of the day – chocolate and apricot – which was a bit heavy but still good.
For those who prefer their porridge for breakfast, the restaurant offers some interesting options: oatmeal with salted butter and cinnamon; orange, spice cake and thyme; apple, caramel, salted butter and almonds; or banana, chocolate and pecans.
My well-informed friend told me that porridge was one of Hitler’s favorite foods. I hope she doesn’t put me in the same bowl as him.
Bol Porridge Bar: 76, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75010 Paris. Métro: Poissonnière. Tel.: 01 42 46 39 27. Open Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:30pm; Sunday, 10:30am-5:30pm. Breakfast porridge: €5.50-€6. Lunch porridge: €8-€9.
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