5.0 Le Trinquet, 8, Quai Saint Exupery in the 16th, 01.40.5.09.25, closed Sundays and Mondays, is way to hell and gone (and Dear Readers and Dear Leaders, please don't write saying it's not) in the deepest/darkest 16th (and Dear Readers and Dear Leaders, please don't write saying it's not). I looked up the translation of its name in my torn and tattered Robert and Collins and it said "foremast", well, you almost got it right guys. It really means what we who have had parents in Florida or Connecticut call a jai alai or a Basque pelota court, not to be confused with the ham of a similar name.
In any case, I and a couple I'd bumped into on the internet and forced to come here, found out that it's a long schlep from the nearest Metro and one arrives by pushing aside a metal door hidden between meters and meters of wire mesh surrounding the various courts. It really looks like a dump, the sort of place you wouldn't want to send friends to unless they like eating in locker rooms. But hidden among the athletic stuff is a bar, restaurant and about 10 tables in the fresh air (which today was between 70 and 80o F.)
The males had the terrine of chorizo with a chunk of chorizo and hot peppers and cornichons and Madame had a Trinquet salad (greens, Basque cheese and (normally) Basque jamon); all of us were very, very pleased.
The I went full-bore with a veal kidney cooked a way I'd never had - grilled - two problems, I forgot to specify undercooked and had trouble understanding why it was Basque, it having no zip or zing to it, even after I added the un-understandably labeled spicy Basque sauce; my male friend had brochettes of veal with a divine looking tomato sauce - both of us declared that the fries were perhaps the soggiest, mushiest, most undercooked we'd ever had. And the bread was really hopeless.
For dessert, what else?, a gateau Basque that was super, with pink Chantilly.
My host picked up the check so I have no idea of the freight but as a guide, one website says three dishes are 20 €.
Go? If you need to grab a bite before a pelota, rugby or tennis match, on a really nice day, sure, but the trek out there is not for the food.
And now for something completely different - ready? Tucked in that alley between Printemps and the Galeries are not one but two carts selling "genuine New York hot dogs," how do I, a 25 year former resident/escapee know?, because their umbrellas say so, but the junk they pile on top of the dogs sure looks to me as having come from an Iowan fat farm.