5.2 Le Cafe La Tour du Temple, 160 bis rue du Temple in the 4th, 01.42.72.13.44, open 7/7 (Metro: Temple or Republique) is a café aveyronnais, evidently here since 1970, described on Paris.com as a "popular address" which has food at "good values." There is a very long back story to how I found myself here which if you hate long, rambling, senseless, apologetic back-stories, you should skip.
Back-story. #1 on my famous "list" of places to go was "L'Ilot" at 4, rue de la Corderie, a seafood joint that got a very pleasant review Tuesday in/on Le Fooding which said it was open Sunday for lunch. Me, being paranoid, called, recording says clearly open Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 and we don't take reservations, you cannot leave a message - so take that! (no I made that last bit up). I go, it's closed, how do I find a place for a Sunday lunch where I've never eater before? I had 2 bakups but they were far away. Do what I always tell people not to do - look around? Yup. So I walk around and between the Place de la Republique and the Carreau du Temple there are maybe 15 places for open Sunday lunch, but once you discard Indiana, Italian pizzerias and ice cream shops, you have not much left until, until, until you chance onto the Cafe La Tour du Temple. Brunch - yuck!
But hark, the ardoise beckons and looks not bad. "Petit question" "what is Camenbert [sic] a Mimi?" Answer: Mimi, waving to the bald guy standing on the edge of the California kitchen, "he's the chef, it's his hot concoction." OK.
Place is pretty spiffy, indeed cool, with a mix of locals and a few non-American visitors.
I decide to play DEEfense, definitely. The tartare of tomatoes, avocado and crevettes arrives - crevettes taste fresh, not-thawed, tomato not hot house, avocado real - really tasty. Gloria Gaynor has nothing on me.
Filet of loup (bass) arrives, top looks and tastes hard, fish is fresh but kinda white bland, huh? But put the girolles in a thick black sauce on it and it comes alive. Rice not bad, not bad at all. Salad and tomato cut artfully - OK.
Bread and coffee are pathetic but the Cotes du Rhone is wonderful.
Bill, with all that, is 34.60 E.
Go? If L'Ilot is closed unexpectedly, if you have a fainting attack in front of the place or if your backpack is just too heavy to go another step, most definitely, but to go more than a block to eat here/there, I wouldn't recommend; even though it was "pas mal", "not bad at all."