Lunch Outside My Comfort Zone

Lynn and I tend to frequent certain neighborhoods for our lunches, so a few weeks ago we decided to go out of our comfort zone and venture to an area we have rarely been.

I read some good things about Variations on another website including a good lunch deal for 19 euros and decided to take the plunge. Located in the 13th arr. on the border of the 5th arr. near the Jardin des Plantes and Gare Austerlitz, Variations is wrapped around a corner on a small side street. The spacious, nicely appointed dining room had an inviting feel to it and we sat against a warm red wall with a poster photo of red poppies.

The waitress gave us two menus, the a la carte and the 24-euro formule, and we figured they must have raised the price to 24 euros from 19 euros. Just out of curiosity, we asked about the 19-euro formule, and low and behold the waitress begrudgingly handed it to us like some secret she wished we hadn’t asked about. It was a three course, one dish in each category formule with coffee.

We both liked our first course, a prettily plated dish of shrimp over a bed of greens. Light and refreshing, it was a palate pleaser for the next course, a navarin of lamb. I always like a warm your cockles stew in winter, and the tender beef, carrots, and potatoes in a succulent brown sauce sufficed.

18 rue de Wallons, 75013. Metro: St Marcel. Tel. 01 43 31 36 04

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