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Hippopotamus: An Experiment in Not Regretting the Past

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January 8, 2015 / Steak House / By
Katie Schenk

You may know this already, but the Opera Garnier is my favourite place in Paris.  This isn’t anything new; I’ve loved it since... well, since before I even touched down in France.  The first time I read The Phantom of the Opera, I was inspired by the building that Charles Garnier created. 

So, when I travelled with my kids to Paris last year, it’s little wonder that we had to stop off there, despite it being far too late to go in.  And from there, I made us walk forever to a restaurant we now call Floroni.  That’s not what it’s called, of course; that’s just our thing.  And the reason we walked?  Because, as we moved from the Opera House towards our hotel, I was searching for somewhere typically French to eat. 

 

We passed the Hippopotamus just as we turned away from the Opera because it really is that close.  But I dismissed it.  It wasn’t what I wanted to share with my kids. 

When I was in Paris recently though, I needed a place close to the Opera that was easily identifiable where we could meet up with some friends living in (and around) the city.  I choose Hippopotamus on a whim and put the plan into action. 

As my boyfriend and I walked in at lunchtime, the place was jamming.  When we added our name to the seating list, we actually felt a bit grateful that we’d made it before our friends.  And, as a seat at the bar in the entrance opened, we took it and ordered drinks.  (That’s when I discovered 1664 has a bier blanche – though I was drinking wine.)

 

We finally got out table and only after did our friends arrive.  The menu at Hippopotamus is meat: steaks, burgers, that sort of thing.  And the pricing is rather reasonable by Parisian standards.  But, as we caught up with our friends, that’s not what I was thinking about.  Instead, I was consumed by guilt for not pulling into the Hippo with my kids when they were cold and hungry.  After all, the food was delicious, and everything in the restaurant screamed family friendly

 

But, as we wrapped our lunch and headed over to the Louvre, I had to concede that I’d made the right choice with my kids.  No hamburger could have compared to the typically French experience we had at Floroni or the slap-happiness we all felt from the hunger, cold and fatigue we endured to get there.  Except, next time, I’ll take my boys to the Hippopotamus for lunch and Floroni for dinner.  After all, they’re both incredible restaurants, just in different ways.

Hippopotamus

Country: France

Province/State: Paris

City: Paris

Address: 1, Bd. Des Capucines

Zip/Post Code: 75009

Location Tips: Just around the corner from the Opéra Garnier

Phone: +33 1 4742 7570

Website:http://www.hippopotamus.f...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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