Paris pub: Tavern StGermain
  Posted by SteveG on 03/22/2005 07:08:45 AM
I'll start off by saying I did like this place a lot - it was my favorite of the 3 - but I can see where one might not. Visually it is very cool, when you walk in you see acending and decending twisting stairs that look a little Escher-like. Various brewiana is everywhere: old signs, lights, glassware and the like - the walls are laiden with beery decore. In terms of decor and atmosphere I thought it was the champ by a first round knock out.

The tap list is pretty good, no problem finding something to order, and the bottle list is extensive. The wait staff is aloof and bar tender attention is harder to come by than it ought to be. I did not find them unfriendly but I can see where some might, I employed my seldom-seen-bartender protocol (always think one beer ahead) and thus did not want for drinks.

The place is a bit cramped as places can be where square footage is at a premium. There are tables, but those are reserved for people who have wandered in to dine. We had not so it was the bar for us. 8 or 9 stools to choose from and the counter space is rediculous. The taps extend most of the width of the bar and almost to the edge. Room for you beer but keep your elbows at home! There were a few stools to the side and across from the bar, a bit more roomy so we sat there. An older waiter brought some small plates of what looked like home-made potato chips out to some other patrons, I thought they had ordered them. I was in the midst of asking for some when a small plate came out for us. In response to me asking for something I was being handed the waiter mimed a face slapping, smeksmeksmek! Not rude, he was a ball breaker though. I got the joke so I mimed getting slapped, he laughed and we got better service even though they had gotten busy (it looked like a busload walked in).

They had no shortage of Belgian beer there, but I went mostly for French stuff. All were interesting, we had one that was blended with Grand Marnier and another with cognac. Neither had an in-your-face character but both were distinctive. Anne saw a beer on the menu that was made without hops. I ordered a Duchesse de Bourgogne (I wanted to see if it was different that what I can get in the states) but they were out so he brought me a Blonde de Bourgogne! What the hell, something new so I took it. Tasted strongly of corriander though none was mentioned on the label. Anne also had a Duchesse Anne (why not?!) which left a character of the honey with which it was primed.

All and all I found the experience of the Tavern StGermain to be a pretty unusual / fun one. Pretty much what I would hope for / expect from a beer bar in a very foriegn country.

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