Definition of Ashkefarade: “mix of ashkenazi and sephardic culture”
Merguez & Pastrami is the leading purveyor of the ashkefarade movement and they’re doing a pretty good job at it.
At first, one might wonder where the restaurant’s name originates but when you look at the menu, it suddenly all makes sense. Merguez & Pastrami blends in a delightful manner ashkenazi and sephardic cuisine with a touch of Parisian flair and hipster marketing. Ergo ashkefarade cuisine!
The restaurant is airy and modern with beautiful black and white tiled floors and has a New York City vibe about it that was very enjoyable for this American girl. The founder, who incidentally also owns the delicious pizza on-the-go restaurant Pizza di Loretta across the street was incredibly welcoming and charming. He really made us feel right at home and that is so refreshing for a brand new and trendy restaurant.
We started by splitting two appetizers, the Aubergines Rôties au Thym Citron et Grenades (grilled eggplant with citrus thym and pomegranate) at 12€ and the Labne at 5,50€. The eggplant was perfectly done, not overcooked and mushy which happens much too often in restaurants and the pomegranate seeds popping in our mouths was refreshing and balanced the acidity of the citrus perfectly. The Labne was creamy and soft with just the perfect seasoning and the cucumber added that needed crunch.
We followed by splitting again our main dish, a Ruben’s Cousin (a variant of the famous Ruben sandwich). The meat was tender, moist and juicy. Just what you expect from this type of deli-inspired sandwich. At 20€ you might think that’s a bit on the high side but the quantities are gargantuan and the quality of the sandwich quickly made us forget the price point.
We washed our meal down with a glass of Côteau du Languedoc, 2013 which at 6€ a glass was pretty decent.
All in all, a great meal, a cool spot and perfect service.
Merguez & Pastrami
57, rue Rodier – 75009 Paris
Open Tues-Fri 12-2pm
T: 01 77 13 55 57