Alexi – Paris (75020) en

01.06.14 - Guillaume - 716lavie
21, rue de Bagnolet
75020 Paris
01 43 48 87 87 (possibility to organize buffets)
Open 8am-8pm except Sunday and Monday
Alexandre Dumas
- Le résumé -

A Lebanese takeout place that exists since 1987. Here, the food is homemade, authentic, and the staff has as much character as the food. Lucky for us, that’s exactly what we like.

- Lieu -

Located a couple steps away from the metro, by going up rue de Bagnolet on the left, it’s as much a store as a takeout and a restaurant.
That day the sun was high in the sky, and it had been a long time since I first wanted to go, because three people that I trust had regularly recommended it to me. I admit that because of that I was optimistic, and saw the good side of things.
The dining room is small, and at lunch time, it’s normal to see a lineup. However, once you’re seated at a table or at the counter, you’re nicely settled in.

- L'équipe -

Like the boss said : «  the customer is king, but I’m the queen », “so we’re made to get along” I answered. I was told she had character and I was worried it would get in the way of me feeling completely at home. I have to mention that I was also with a regular, and this made introductions easier. It’s true that she’s direct, and talks to you like you’re a friend right away. At first I was a little lost because I couldn’t find the cold options anywhere ( I didn’t want a sandwich). It seemed to surprise her that I didn’t want one, because she wanted to make me the mixed sandwich called “bienvenu”, because that’s what she makes for clients “so that they want to come back”.
I relaxed quickly when I realized that it wasn’t mean spirited, and came from a good place.
She asked me if I trusted her, I said yes.
The 2nd test was when I called the next day for extra information, she was very nice and took the time to answer me. That being said, better to be forewarned, and that’s what I’m doing here:)

- Le repas -

So, like often with sandwiches, the pictures don’t look like anything.
A pasturma sandwich with grison’s beef meat for the person that was with me.

As for me, I took the mixte: kefta, hummus, falafel, and veggies.She pointed out that there was no butter, crème fraîche, mayonnaise or ketchup ( for that one, we’re not idiots), what she adds at the end is sesame paste. Very good.

For dessert, a « Ressucité », milk cream , orange blossom and Maizena.
For the tea, a general announcement is made : « who wants tea ?», you raise your hand, and 5-10mins later tea that’s just been made is brought to the table.
The other popular dessert is called “le Mortel”, the boss told me herself : “you’re going to try the Ressucité before trying the Mortel, usually it’s the opposite!:)”.

- Le bilan -

7.50 for a mixed sandwich, a baked good, and a tea.

I would have regretted not knowing this place; its authenticity gives it a lot of charm. I like places that don’t have the usual “menu of the day” options, which is now overdone.
The food is homemade, and good, the vibe is local and friendly.
What I’ll have to keep an eye on is if new clients really feel at home when first trying the place on their own. The service can feel like you’re being ordered around. But once again, I took it as the character trait of someone who works in the kitchen, and therefore knows best how to enjoy the food. We’ll see what happens in the long run.