The rue des Rosiers, an iconic street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, is one of the few that remains reminiscent of the neighborhood’s Jewish community. Lined with Jewish bakeries and delis, this street is probably most well known for its falafel restaurants. Of the many choices, one falafel address reigns supreme: L’As du Fallafel, which is easily identifiable by its long lines and bright green façade. But a new kid on the block is pitting old pitas against new with the arrival of Miznon, an Israeli sandwich shop.
In the two years since Miznon opened, it has become an instant favorite. While Rick Steves disciples and old-habits-die-hard traditionalists still frequent L’As du Fallafel, locals flock to Miznon, where fresh ingredients come together in fluffy, homemade pita bread. Miznon has left the chickpea-based falafel fare to their neighbors while upping the game with a giant blackboard full of other sandwich selections. Fresh herbs and vegetables are heavily featured in each dish, with the restaurant’s space itself being a showcase for seasonal produce. Walking into Miznon almost feels like walking into a vegetable still life, with every shelf, counter space, and corner adorned with stacks of onions, vases of parsley, dill, and cilantro, and pyramids of sweet potatoes and grilled peppers.
Roasted heads of cauliflower are sold as a whole, but also incorporated into one of the best sandwiches on the menu, the Chou Brisé. Another favorite menu item is the chicken salad sandwich, which sounds underwhelming, but is the exact opposite. A healthy handful of fresh parsley and thinly sliced red onion complement the tender chicken and just-enough secret sauce to elevate this sandwich from boring bagged lunch to a take-away delicacy. From time-to-time Miznon features a new item on their menu – recently adding a grilled head of broccoli – but the carte stays mostly the same, which is just fine because everything on the menu is so good that you don’t mind ordering the same thing over and over.
The waits can be long and the interior chaotic, but clients are calmed by the regularly restocked communal bread basket, where staff members leave the pita bread “heads” as they are sliced off in order to make sandwiches. Small trays hold traditionally sauces – such as tahini and a roasted pepper olive oil based sauce – that make great dips for the leftover bread.
Sandwiches range from 9.50-12 euro; expensive even for the area but well worth it as they’re filling and truly delicious. Sides range from 3-6 euro and are great for sharing. In addition to the roasted cauliflower and broccoli, there are delicious citrus salads, sautéed green beans, and baked sweet potato.
Vegetarians will feel welcomed and loved here, as vegetables are literally and figuratively put on pedestals at Miznon. A Ratatouille sandwich puts a French spin on things and the potato sandwich is also a great veggie option. Carnivores have their choice of meat options, too. The Boeuf Bourguignon sandwich leans heavy on the meat, almost completely forgetting potatoes and carrots, while the lamb kebab takes on a classic dish with great success.
It’s a shame that the beverage options are subpar (you can get Coke, Budweiser, or a red wine that looked so uninspired I couldn’t even bring myself to take a look at the label), but it’s not disappointing enough to keep people from coming back for more of their new favorite sandwiches.
Miznon- 22 rue des Ecouffes, 75004. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 74 83 58
Love food from this region of the world? Check out LIZA for scrumptious Lebanese fare.