[Paris - 10th district] La Pointe du Grouin

After a late night exhibition Ben, we decided to try the wine tapas bar by Thierry Breton next to Gare du Nord train station. It’s located between his 2 other establishments: Chez Casimir et Chez Michel. The place was very lively with lots of people for a Tuesday night, a girl brought even her dog. To order, you need to exchange your money to a certain currency.

We had a pig ear and feet with pine nuts, a tapenade and an octopus salad as good dishes. We both ordered the Brittany specialty the sausage galette with 2 cider. The plates arrived very quickly. We like especially the pork dish, delicious. The octopus salad wasn’t bad, but a bit under seasoned, I put some Espelette pepper to spice things up. We had some nice corn bread.

I quite liked the sausage galette, which was a famous britanny snack that you don’t find easily in Paris, it’s a galette wrapping around a Toulouse sausage with grainy mustard, I quite liked it. Hubby found both the sausage and the galette a bit dry, he would preferred if there is an onion confit or some vegetable inside the galette.

To finish off, we had a portion of Kougn Amann.

Drinks are quite cheap before 8pm beers and cider is just 2 euro a glass. After that, we have to pay double.

In the end, we have exchanged 50 euro of coins, and spent 42 euro. It was advertised as a budget place, but you can easily overspend when you add up the bill if you are really hungry. A nice place if you are with friends or a simple quick meal especially if you are around Gare du Nord. Food are alright with quality ingredients, you can even say it’s kind of the French version “street food”.

La Ponte du Grouin
8, rue de Belzunce
Paris 75010
No reservation
Open 7 days a week from 8h-2h

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Thanks for the write-up. I read about this place in Bon Appetit, and I’m very curious to try it on our next trip–partly because on our last trip we actually went to Pointe du Grouin (and it was spectacular).

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Indeed, the place is breathtaking. We have been to Cancale in 2014 for work, but didn’t have time to go around. Looks like an interesting spot for hiking. Thanks for sharing your traveling photos.

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Why do they have an alternative currency?

That’s an interesting point. In the recent years in France or even in Europe, especially in certain smaller cities, the local collectives: e.g. the sellers in the market, small cafés or small craft shops join together to promote the usage of a certain “local community currency”, this practice helps to have shops to get money in advance and in exchange, the buyers get discount or the good feeling that they are helping the local trade. Of course the fact that people are starting to get sick of Euro or the banks. (NOTE, in France the legal money is euro, there is no regional currency, it’s a commercial practice using coupons)

As for the Pointe du Grouin, I think it’s to gain loyalty among the people in the neighbourhood or to have you to spend more. You can buy the currency minimum of 10 euro, and you can’t exchange back to euro, but need to use them.

For example, we spent 42 euro (1 euro = 1 Groins) and we had still 8 euro left. We were thinking either to use 6 Grouin to buy 1kg of bread and 2 Grouin for the Bordier butter (which is fantastic) to bring home. But in the end, we decided to return someday to use up the money, since we take trains quite often in Gare du Nord.

A side note, the Breton are known to have strong character and they are usually very proud of their own region and their food. I don’t know if this plays a part in having their own currency. It’s a region that they have fought hard to keep their own language (whereas in most any regions in France, the regional language were abandoned)

Actually the local currency is getting bigger than I have thought, Paris is thinking about it.

Because of anti-EU sentiments?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold