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Saturday, March 12, 2011

There's Nothing French About Fort Worth's Paris Coffee Shop

Nestled at the tail end of the newly trendy Magnolia Street in Fort Worth is the old and not-so-trendy Paris Coffee Shop. The diner is known for its old fashioned, home-style breakfast and lunches. It has stayed true to its original ambiance (minus the cigarette smoke) for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been going there since I was a little girl in the 80s.

The place is always packed on Saturday mornings. A long line inevitably forms inside, but don’t let that deter you — the hostess manages the seating arrangements like the Swiss manage their train system. In other words, the line moves fast.

After we were seated I looked at the open room of eclectic patrons and wondered how many people they serve breakfast to every Saturday. So I asked. The owner’s wife, who works the room with a coffee pot in each hand, went back into the kitchen and asked her husband for the golden numbers. He serves about 500 people and goes through roughly 120 dozen eggs on an average Saturday morning. That is 1,440 eggs, folks.

And I don’t remember a time when one of those eggs wasn’t prepared to perfection. Side note: It’s hard to find a place that doesn’t look at you funny when you order fried eggs cooked medium well. They get it there. All of the food is great at Paris. The huge omelets are served with crispy edges and filled with creamy processed American cheese. No Gruyere, brie, goat cheese or feta here!

If the owner isn’t on the floor visiting with his loyal patrons, it’s because he’s in the back baking his renowned pies and other popular goods. He’s always there working and his warm and familiar face is definitely part of the experience.

Next time you’re in the south side of Fort Worth, turn onto Magnolia, drive past the modish and swanky bistros and stop at the modest Paris Coffee Shop. They also serve lunch during the week if you’re ever in the mood for collard greens and fried chicken. There’s nothing French about the place.