‘Grammable Sandies at KERN

After a morning at the Louvre spent with Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Liberty Leading the People, we were hungry for a good sandwich, so I did a quick search and found KERN in the 9ème. There’s a cool vintage diner vibe at this casual eatery, where two ladies prepare photogenic sandwiches to what seems like a loyal following of locals. The menu is quite short: a pastrami, an egg & cheese, a crispy chicken, a pulled beef and a tuna melt constitute their core sandwich offer. But they also do grilled cheese (truffled or not) and a choice of sides between potato salad and coleslaw.

I had the truffle grilled cheese between two slices of very fluffy brioche bread, brushed with butter and toasted to a nice tan. The cheese was loaded with a very generous dose of black truffle, oozing out impressively as I pulled the sandwich halves apart. Satisfying in terms of texture and flavor, yet quite dainty, super light and somewhat small in size for the price.

I also tried the Ultimate Pastrami, which came with some very lean, healthy pink ribbons of pastrami on a fully brioche roll, topped with sauerkraut made from purple cabbage, a fresh cucumber relish, chives, fried onions and honey mustard squeezed over the top. Quite tasty although the ratios were a bit off. Not enough pastrami resulted in very bread-y bites.

The coleslaw was crunchy and fresh enough. The potato salad was made with vinegar and had a few slices of pickled onion and chives over the top. Both were served in teeny-tiny portions and left us largely underwhelmed.

Still very much hungry, we opted for their sweet sandwich for dessert. This came with the same airy, slightly sweet brioche roll filled with a fat dollop of Nutella, dotted with some crunchy candied hazelnuts and drizzled with something like maple syrup or honey. Delicious also, but something I could’ve made at home for a tenth of the price.

In the end, KERN fit the bill as it was on our way over to Montmartre and allowed us to save our appetites for dinner. The place was nice enough and the service kind. The sandwiches were pretty but maybe just slightly missing in heft considering the price. Next time I’ll opt for Chez Alain Miam Miam or a sourdough sandwich with more body at Ten Belles.

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