As you know, covering restaurants isn’t my main focus. There are tons of great Paris foodie blogs and I am not one. I do love checking out the offbeat, though, and this little place fit the bill.
Voy Alimento is located on a small street just off Canal Saint Martin. I’m pretty sure I saw the name “Sol Semilla” first, though. Turns out Voy Alimento is a combo resto/medicinal herb boutique. It serves vegan food with a Latin American emphasis and is a supply shop for imported plants and spices. If that’s not niche, I’m not sure what is.
One side of the small space is devoted to products for purchase and the other side is set for eating. Recycled barrels serve as chairs. Clues that this will not be a traditional dining experience.
On a sunny Sunday I went to try the complete vegan brunch for 20 euros. (Another reason I can’t possibly be a foodie; I still find the “average” price for Paris dining nearly criminal. Oh wait, I’m also a cheapskate so don’t go out much).
Before you decide whether to take the full splurge, though, a friendly server will come greet you with a plate of tiny nibbles. I confess my first uncensored thought upon seeing the odd coin- and peanut-sized bites was: “rabbit food.” (I’m sorry! This impression quickly passed with the main meal).
The woman launched into a very in-depth explanation of what each pellet was. We had a whole therapeutic health regimen in front of us, apparently. A green disk was for good digestion, a brown peanut-sized morsel great for the skin. (Full disclosure: I can’t actually remember what I was told about each piece so I just made up that last sentence).
If you’re devoted to learning the story behind each bite, rather than worrying whether this was the right choice for a date as I was, however, you’ll be pleased with the thorough descriptions. (FYI: They speak English, too, in case that is a concern).
Some of the small opening bites were yummy, some too strong, some just interesting.
Onto the main event, though.
The plat du jour featuring a colorful mixture of different vegetable dishes was delicious. The Latin American edge offered flavors I don’t run across here much. Among many other veggies, the tastes of sweet potato and black beans – two of my absolute fave things in the world – made me very happy.
Next time I go (and I will return) I will probably just get the plat du jour rather than the full menu. As it was, I also got to choose a soup, a drink, and a dessert, but it’s the main plate of veggies that had me raving. (My date had a milkshake that I’d also highly recommend).
The dessert was “raw” chocolate, artfully presented.
I think I have too much of a sweet tooth. Meaning, well, I actually like really sweet, and the chocolate was just a little too strong for my undeveloped palate. My date sampled it, though, and said it was the real deal. So depending on your taste buds (isn’t that always the way?), it’s probably super good.
In short, if you’re tired of normal bistro fare or following hordes to the latest trendy spot, Voy Alimento is a cool dining adventure. It’s great for vegans obviously (and lazy pseudo-vegetarians like me), but anyone who likes culinary surprises will enjoy.
For an actual foodie expert’s write-up of Voy Alimento, check out Phyllis Flick’s post here (thanks for the recommendation!)
23, rue des Vinaigriers
Paris, France, 75010
Telephone: +33 (0)1 42 01 03 44
Any other resto recommendations for me, folks? I’m compiling a list.