Bread & Roses is the name of an English-accented bakery and tea salon near the jardin du Luxembourg, not to be confused with Rose Bakery, the English-accented bakery and tea salon with two locations on the right bank.
The breads are all organic. The pastries are natural beauties. The quiches are deep and the savory tarts are filled with bright vegetables and herbs. Golden raisins peak out from a rock pile of scones.
I’ve been to and enjoyed Bread & Roses several times over the past few years, including last Friday, when I had a flaky tart filled with tomatoes, olives, and anchovies, a generous and delicious herb salad, and a bottle of one of my favorite French limonades.
While I’ve never thought of this place as a bargain, I don’t remember a piece of quiche and a salad costing €17.50 either.
Whether the increase is new or I have amnesia doesn’t matter, and you may not balk at that price. A similar lunch costs only €9 at Tartes Kluger in the 3rd, and the savory tarts at nearby Mamie Gateaux max out at around €10, salad included.
The expression “bread and roses” comes from a poem by James Oppenheim, written in 1911, that valorizes the struggle of industrial workers — particularly women — fighting for not only a better wage (the bread part) but their dignity (the roses part) as well: “Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!” the poet implores. It was adopted as a slogan by striking textile workers in Lowell, Massachussetts, whose massive 1912 mobilization led to widespread unionization of women and minorities. The phrase was subsequently been adopted by pro-labor political parties and feminist organizations. The poem has been set to music and sung by some of my mother’s favorite folk singers.
Somehow, I don’t think that a €19.80 plate of tabouleh was what any of these people had in mind.
Bread & Roses, 7 rue Fleurus, Paris 75006, +33 (0)1 42 22 06 06, and 25 rue de Boissy d’Anglas, Paris 75008, +33 (0)1 42 22 06 06 website
Read more about Mamie Gateaux and Tartes Kluger here.