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[Cheap Eats]

Paris
New life for Jera’s? Oui.
BY LINDA LOWENTHAL

on the cheap
Pad Thai Café Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakery Royal India Lee’s Beehive

Once upon a time, this tiny storefront across from the Brookline Booksmith was Jera’s Juice, a smoothie bar serving fruit concoctions with names like " Razzle Dazzle " and " Jimmy Carter. " Then it morphed into the Wrap, serving tortilla roll-ups and Jera’s smoothies. Then it shut down again, but it’s recently reopened as Paris, serving crêpes and ... Jera’s smoothies. Fashions in flat, round bread-like things to fold around our food may come and go, but it’s nice to know some things never change.

There’s nothing especially French about Paris — no rude waiters, no smoking, no Edith Piaf (thank God). And the reading materials on hand run toward an odd combination of O magazine, Fortune, and the New York Times — not Le Monde. For that matter, some of the crêpe fillings seem pretty only-in-America. Check out the unorthodox but tasty Buffalo chicken with blue cheese and hot sauce ($5.25), or the Asian Peking with duck, hoisin sauce, and rice ($5.95) — admittedly, not that conceptually different from Peking duck.

But you can stick closer to the classics by designing your own crêpes. Choose from a few types of meat ($1 each) and/or cheese ($2) and an array of veggies (20 cents each) for a savory, satisfyingly messy meal, or add fruit to butter and sugar, marmalade, or Nutella for a sweet snack ($1.95 to $4.45). And the Parisian theme has contributed two delectable drinks to the smoothie menu (all drinks are $2.75 small, $3.95 large): frozen cappuccino (skim milk, espresso, and nonfat frozen yogurt) and Nutella frozen hot chocolate (skim milk, nonfat frozen yogurt, and the namesake chocolate-hazelnut wonder ingredient). Yum! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

Paris, located at 278 Harvard Street, in Brookline, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (617) 232-17710.

Issue Date: August 30 - September 6, 2001