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  • As I walked past this small cafe not too far from Ruijin Lu, the exterior bar-stool seating beckoned me to come and take a rest on a beautiful spring afternoon. Having visited Paris not too long ago, I was hoping this cafe might transport me back to the gluttonous city. 

    The first thing that acknowledges Paris is the small display of five to six croissants by the register.   The menu offers up a simple selection of sandwiches, salads, smoothies and coffee.    I ordered the Le Parisian Ham sandwich, an espresso to get a pick me up, and the Paris smoothie.

    The sandwich is presented showing off all the layers of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, ham and oregano-seasoned fried egg drizzled in mayo.  The toasted bread quickly falls apart upon biting into it.  It’s best to resume eating it by scooping up the ingredients with the toast, Indian-style. 

    The smoothie looks like ice cream as it’s served in a blue-tinted mason jar.  Perfectly cold and refreshing, though lacking much of the strawberry-banana flavor promised from the menu.  The espresso is invigorating.  Dark, bitter, with a subtle fruitiness.  The perfect pick-me-up.

    While it may not make you feel as if you’re back in Paris, Meet in Paris does offer terrific seating for people-watching and a cozy atmosphere to pass time on a lazy afternoon.  The food may not stand out, but the espresso, brewed by an ever smiling barista, is on par with that of any decent cafe in Shanghai.   

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.