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Au pied de Fouet: Mijn beste restaurant in Parijs
In Parijs kun je overal eten, maar vaak óf duur of café-eten en vaak erg touristisch. Au Pied de Fouet heeft drie restaurants. De keuken is traditioneel Frans, eenvoudig, maar jongens wat een lekker eten. Amper touristen, veel Fransen.
Favorite Dish: Het menu verandert vaak. Kies gewoon vooaf de zelfgemaakte terrine, of de Jambon persillé, hoofdgerecht kan zijn lam, vis, parelhoen, maakt niet uit. Nagerechten zijn creme brulée (gewoon vanille), maakt niet uit. Allemaal OK. Wijn van het huis.
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Au Pied de Fouet: A traditional French bistro for lunch
I discovered this very small, family-run Café-Restaurant-Bar by chance during my stroll in the 7th Arrondissement. The menu posted outside on a blackboard was too tempting to resist, not to mention the price!
Door and windows were open, I could see it was full but I walked in and asked if I could eat lunch. The boss and the woman serving at tables hurried to make place for me right by the window, beside an older woman who obviously eats there every day. I was delighted with the ambiance bon enfant (friendly and simple) and with my spot with view across the café and outside.
This café is apparently an old "institution" in the neighbourhood and the patrons are all "habitués de la maison", that is, they are Parisians out for lunch at their favourite bistro. The owners are from the Auvergne, a place in Central France known for its hearty food and great cheeses. In fact, bistros run by Auvergnats who came "up" to Paris years ago are found all over Paris and are quite popular with lovers of simple, traditional French cooking.
When the Pied de Fouet opened 150 years ago, it was a resting place for coachmen, hence the Fouet in the name (since coachmen crack their whip...) There are two other Pied de Fouet, one in the 7th, one in the 11th Arrondissement, all run by family members and descendants.
What I liked most (apart from my very good lunch) was a wall-mounted wood casing divided in many pidgeon-holes like mail boxes, all of them garnished in red-and-white linen. When the lady beside me finished her meal, she knotted her napkin and placed it in "her" pigeon-hole! By then, I was dying to take a picture but two young lovers were smooching right under it and I was too shy.
But I took pics of the menu, my table and the façade from outside, where the server had placed my expresso on the seat of a motorbike parked in front.
Favorite Dish: Gaspacho andalou
Joue de porc, sauce à la sauge (Pig's cheek with sage sauce) -- very good! (with potato purée I think)
Charlotte aux framboises (a mousse like dessert, with fresh raspberry sauce and lots of the berries too)
Everything is home-made with fresh products bought daily at the great market in Rungis.
I also had a glass of red wine, which was filled to the brim (oh I don't like that! but it's that kind of place. I noticed that all the men stopped at the bar on their way out and they ALL got a glass filled like this before saying Adieu to everyone.)
The boss was behind the bar, keeping an eye on things and talking with the regulars. He complained that times were tough, that he couldn't make ends meet with his prices, etc. At one point there was the hint of a mutiny in the kitchen but I was going outside for expresso then and it didn't bother me. I only hope the Coup de Fouet is still there when I return to Paris!
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