We all know that jet lag can leave you weak, tried and a little out of it and the worst of it all is to find your entire internal clock completely reset. What makes this even more difficult is the strict dinning hours that seem to be enforced most everywhere in Paris.
Normally you cannot get served anywhere until 11am (Brunches though have become popular on the weekends but still follow a strict serving hour) and the lunch hour normally cuts off at 2 (if you are that lucky) But around the city if you are trying to find a place to eat at three in the afternoon most places will tell you to go elsewhere or come back at 5:30 when the servers begin to take orders again. One would think that with the large blocks of time that kitchens are closed that the restaurants in Paris must stay open VERY late, but NO. In fact you are lucky to find a place that will take your order for anything but a salad at 11pm.So what is a jet-lagged American suppose to do when it is 2am but your entire body SWEARS that it is only 5 pm or even earlier if you are coming from the east coast.
We take so much for granted the 24-hour American roadside dinners in the states where you can sit down at any hour and order a gigantic, hot plate of home cooked goodness. In Paris mostly your choices are late night Kebabs which again… if can be avoided should with all the better options out there. But there are some small gems such as La Poule au Pot.
La Poule au Pot is opened from 7pm until l’aube (sunrise). This restaurant tucked into Les Halles and not far from Chatelet and le Centre Pampidou is an amazing hidden gem in the city. The waiters with white shirts, long black aprons complete with bow ties are personalities, that even if the food weren’t amazing, would make a trip to this joint worth it. The décor is typical Paris from the 1930’s; Marble details, mirrors, gold moldings of elegant leaves, and scattered plants create an elegant atmosphere that makes you feel like one of Paris’ late night elite jetsetters from some film noir. Then there is the menu! Seeming to not have budged since its’ opening in 1935 the menu has only traditional French cuisine; tête de veaux, escargots, and all of the riche highly stimulating sauces that come with it all. The best thing to order is of course the place’s namesake, which is their poule au pot. Basically a chicken soup that is complied of everything that is left over in the kitchen from fresh veggies, scraps of ham, a variety of herbs, and even pickles; this was considered a “servants” dish but is a basic comfort food to the French. With a thick chicken broth this soup is amazingly hearty and good for ANYTIME of year since the nights in Paris tend to be quite nippy.
And if you haven’t tried escargots yet THIS is the place to do it. Absolutely drenched in parsley and butter you’ll never be able to turn back from this delicious French staple.
Paul Racat said of this place
“En ces lieux où se réunissent les témoingnages les plus divers, partageons le meme apppétit.”
So who knows who you will run into in this place late at night but in any situation at least you will eat well and have a REAL Parisian/French eating experience.
For other restaurants and late night eats in Paris checkout my category Restaurants in Paris HERE9, Rue Vauvilliers 75001 Paris http://www.lapouleaupot.com
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