Being in Paris, I found that people really take their time during meal time. Eating is treated as pleasure and not just the need to consume food to get through the day. Many also believe that meal times is a time of togetherness. It is a time to be shared with friends or family. Although lunch time is not that long, but during dinner they go all out. It can take them unto 2 – 3 hours.
For the mean time, let’s talk about lunch. Here, many restaurants open from 11.30 am to 1 pm. As this is a fixed time, I always tried to get in at 11.30 when the restaurant is still in slow-mo. Once it strike noon, it will be packed and probably there will be a queue. One of my most favorite place to eat is Bouillon Chartier. It is quite a large establishment in arondisement 9, having several floors used for dining area. And they specializes themselves in serving dishes made with traditional recipes.
Entering this restaurant, surely feels like being transported to another era. I think it also has something to do with the fact that it first opened its door in 1896 and said to have never closed its door ever. The walls are decorated with painting by a painter named Germont as a way to pay his debt in the brasserie. Entering the dining hall, i saw rows after rows of dining table & chairs, with a few waiters in their white shirts & vest with a serviettes in their hands, are waiting in each section. That day, I decided to get myself a table in the 2nd floor. It is a bit tight compared to the one below, but it is still very comfortable.
For lunch, like in any other restaurant, they offer the Menu Du Jour (menu of the day) on top of the à la carte menu. It consist of an entrée, plat principal, & dessert. But, since I can’t really decide, I chose to just go à la carte today. The waiter in the area I sat in was a very charming old fella. He suggested for me to try out their escargot, which I did. And couldn’t resist to have a second helping. The escargot was cooked with a great amount of butter & garlic, but still well balanced. And I managed to soaked my bread with the left over butter.
I ordered a plate of Pavé de Rumsteak au Poivre served with a hefty portion of Frites. The beef was cook to perfection in its medium rare stage. And it can be cut easily like butter. And by this time, I started to think why I didn’t just ordered the menu du jour and save me some money (hahahaha). Because as you might’ve guessed, yes I ordered dessert too. And a cup of café au lait as well.
A complete meal will set you back at about 28 Euros per person. But for a plate of main course only, it ranges from 8.50 EUR to 13.50 EUR. The price is always on the same range. although the menu changes weekly while keeping the favorites throughout the year.
When asking for the bill, don’t be shocked. They just calculate everything on the paper which is on top of your table. After eating there a couple of times, I can assure you that it is accurate. Another thing is about tipping. It is still a debate amongst people whether tipping is needed or not. But I definitely recommend a 10% out of the check for the tip, or at least that has been my practice.
For a visit to Bouillon Chartier, it is located at 7, rue Fauborg Montmartre. It is just a few steps away from the Metro Station Grand Boulevards. You will definitely won’t miss it, because a line of people will be there during meal times. And not to worry, you can always visit it at your preferred time since it is open from 11.30 till midnight.