A good restaurant in Paris is not lacking. The most touristic places, however, reserve real traps, as, in my opinion, all the restaurants that are around the monuments and even so, selling expensive food of dubious quality, they triumph. In fact, the number of Brazilians in these places is enormous.
When I travel I always try to look for something that represents the local culture well. Not necessarily an expensive restaurant, but anywhere will always have good food at a good price. The first time I was in Paris, on one of my wanderings, I noticed that it was almost 5 pm and I hadn’t stopped for lunch yet.
I don’t know why exactly a desire to eat Cassoulet came out of nowhere. For those unfamiliar with this dish, Cassoulet is one of the most emblematic dishes in France, a stew of white beans, pork, duck meat and a sausage called saucisse de Toulouse, which is a smoked sausage. It has the look of our feijoada, but they do not serve with side dishes. And you don’t even have to.
I was in a neighborhood I didn’t know yet and without a guide in hand. I asked a shopkeeper if she knew any place over there that I could have a Cassoulet or something and she referred me to Chez Papa. I was a little suspicious, but I went looking for the place anyway because I was hungry. And it was a pleasant surprise!
Chez Papa is a restaurant at first sight without great charm. The ambience and facade do not have that charm characteristic of Parisian bistrots. In fact, I don’t know if I would consider Chez Papa to be a Parisian restaurant, as it is actually a Southwestern French cuisine restaurant. The menu is long and varied, but very typical and the decor is dominated by bouquets of espelette pepper hanging around the house. Soon I saw the name “Cassoulet” on the menu and paid no attention to anything else. To accompany, the house has a small wine list with labels only from the French southwest, which besides being great always have a good price.
My choice there was more than happy: the place’s cassoulet is divine. Chez Papa’s Cassoulet has a difference, however: instead of the white beans I used to know, they serve with white beans. Everything is cooked slowly, and the result is a cassoulet with a very tasty and creamy sauce and lightly au gratin with breadcrumbs. Duck meat is actually confit (cooked in its own fat slowly), and it crumbles on the plate. I swear, I didn’t even need a knife! The dish is served inside an enameled iron pan and comes in a dish. For a change, I couldn’t eat alone so I would say that for 18 euros you have a Cassoulet for two there. I noticed the tables next door and everything you order at Chez Papa is well served. Even salads are served in huge bowls and easily replace a meal.
After all, the owner of the restaurant, the master of the photo of the restaurant’s logo, made a surprise lesson to look at the movement (and his employees who even changed color when it arrived). I didn’t understand why (haha, poor things) because he made a point of stopping at my table and talking. Very nice he wore a long overcoat and his trademark hat.
The dessert menu was nothing different and was basically traditional French desserts. The first time I went to Chez Papa I couldn’t eat dessert because I threw myself at Cassoulet. I liked it so much that I went back there with other friends and ordered the white cheese with red fruits, light and delicious. I also ordered a plate of carolines with ice cream, Chantilly cream and chocolate sauce (which despite the crazy appearance was delicious) and a bowl of very characteristic ice cream: vanilla, salted caramel and chocolate with espelette pepper! Everything simple but excellent!
Chez Papa has grown and already has several restaurants around the city. I have already visited three different ones, each with a decor, but the food is of an excellent standard. In the three restaurants I went to (and one of them I went to 3 times), the food is always the same. A point for them, because it is very common for a restaurant to grow, open several branches out there and lose its charm and quality. But this is not the case with Chez Papa.
Very recommended for anyone in Paris!