Le Roi du Pot Au Feu – Paris
The King of Pot au Feu.
If the name doesn’t give it away, the smell will. As soon as you walk in the door, you are greeted with a wonderful aroma of meat simmering for hours on a stove top.
There is no menu. It’s on the blackboard behind the cluttered bar, and the choices are limited. Poireaux (leek) vinaigrette, l’os a moelle (bone marrow), etc. — they’re mostly the same ingredients used to make the main specialty.
After two elaborate meals back to back, we craved for something uncomplicated. The bouillon was exactly what we wanted — a simple broth full of body and flavor, like it was ladled from a pot perpetually replenished with beef and bones. From the deep brown color alone, one could tell this was no insipid dishwater soup.
Pot au feu is similar to the Spanish cocido and the Filipino bulalo; however, leeks are used instead of onions, and turnips are added for sweetness. It is also served with hot mustard and gherkins on the side.
The place started to get packed at around 8:30 pm. So while I was still waxing poetic about salad greens in France, the waiter almost took my half eaten plate away.