Paris is so expensive to eat!
At least that is what we hear a lot when we say we are going to visit Paris for a couple of days.
Eating out in Paris can cost you an arm and a leg.
But you don’t need to spend much to eat well.
Our secret: Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond.
And here is why.
Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
A little history first maybe?
The Pharamond family originally comes from Normandy and settled in Paris in 1832.
They chose the Les Halles district, the bustling butcher’s neighbourhood of Paris back then.
One Normandy recipe that grandfather Pierre Heutte wanted to introduce to the Parisians is a meat casserole called “tripe à la mode de Caen”, or Caen style tripes. You can still find this dish on the menu by the way!
In 1879 grandson Alexandre Pharamond relocated his restaurant ‘À la Petite Normande’ to 24, rue de la Grande Truanderie where it is still located now. And it quickly became one of the most popular ‘bouillons’ in the neighborhood.
For the 1900 Paris Exposition the Pharamond family remodelled the restaurant and it was called the Normandy Pavilion. The interior has been the same ever since: wood, mirrors, Jugenstil and Belle Époque style painted walls.
Apparently celebrities like Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde, and politicians such as François Mitterrand and Georges Clémenceau loved coming here.
We have been to Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond 4 times.
And we are absolutely sure that we made a couple of pictures from inside the restaurant, however we just can’t seem to find them anymore!
No worries, check out this gallery on Bouillon Pharamond’s website.
Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond opens every day at 12pm sharp.
And that leaves you 2 choices.
You either go there a little earlier (11:40am at most) and stand in line.
Or you wait until the first lunch rush is over and arrive at 2pm.
If your party is not complete, then you will have to wait outside until the last person has turned up.
The restaurant has 2 large dining rooms, 4 private dining salons for small groups and an outside terrace.
The kitchen is open until midnight, so you are also welcome to grab an early dinner here.
No need to say that might have to wait for a table as off 6pm again.
Let’s get straight to business now.
What’s on the menu here Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond?
What should you eat hear?
One thing is for sure: there’s plenty to choose from.
We have taken the liberty to post the menu here, you can also find the menu in English on their website.
A quick work about the drinks before we head over to the food.
If you want water, ask for ‘une carafe d’eau’ and you will get a bottle of free tap water.
Bottled Evian or Badoit will be added to your check.
We usually go for a 50 cl carafe of wine or cider for lunch.
Cider usually has an alcohol content between 3 and 5%
And the cider here is very light but refreshing drink, and it goes well with this type of French food.
Not a bad choice if you if you have another afternoon of walks and visits in Paris planned without feeling like you need a nap.
What we have already tried
It would be easier to say what we haven’t tried here yet.
As far as starters go, we have tasted these before:
- eggs mimosa
- leeks vinaigrette
- snails in garlic butter
- herring potato salad
- baked camembert
- bone marrow
Our favorite here is definitely the herring potato salad, a real treat!
That lightly smoked herring, those boiled potatoes and carrots, loads of olive oil and then those crunchy pickles onions on top.
Truly the best French harengs pomme à l’huile in Paris, hands down!
If you know other addresses in Paris where this herring salad is fab, let us know in the comments below.
Also a must try: the leeks vinaigrette, bone marrow and baked camembert.
The garlic butter snails are good, but if we have to be honest those at Bouillon Chartier are better.
The eggs mimosa were OK, nothing more.
The main course menu is great, and there is also a daily suggestion.
And that can go from steak and fish and such.
We once went for the daily suggestion: oven baked tomatoes stuffed with beef mince, served over boiled rice with a creamy mustard sauce.
The main courses we have taste here as well:
- haddock brandade
- beef bourguignon with coquillettes pasta
- baked sea bream
- oven roasted pumpkin
- confit duck
- sausage and potato mash
Our most favorite of all of them?
Again, hands down the haddock brandade!
Potato mash mixed with flakey smoked haddock, served with fried onions and a fresh salad on top.
What a treat, a real must!
Other dishes you can choose with your eyes closed: the sea bream, pumpkin and sausage. Absolutely fantastic! The sausage with mash and jus is definitely our favorite number 2.
The confit duck was correct, nothing more.
A letdown was the beef bourguignon stew, served over pasta.
Some chunks of the stewed beef were succulent, but others were tough. It all lacked seasoning as well.
Just a one off perhaps?
You can order extra sides.
Fries, potato mash, frisée salad (curly endive), coquillettes pasta (a type of small macaroni) and oven roasted pumpkin.
We always come to Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond for lunch, so a starter and main or main and dessert is usually more than enough for us.
Desserts and cheese
France has got your back.
Camembert, Pont-l’Évêque, Livarot, Neufchâtel: all of them are excellent.
The dessert selection is impressive: chocolate mousse, profiteroles, rice pudding, poached pears and so on.
The tarte tatin is to die for, it is served with sour cream and salted caramel sauce.
Do we like Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond?
Sure, or we wouldn’t have been there another 3 times after our first visit.
Do we recommend Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond?
Yes, excellent classic French cuisine for very little money.
The staff is always hands on, fast, polite and witty.
Our opinion about the dishes that we tried is purely personal.
Have you been to Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond before?
Did you like it?
What dishes did you try?
Let us know in the comments below!
Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
24 Rue de la Grande Truanderie