I’m going to let you in on a little secret, my favorite restaurant in Paris. Now I know everyone has their favorite restaurant in Paris, but this particular one is mine. It’s not very big and it’s probably not that out of the ordinary, but it’s inexpensive and it’s always PACKED. It specializes in Basque cuisine and the food is sensational. It’s so delicious that locals start lining up at the door when it opens at 7 pm and good luck getting a seat for a large party. Sometimes, for two, you might get a table in twenty minutes, however sometimes it’s an hour wait. (For that, there is a nice wine bar about three doors down.) But I always like to find out where locals go to dine because I feel like they know best.
The name is Chez Gladines, it is in the 13th Arr. close by the Corvisart mètro stop on Rue des Cinq Diamants. There are actually six locations throughout Paris so it is easy to find one near you; I frequent the Butte-aux-Cailles location. Basque cuisine is from the Southwest region of France, along the Spanish border. It specializes in grilled meats and fish and stews. It is very rich and hearty food, not delicate Parisian cuisine and the portions at this restaurant are extremely generous. As much as you would like to, it’s difficult to finish your plate. The wait staff here are always extraordinarily busy, but everyone speaks English and I’ve always been happily received with smiles and jokes. You can order a glass of wine or Sangria while you wait, and you can’t beat the house Sangria at only €2.50 a glass.
So I have a penchant for duck– I can’t help it, if it’s on the menu, I’m ordering it. Chez Gladines has a duck with Roquefort sauce that will make you swallow your tongue. Everyone raves about the veal and the Cinq Diamant salad as well. The escargot is another crowd pleaser, and it comes with bread to soak up the garlicy goodness. None of the main dishes are over €14, and you may as well split a bottle of wine because those are all about the same price. I’ve come here with colleagues quite a few times and we like to share our dishes around the table just so everyone gets a taste of something different. My favorite are the potatoes. This is southern French comfort food at its very best and if you have room for dessert afterwards I would be shocked!
As with European dining culture you may share a table with other guests, it’s part of the casual and friendly atmosphere. Nothing fancy, just great food and wine to keep you smiling and happy as you join in the banter around you. It’s a great restaurant for a first date or with close friends, but I wouldn’t recommend dining here solo. Bring cash as they still don’t accept credit cards! Come prepared to have some wine while you wait and work up a big appetite!
Way Too Wanderlust recommends:
Chez Gladines, 30 Rue des Cinq Diamants, 75013, Paris, France +33 1 45 8070 10 http://www.chezgladines-butteauxcailles.fr