Paula and Henri can't be much older than me- maybe they're even younger- yet they've traveled the world, lived in China, the US, and London, and opened a zero-waste fast food restaurant that bypasses the middleman and closes the loop from farm to table. Do you know what I did today? I read about Ina Garten on Wikipedia. Nous opened less than a month ago and Glamour and Madame Figaro already featured it, with good reason- with complete, balanced meals ranging from €9-16, Nous proves you don't have to be a Persian oil baron to eat gluten-free in Paris.
For many Parisians, lunch is the only break they get all day. People eat quickly, they don't smile, they don't engage others. Paula and Henri bring a human aspect back to the lunchtime rush, with fresh juices, organic fruits and vegetables, and wholesome local foods "made with a smile." They're the kind of cute couple you see in J. Crew ads. Nous' bright, warm interior- designed by architect friends Gramme- features a cozy central table and long wooden benches so nobody eats alone. "We wanted to work with people we know and grow together, like a family," says Paula. The diverse menu- including lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian options- is inspired by their travels and different family members, from Paula's brother, who likes meatballs, to Henri's grandparents, who grow their own vegetables (and used to hunt their own game!) on a self-sufficient farm in the East of France.
Nous works directly with producers, so they offer the best ingredients for the best price to clients. "Just because you have an intolerance, doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money," says Henri, who discovered he was gluten and lactose intolerant in China. Nicholas Sparks couldn't have written a better love story- Henri and Paula met there, resulting in the delicious desserts, organic herbs and spices, and biodegradable bento boxes Nous serves today. Their shared love of quality, sustainably sourced products and respect for the environment is evident in the free-range chicken, rich Camargue rice, and healthy burgers that fill you up without making you feel guilty afterward. I had the apple-pear-cucumber juice, carrot cake with coconut milk caramel topping, and a Hot Box with meatballs, sesame seeds, and chili sauce- all fresh, spicy, and delicious.
There's a lot of love, care, and thought put into each fast, nourishing meal at Nous. I enjoyed it so much, I kept them past closing. Zero-wasters, rejoice, because Nous wastes nothing: extra vegetables end up in salad and soup, and everything is compostable! P.S. I don't know what I was doing with the photos- I was trying to be artistic and failed, so they don't capture how beautiful the space really is. Follow Nous on Instagram or visit It's TeaTime in Paris and Food & Dolce Vita for better pictures.
Nous16 Rue de Paradis
Métro: Chateau d'Eau