Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Alladin

11, Rue du Maine, 75014 Paris (Map)
Phone: 01 43 22 11 42
Métro: Gaîté

Alladin is an excellent North African couscous place that's been a favorite of my girlfriend's family for years, so I've eaten there a million times with them and it's always fantastic. We're always greeted and served by the very polite and kind owner of the place, who always shakes the hand of every customer who comes in (actually, he gives you his wrist to shake, in order to keep his hands clean, which strikes me as an extremely classy move). I've never seen a single other person working there, although I must assume there's also a small kitchen staff toiling away behind the scenes. The restaurant is small and sometimes crowded and bustling, other times calm and quiet, but the atmosphere is always informal and friendly and fun. The couscous with merguez (a type of North African sausage with lamb and/or beef) is my favorite, and I have a hard time making myself order anything other than that, but the chicken is very good as well. I recommend sharing a bottle of Moroccan wine and finishing your meal with a pot of steaming mint tea and a plate of beautiful little North African pastries for dessert.