Category Archives: Paris

Is this the best burger in Paris? Part 4, Blend Hamburger

I'm sure I've said it before, but this one is IT. The best, hands down. Goodness, those are some good burgers.

There are two Blend Hamburger joints in Paris. I went to the cosy place in the second arrondissement just in time for the menu midi. Burger, fries, and soft drink for 15€ is pretty good for Paris. I had a signature burger – beef, balsamic caramelised onions, bacon, blue cheese, emmental, and baby spinach. It was amazing. Boy had the spring burger – a seasonal special. It had beef, mushrooms, emmental, and baby spinach. It was also tasty. The online menu shows a different seasonal special (salmon, and it sounds amazing), and so it is safe to imagine that the special changes fairly frequently. Fries are skin on. I hope that one day all of the fries in the world will be skin on. That would be my favourite.

Perfectly rare. The French are good at that.

Everything served, proclaims the menu, is homemade. Beef is 100% French, and minced on the premises. Delightful. As we left, we couldn't resist the cookies, and took a peanut butter, and a double chocolate for the road. They were perfectly melty, and chewy, and oh my goodness am I glad I couldn't resist. The cheesecakes looked good, too, but you can't eat cheesecake on the go.

If you go to the website, linked above, and read French, there's a pretty good blog there, too. I am particularly loving the post on cooking typography. It's quite something.

Well done, Blend Hamburger, well done.

 

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More final countdowns

I think this is the second “final countdown” I’ve had in a year. Oh my ever-changing days. My job in France is officially over, and now I have about a month of Paris time left to take tourist pictures, and explore about a million places. A google search on “free things to do in Paris” brings up an awful lot. Mostly they involve being in parks. Or museums. That’s a hot weather plan and a rainy day plan all in one. Hooray.

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This is just a flipping excellent view

A long time ago (maybe a month?) I bought last-minute evening tickets to Roland Garros, went on a Saturday, queued for a very long time, and ended up on court Phillippe Chatrier just in time to watch Roger Federer play some pretty good tennis against French boy Gilles Simon. Obviously the local crowd were fairly Simon-supporting, but I have a soft spot a mile wide for Federer. He plays tennis like it was invented just for him. Incroyable. The game was quite the tense one, going all the way to five sets – definitely giving us our money’s worth. I am now devastated Federer is out of Wimbledon.  Especially since I have a whole free week to watch it now! I will enjoy the sunshine (please come back, sunshine) in one of the many recommended parks instead.

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Federer, doing his thing

Last weekend was Fete de la Musique in France, so I went adventuring with some girls across the capital. There were performers everywhere, all night long. We ended up at the Grand Palais, for a Wanderlust club night. That building is such a beauty. The metro was running all night to take me home, and great fun was had by all. Highlights included the gay club that spilled out into the streets, with bubbles being blown up into the sky, and a Brazilian drumming group that were playing for hours and hours near Hotel de Ville. They were excellent.

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Filed under Dance till dawn, Lovely folk, Paris, Touristing, Travels

Here comes the sun…

And other cheesy blog post titles.

Summer arrived with all guns blazing in Paris in early April. Now she seems to be hiding. I managed to get a little bit of tanning time (in the Parc Monceau – oh how I love you), and plenty of iced coffee and reading in the sunshine time. Now I’m just waiting for her to come back.

My favourite summer spot so far, aside from the aforementioned Parc Monceau, is the Canal St-Martin. Sitting on the edge, dangling my legs over the water, with an excellent coffee (my favourite in that area, of course, is Ten Belles) and a book is perfect.IMG_1796

This is my happy place. And those are my happy trousers. They look like pyjamas.

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This is another of my new favourite places, the Jardin du Palais Royal. It’s hidden away in the very centre of Paris, and always has a couple of lovely garden seats available. You know the ones, people fight over them in the summer in the Tuileries, and the Jardin du Luxembourg. You can always get a seat behind the Palais Royal.

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The Tuileries look beautiful at this time of year. Even if you can’t get a seat. It’s a popular spot for a reason. Go for a quick walk, then settle with your book elsewhere, away from the crowds.

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And we come full circle (triangle?) back to the Canal St-Martin. It’s great, if you can fight your way to a spot to sit in. If the sun around midday gets too hot (wishful thinking?) go sit inside at ten belles. They sell great soup. I had a really good non-Cornish pasty once, as well. The other, very popular alternative, is to order Pink Flamingo pizza, and have them deliver it to you at your perfect picnic spot. Yeah.

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Hurry back, sunshine.

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Living local

One of my favourite things about France is how easy it is to live within a tiny radius of your home, and never want for anything. It takes less than a minute to walk from my front door to a fishmonger, butcher, greengrocer, florist, cheesemonger (is that what they’re called?), 2 very good boulangeries, one average boulangerie, and about 4 bistros. There is a supermarket, too, but why bother with a supermarket when you can go to the knowledgeable source?

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Why would I leave my neighbourhood when there are such beauties on my doorstep?

I love exploring Paris, and I really love that there is so much of it to explore, but knowing that I can go buy bread baked around the corner freshly each day is a joy. I can’t wait until I can bake my own bread! Also, the greengrocer man is the absolute friendliest. He always has a hello and a smile when I walk past, and the asparagus in his shop is the nicest I’ve had in France.

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About 15 minutes from my house on foot is the most beautiful park in Paris. The Parc Monceau is especially lovely right now, with all of the flowers, and the sunshine, and the people enjoying the flowers and the sunshine. It’s my favourite.

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Yep, Paris looks goooood right now.

In other news, we were at the Jardin d’Acclimatation recently (another local joy), and there were bagpipers! I think they were part of a Brittany celebration (do they have bagpipes in Brittany?). Bagpipes follow me everywhere. And they aren’t subtle about it.

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Filed under I love, Paris, Phototastic, Travels

Is this the best burger in Paris? Part three: Coffee Parisien

Just to get it out there early on, I think Coffee Parisien might just be it. The best burger, hands down, in France, not just Paris. There are a few branches scattered across Paris, and one of them is a mere 25 minute walk from my house, imagine that! I'm not allowing the closeness to make me biased. I've been to a branch further away, too, in St Germain, and it was just as good, if not better, than my semi-local in the 16th.

On my first visit I opted for an Obamac burger, a true tribute to all that is great about America (as far as I can tell). Eating it almost destroyed me (who'd have thought a double burger would be that much extra food?) but I triumphed, and managed to enjoy every last bite.

The Obamac – ace

The second time, I went for a classic bacon cheeseburger, and it was excellent. Coleslaw is, again, weirdly sweet (it must be a French thing), and fries are incredible (skin on is the way to go. I dont know why anybody bothers peeling a potato, ever). I got my burger properly “French rare” this time, as I ordered it. I took boy, and he had a tuna burger, which was great, and a welcome alternative in a world were beef is king. He also managed to have a stack of banana pancakes for dessert, and I had a sundae (the single burger obviously wasn't enough that time – should have doubled up). In our defence, there's a high chance we forgot to eat lunch that day. I think…

Tuna burger, hash browns, and an uh-may-zing vegetable side.

Apologies for yellow-y blurry shots. My tummy was in control of the iPhone, and wanted pictures over quickly. And the light was bad.

Banana pancakes with chocolate sauce and maple syrup. Beautiful.

 

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Filed under Burgers, Paris, Travels, Very good food

Is this the best burger in Paris? Part two: Koff

Burger joint number two is the wonderful Koff, which hides out in Montmartre. Boy was visiting for two weeks, and we went on quite the burger binge. One Sunday lunchtime, we were starving and wandering around Montmartre, when I realised Koff was around the corner, and I still hadn't tried it out. Winner.

Unfortunately Koff hasn't got a website, so I can't check a menu for our choices. I had a bacon cheeseburger (I think), and boy had a blue cheese covered burger. We ordered both rare, and that's how they came. Anglophone rare, not French rare, but that's pink enough for me. I had the best fries of my life – why doesn't everyone leave the skins on the potatoes? It's so much better that way. Boy had a GIANT hash brown. It was also delightful, but I think the fries were better.

Both burgers were excellent, toppings were great, and buns held together just the way they're supposed to. We didn't go for any sides this time, just a diet coke for me and a Canadian ginger beer for boy. Good choices all round.

Not ordering sides meant we had room for dessert. We shared a banoffee pie. I think I actually ate most of it, but boy was nice enough to pretend we split it evenly. It was delicious. Unfortunately it wasn't very photogenic. Sorry.

Then it was time for tea and coffee and a lovely walk.

The End.

 

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Is this the best burger in Paris? Part one: Breakfast in America

Just look at this beauty!

I am, once again, on a burger kick. While the French might not be great at eating with their hands (I’ve seen burgers eaten with knife and fork), there are still a number of decent burgers to be had. I’m going to eat them all, and then pick my favourite (and probably eat there far too often).

First up, Breakfast in America.

Breakfast in America 2 is in the Marais, very close to Saint Paul métro, which happens to be one of my favourites (is it weird to have a favourite métro stop?). There is always a queue outside, but it doesn’t take too long to get inside and seated.

I had the burger of the day, which as far as I can tell changes daily, but I definitely can’t visit often enough to know for sure. Signs inside explain that all of the beef for the burgers is of French origin. Ace. Boy had the So Cal burger – with mushrooms, avocado, and gruyere (pescetarian, what pescetarian?) which is maybe the best combination of burger toppings ever.

I made a fairly major mistake in ordering coleslaw instead of fries with my burger – I was rewarded with the biggest coleslaw side I have ever seen – no one could ever eat that much. Also, I don’t know if it’s a French thing or not, but so far all the coleslaw I’ve had here has been oddly sweet. I don’t think it’s my favourite. Fries are good, but not excellent, and our shared side of cheese fries went down fairly well.

We washed it all down with Sam Adams, which was excellent.

I don’t know if Breakfast in America will be my favourite burger in all of Paris, but I will definitely be back to try a more breakfast-y pancake option.

Stay tuned for more meaty nonsense. And maybe another sort-of-series, in which I adventure to try and find the best coffee in Paris.

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Filed under Burgers, I love, Paris, Very good food