As a North American, I can hardly get excited over a platter of burgers and fries, but that’s exactly what Parisians are doing following the opening of a new burger chain called BIG FERNAND.
A (French) colleague walked into my office this afternoon and asked “Do you eat hamburgers?”
Only since the 1970s, I wanted to say. Like all North Americans, my entire adolescence revolved principally around cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes eaten at places with classy names like Big Moe’s, Johnny’s and Burger Shack.
Remember having the munchies and piling in the car with your girlfriends around 11 o’clock on a Friday night to drive off for a burger and fries while singing (loudly) to Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” playing on the 8-track?
Sorry, I just had a 1970s flashback moment. Darn, I miss those days.
“Yes, I do eat hamburgers.” I replied to my colleague’s question, “Why do you ask?”
“I’ve just had lunch at BIG FERNAND,” she said excitedly, “You know…the new burger place up the road?”
And I’m thinking…..why would that be cause for excitement?
Everybody’s talking about BIG FERNAND. According to her, the burgers are amazing – they’re not called hamburgers, but rather hamburgés – they come topped with a variety of French cheeses and a meal with fries, burger and a drink costs around 14 euros. And not only at Big Fernand, but all over town in cafés, restaurants and bistros, Parisians are heartily tucking into platters of burgers and fries, with maybe a side of slaw and washing it down with a giant Coca-Cola, as if they were in a Shake Shack in the States!
And this is why I wrote, in my August 2014 posts from London, that I found the food scene infinitely more inspiring and innovative in London than here.
Burgers and fries. The new gastronomie française. Oy vey.