So, since Obama has been in the white house, Americana has gained enormous amounts of popularity over here in Paris. I can see a great difference from the days when Parisians were protesting the war in Iraq (protest which I participated in my first year here in the city of Lights and Love).
Americana diners are popping up all over the city and the hamburger has become a super trendy meal, with popular websites like My Little Paris writing about the “best burger in Paris” and the Ralph Lauren restaurant Ralph’s serving a whopping 27€ but apparently über delish! I don’t know if I could allow myself though to chose that menu item when I go there (as I am planning in it sooner or later) because they do serve Maine Lobster on the menu, and that for me is a vital part of my New England-raised-and-educated desires, much more so than a burger. But that will be for another post. There is also the extremely popular food truck Le Camion Qui Fume, where people stand in line for an hour for street food burger and fries. They have even published a recipe book! Burgers are back and totally popular among the trendy chic in the chicest city in the world.
I do think that I shall write a post with my review of all the different Americana burger joints in the city, but I still haven’t tasted them all! I am working on that, slowly but surely. My most recent tasting was at Chibby’s Diner. An adorable Americana Diner that brings you back to a nostalgic time in the USA, right here in the middle of Paris.
A large brasserie between Bastille and Gare de Lyon called Les Atleliers recently put on a new outfit as an an American burger joint : US Ateliers. Maybe they are trying to ride the wave that the Ralph Lauren restaurant brought last year when it opened up. But these people took the idea to heart, and plastered the place with stars stripes and images of American money. It’s almost grotesque but I found my curiosity drawing me there like some kind of innate magnet. Must be the call of comfort food… I figure since I live here, I am forgiven if I crave it now and then. I mean, it’s not like I came here for five days or so and was on the hunt for “USA Pizza” in the land of snails, quail and stinky cheese. LOL! Anyway I am lactose intolerant in the worst way so that cuts out the cheese, and the butter soaked snails for me.
Under the pretense of testing to see if they really made a good burger I allowed myself to enter. It’s giant inside, there is room for groups to dine together, and if they are smart they will offer a Thanksgiving meal. Their restaurant will be packed for sure because not many other places will accept large parties on Thanksgiving in Paris.
Anyway, we were shown to our table by a friendly Frenchman. We walked by the typical Americana item : a jukebox… I forgot to ask if it worked. And just in case we didn’t realize that we were in an “American” restaurant, our menus reminded us : they also were smeared in stars and stripes, red white and blue.
I of course ordered a burger and a bud beer. Chéri ordered a tex mex salad and a mexican beer. The waiter forgot to ask how I wanted my burger done, and I forgot to tell him, and then when he brought our food he gave chéri an italian salad instead of a tex mex salad. But Chéri didn’t bother to say anything. My burger was too raw for my taste but was still delicious. I wouldn’t say it’s the best burger I have ever had, but it was decent. I liked how the coleslaw had raisins in it, just how my dad used to make it. First time I have seen that in France.
We left full and satisfied, which I was expecting. It’s worth a stop if you are craving a burger, but don’t go looking for perfection. In fact, it’s very much like any restaurant you might find in the States (except for the kitschy décor), so maybe they have reached their goal.
From Place de Bastille, it’s at the fork of Avenue Daumesnil and Rue de Lyon, 75012.