30.8.11

Best Burgers in Paris: Le Floréal

Le Floréal

I've already shared with you some of my favorite spots for scrumptious burgers in Paris, but I've decided to expand the list, one by one, since I find myself succumbing to the juicy lure of a thick patty at least several times a month. I've developed a keen sense of the necessary components required for a burger to be worth ordering, especially on a menu which features other interesting and perhaps newer dishes.

Le Floréal

Le Floréal made it onto my list of local places whose burgers came highly recommended but began extensive renovations on the exterior and interior of the restaurant just as I was prepping my belly. Weeks later, the team that made hipster dive bar Chez Jeanette a success opened the refurbished doors of Le Floréal. They ditched the old school bistro look and opted for a cross between 1970's retro and Tom Cruise circa 1988 Cocktail theme which has  noticeably brightened the Goncourt corner. Piet Mondrien-esque colored tiles line the façade and reflects the colorful wicker chairs on the raised street-level terrace, the ideal spot for apéro-hour people-watching.

Le Floréal raised terrace

But some of the people who recommended Le Floréal burger to me months ago reported that the quality appeared to have changed along with the restaurant's look. Not one to rule out a taste-test due to mixed reviews, I gave Le Floréal a chance to impress.

The patty was thick, juicy and cooked just as I ordered. My friend Phyllis sold me on the burger back in January when she said that the beef was ground in-house and 30% fat rather than the leaner cuts you're likely to find at other restaurants in France. I don't know for sure if that is still the case but judging by the taste, I'd wager the patty was fatty. And I quite liked it. The bun was fresh, the fries slightly greasy and crispy, just as they should be.

Le Floréal cheeseburger

I wasn't floored but I was pleased. And then I compiled a list of my personal, burger non-negotiables:
  • Quality meat - we've all had that mediocre burger with flat, bland patties. Waste of (food) time.
  • Quality bun- whether sourced at a local bakery or made in-house; extra consideration if it is a brioche bun
  • Original toppings - Supernature adds sprouts, Le Pearl adds sun-dried tomatoes and cantal (depending on their burger of the moment), and DEPUR uses real cheddar. I've also had burgers with spinach in lieu of iceburg lettuce and carmelized onions to enhance flavor. All these things make a difference. 
  • Sauce - I am not a fan of mayonnaise. I might be an anomaly but a bun slathered in mayo will ruin the burger for me immediately. Some of my favorites have included homemade pesto, honey mustard (à l'ancienne), tomato tapenade and simple olive oil. Let the fat come from the meat, not the sauce.
Le Floréal doesn't include many original toppings but the bun, meat and cheese were spot-on. And so, I continue with dour determination to scope out Paris' peerless burgers, free from Harry's industrial buns and frozen french fries. Stay tuned for the next installment...

{More Floréal photos HERE}

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