If a Californian burger truck in Paris doesn't fit your style of dining there's yet another (sit-down) burger joint to have joined the wave of American comfort food imports. I realize that in telling you about Blend, three weeks fresh on the market, I'm revealing just how insatiable my cravings are for burgers. Insatiable and perhaps erring on the excessive.
Some of you might ask why it would even be worth seeking out a burger place in Paris if you come from a country that does them right. I think it's always interesting to try familiar cuisine in other countries because the interpretation is often remarkably different. I love taking Mr. C to French restaurants in the States because many times, we both find ourselves blown away by the American take on French classics.
My motivation to try Blend a mere day after returning from China went beyond a desire to wean off my dumplings and noodle diet. I wanted to go because it was a friend's big debut. You might remember in Camille Malmquist's Franco File Friday feature that I mentioned she was slated to become the pastry chef for Blend before year's end and after several months of baking and testing, she donned her uniform for the opening. She's in charge of buns and blendies (their name for desserts). I couldn't pass up an occasion to get my mouth around a homemade hamburger bun, especially after seeing all the teasing photos on the restaurant's facebook page.
The space in the 2nd arrondissement is diminutive in stature, like the burgers - perfect for tamer appetites. The meat (beef or veal for the time being) is sourced from esteemed Paris butcher Yves-Marie le Bourdonnec and blended with cheese and other ingredients prior to cooking, making modifications impossible. Fortunately, they have two veggie options with equally veggie buns (spinach or tofu) for those aiming for ultra-lite. Keeping with the homemade ethos, the fries - regular or sweet potato- are hand cut and lightly salted; a necessary component to the meal.
The meat and fixings were juicy and messy, as they should be, but it was the briochey bun that set off fireworks. Given that we're used to eating jumbo burgers, we both still felt a little hungry after our meal and opted for the last remaining piece of cheesecake.
The speculoos crust is perfectly catered to the French while a hint of lemon lends unexpected tart to an American classic. It was the sweet finish we needed.
The owners experienced some inevitable newbie frazzle so we waited quite a bit to receive our order. They apologized profusely and chatted with customers about their menu, hinting at things to come. These petites blended burgers don't come cheap but the space is fun and the flavors are right.
44 rue d'Argout
Métro: Sentier/Etienne Marcel
Online orders coming soon!
Click HERE for Camille's blog!
*This article was started before My Little Paris featured Blend in one of their daily email newsletters. Good luck getting a table!