There’s been an onslaught of American style hamburger joints popping up all over Paris in the last few years. I’ve been resisting them for some reason, as I am in a bit of a protest over the American food invasion that’s been taking over the Paris food scene lately.
I finally gave in last week, as I love a good hamburger. Blend opened their first location two years ago in the second arr. and was touted as having a superior burger, much more than its competitors. It was the clear winner in the so-called Paris hamburger wars by many food critics and bloggers. A new branch just opened in NORMA (northern Marais) and I decided to check it out.
The concept is simple: nine kinds of hamburgers including beef, veggie, salmon, and chicken served with classic sides of French fries, sweet potato fries, and coleslaw.
I chose the Signature Burger with caramelized onions with balsamic vinegar, bacon, blue and Emmenthal cheese, and baby spinach and Lynn chose the Parm, a chicken burger with Parmesan, tomatoes, and arugula. I ordered mine with a side of sweet potato fries and Lynn the coleslaw.
The burgers came out in cute updated American diner basket made of stainless steel and the sweet potato fries came in a steel basket that looked like a miniature French fry fryer.
The burger was already cut in half, a plus in my book. It was juicy and very tasty with a good consistency. I always douse my burgers in ketchup but I was enjoying it so much and it was so flavorful on its own, it didn’t need ketchup. The fries were crispy and fresh tasting, cut the way I like them. Lynn enjoyed her chicken burger a lot, but didn’t like the coleslaw, which had a yogurt base to it. Clever idea but ultimately didn’t work and gave it a strange, sour taste.
I found out the reason behind the great tasting burgers and other menu items: everything is handmade, the meat is of French origin and ground in the kitchen, sides and condiments including ketchup, fries, and pickles are also homemade, and desserts are home baked.
After our very satisfying burgers, we ordered two of the cookies, one peanut butter and one white chocolate chip. They were chewy and tasted like genuine all American cookies.
Interestingly enough the burgers are priced much lower (10 euros) than at most cafes, which usually charge 14-16 euros for a mediocre burger. Also, the soft drinks and water are very fairly priced at only 2.5 euros, not the usual 4 to 5 euros most places charge. There is a 15-euro formule, which includes burger, fries (but not sweet potato fries), and drink for 15 euros.
The simple interior matched the simple menu with hardwood tables and stools. The vibe is fun with the uber cool NORMA crowd and a good-looking, pleasant wait staff.
Blend also has takeout.
1 Blvd. des Filles du Calvaire, 75003
Open everyday 12PM to 11PM
44 rue D’argon, 75002
Metro: Bourse, Sentier, Etienne Marcel
I am ecstatic to announce I have won my first photo contest! I have won the 2013 Grand Prix Juror Award of Merit from the International Fine Art Photography Competition. The winning photos is below and you can also look at it on this link. It's photo #23.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.