One of the joys (and bragging rights) of living in London is being able to hop a train and find yourself in Paris in a couple of hours. And it’s even better when work splurges on your ticket for business class on the Eurostar (which has surprisingly decent food and drink on offer). My standard diet when I visit the City of Light is steak tartare, escargot, and entrecote, but this time I thought I’d extend my burger knowledge and try out Big Fernand in Paris.
What you need to know:
- Burgers are cooked to order from “blue rare” up to medium well (well done seems to be anathema to the French)
- There is a standard menu of 4-5 burgers but you can customise or build your own at will
- Order at the front before you get a seat
- Prices are a bit on the higher end but reasonable given the quality – burgers are €11-13 and chips around €3 more
- For best value, opt for one of the meal deals which gives you a drink and fries for €3 or add on a dessert for €3 more
This isn’t the place to gather with friends – but if you can’t find a wine bar in Paris then you’re doing it wrong. Big Fernand is all about popping in for a bite (or getting takeaway) before carrying on carousing around town.
What to eat?
Get a burger naturally! I went with “Le Bartholomé” which is a beef patty topped with raclette cheese, pork bacon, caramelised onions, chives, and finished with both Big Fernand’s bespoke BBQ sauce and cocktail sauce. It’s a fairly compact item just a tad bigger than my fist, but the richness makes it more than sufficient for lunch. The bun is baked by the Big Fernand bakery and distributed out to the various locations and it works – decent flavour and it does a valiant job holding everything together until the last bite.
I, of course, went for the meal deal and opted for a side is their signature frites. The chips are everything you could ask for – crispy, fluffy, and boldly spiced. The portions are fairly generous to the point where I couldn’t manage to finish them after the decadent cheesy burger.
How about a drink?
It’s Paris so of course they offer wine. Conveniently, the wine comes in single person portions and from what I can tell it’s pretty decent. You can also get the standard range of sodas and I think I spotted a beer or two as well.
Worth the dosh?
It’s a tough call. The burger is pretty damn good and the frites as well but it’s a bit pricey for a lunch and possibly not quite enough for dinner. Then again, the lines in both locations were pretty long around lunch so I reckon that speaks for itself. Plus with the pound being decently strong against the euro it’s a great time to pop across the Channel for a burger by the Eiffel Tower.