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The Beast

All photos by Meg Zimbeck

Frenchman Thomas Abramowicz spent a year training in central Texas and tracking down everything he would need (meat, wood, Bourbon) to open the first authentic smokehouse in Paris. Beef is king here, in the form of slow and low smoked brisket and gigantic ribs, but barbecued chicken, baby back ribs and pulled pork also feature on the short menu. Vinegary cole slaw and steamed vegetables instead of baked beans or mac & cheese, but you can still expect to finish with pecan pie. Or just have another Bourbon – there are more than 50 to choose from – including impossible to find Pappy Van Winkle’s and a 22-year Elijah Craig – plus a handful of craft beers and natural red wines. Read the backstory here.

Baton Rouge – NOW CLOSED

Bayou-themed Baton Rouge is a high-end dive that’s strategically manufactured, but still thoroughly enjoyable. It’s rowdy, rollicking good fun; the tone is set by the twangy soundtrack and good-natured staff, who set down a bowl of peanuts immediately upon your arrival and actively encourage you to throw your shells on the floor.

The atmosphere, ripe with plastic alligators, could potentially feel silly, but it’s saved by the cocktails which are anything but. Partners Joseph Biolatto of Le Forum and Julien Escot of noted bar Papa Doble in Montpellier have curated a mixture of pricey bottle-aged cocktails, unusual (for Paris) milk punches, classic American highballs, a variety of old-fashioneds, a cherry-tinged take on New Orleans staple the sazerac, and an original Baton Rouge creation of cognac, absinthe, and vermouth topped with champagne. The cheeky presentation features red Solo cups garnished with paper umbrellas for true American frat party style, or a stroop waffle on top of a bottle for a milk punch.

It’s interesting to see a Parisian bar delve into regionally specific American comfort foods such as shrimp poboys, muffaletta sandwiches and BBQ ribs.  While I wouldn’t exactly call the po boy authentic, as that would require the shrimp to be deep-fried and served on an actual hoagie roll, it was tastier than a hot mayonnaise sandwich with a few seared shrimp has any right to be. It’s sloppy, fun, drunk food that didn’t cost a fortune and although not perfect, it does the trick to sop up all the sazeracs.

Catherine Down, January 2016

Les Pinces

Practical information

Address: 29 rue Bourg-Tibourg, 75004
Nearest transport: Hôtel de Ville (1, 11)
Hours: Open Friday-Sunday for lunch and dinner; Open Monday-Thursday for dinner only
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 09 83 56 47 93
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: American, lobster, cocktails
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2015) “The lobsters, flown in from the US or Canada (ours today) were done to perfection and broken up so not a lot of effort had to be expended.  The fries and wine were surprisingly good although a green salad does not work with lobsters – get some coleslaw folks.  We shared a delicious cheesecake and were mighty happy.”

Le Fooding (2014) “In addition to the cocktail bar, they’ve got a one-plate formula for €25 with your choice of either an oven-roasted lobster with a lemon butter sauce, or a lobster roll: lobster meat + mayo + toasted brioche bun. Is it good? Affirmative! And justifiably so: the creatures, flown in from the US and Canada, are removed from their tank (in the wine cellar) alive, before being sent to the massacre… Alternatively, you can have a 500 gram plancha-grilled prime rib, also served with the good house fries.”

Paris Bouge (2014) “Mais ce n’est pas n’importe quel homard: ses Pinces vont vraiment vous plaire… Avec un menu à 25 euros tout rond, Les Pinces peuvent se vanter d’être le moins cher de Paris. Ici, pas de homard congelé mais des achats directement au producteur : USA, Canada (celui du moment) et Bretagne.”

Photo courtesy of Les Pinces’ website

Burger and Fries

As the name implies, burgers and fries. It’s no In-N-Out Burger, which it clearly mimics from the basic concept to the red & white décor right down to the “double double” menu slang and secret sauce, but it certainly scratches the itch. It’s a decent burger, made from quality ingredients, that doesn’t cost a fortune which (sadly) is still a novelty in Paris. Plus, they’re open all day, every day.


Practical information

Address: 25 rue de Douai, 75009
Nearest transport: Blanche (2)
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday for lunch & dinner and Sunday for brunch
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance
Telephone: 01 42 81 21 93
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: American BBQ
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

The Washington Post (2016) “Fantastic carnitas taco with pineapple salsa. Delicious rosy-red chuck flap (part of the bottom sirloin), a tasty, if untraditional, barbecue meat. Hand-cut, triple-fried French fries.”

The New York Times (2015) “The California chef Simon Lewis, after working at two of the best modern bistros in Paris, Spring and Frenchie, puts a gastronomic spin on the barbecue register at this table in “SoPi” (South Pigalle), Paris’s equivalent of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.”

Le Fooding (2014) “Sur le gril à charbon de bois: du cochon (copieux travers de porc fumé), du bœuf (plus chiche mais fondant chuck flap de black angus argentin fourni par Metzger Frères), et du poulet fermier (belle cuisse), relevés de sauces maison: BBQ au bourbon, au citron, miel et huile d’olive, ou au roquefort pour faire plaisir aux Frenchies…”

Paris Bouge (2014) “Ici la star, c’est la viande bien évidemment. Choisissez tout d’abord votre morceau fétiche: black angus chuck flap, cuisse de poulet fermier, travers de porc fumés. Optez ensuite pour votre side: épis de maïs, poireau, chou-fleur, courgettes, tomates… ou bien encore des frites (coupées et cuites sur place). Enfin, sélectionnez votre sauce préférée: barbecue bien sûr, citron ou blue cheese.”

Le Figaro (2014) “Tout passe ici par la case gril, des saucisses mixtes en entrée (top qualité) aux différentes pièces de barbaque marinées (poulet fermier, bœuf Black Angus, travers de porc fumés) et produits de la mer (grosses crevettes). Sans oublier certains accompagnements (épi de maïs) et desserts.”

Alexander Lobrano (2014) “Who’d have ever believed that I’d eat the best barbecued pork ribs of my life just a ten-minute walk out my front door in the 9th arrondissement in Paris?! Young chef Simon John Lewis is doing seriously good barbecue at his new restaurant Flesh… And the caesar salad is killer good, too.”

Photo via Flesh’s Facebook page

Café Pinson

Practical information

Address: 6 rue du Forez, 75003
Nearest transport: Filles du Calvaire (8)
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch & dinner and Sunday for brunch
Reservations: Walk-ins welcome, but book a day or two in advance for brunch
Telephone: 09 83 82 53 53
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: Vegetarian & vegan, soups/salads/sandwiches, healthy eating
Website   Facebook

Additional Locations 

Address: 58 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75010
Nearest transport: Poissonnière (7), Cadet (7)
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday for breakfast & lunch and Sunday for brunch
Telephone: 01 45 23 59 42

Address: at Le 66, 66 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008
Nearest transport: Saint-Philippe-du-Roule (9)
Hours: Open every day for lunch

Reviews of interest

Le Figaro (2014) “Risotto champignons, potimarron, échalotes confites et kale: plus un riz cuisiné qu’un risotto mais pas désagréable. Galette de pomme de terre, épinards, pesto de kale: sans grande finesse. Cake citron-pavot: carré.”

Lost in Cheeseland (2013) “American chef Cameil Kaundart swaps refined sugar for agave syrup or non-refined sugar to sweeten up desserts and uses almond or hazelnut milk for all coffee and spiced tea beverages. A rainbow of fresh savory dishes changes regularly and you can expect a hearty range of salty-sweet treats for weekend brunch (that is, if you were wise enough to reserve a spot).”

Le Figaro (2013) “Archétype sans  faux pli de la dînette «Marais»  où, sous le motif d’un décor  rétro-minimaliste, le régime naturopathe (du bio, du veggie,  du sans gluten) se glamourise dans l’instant de recettes  pleines de jugeote.”

Unlock Paris (2013) “The daytime cafe has a seasonal, daily-changing menu of mostly vegan dishes, made without dairy and without gluten, such as kale, lentil and tofu salad, or beetroot and alfalfa tart, available in a fixed menu including a starter, main course and dessert for €17. Vitamin-packed fresh juices are made to order and cafe from Coutume is also on the menu for those needing even more of a boost.”

Photo via Café Pinson’s Facebook

Cantine California

This is no longer included among the favorite 350 addresses that make up Our Guide to Paris Restaurants. We’ve maintained this page so that you can refer to the practical information and other reviews of interest. Feel free to share your own opinion in the comments.

Practical information

Address: Parks at the Marché Saint-Honoré, Marché Raspail; check website for location schedule and hours
Telephone: No phone
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: American

Bob’s Bake Shop

Bob (aka Marc Grossman)'s mini empire continues to expand with American style diner and bakery complete with pecan or lattice-topped cherry pie, Belleville Brulerie coffee, hand-rolled bagels and even their elusive brethren bialys. There's a pretty lovely outdoor terrasse, too.

Thank You, My Deer

Practical information

Address: 112 rue Saint Maur, 75011
Nearest transport: Parmentier (3), Couronnes (2)
Hours: Closed Monday; Open Tuesday-Friday 8am-6pm; Open Saturday & Sunday 12pm-6pm
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 71 93 16 24
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: Gluten-free, soups & salads & sandwiches, cakes
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

David Lebovitz (2013) “Tiny gluten-free bakery and café with very good coffee.”

Photo via Thank You, My Deer’s Facebook page

Big Fernand

Practical information

Address: 55 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009
Nearest transport: Poissonnière (7)
Hours: Open every day for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Reservations not accepted
Telephone: 01 73 70 51 52
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: American, hamburgers
Website   Facebook

Additional Locations

Address: 32 rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3), Réaumur-Sébastopol (3, 4)
Hours: Open every day for lunch & dinner
Telephone: 09 67 22 40 06

Address: 40 Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001
Nearest transport: Pyramides (7, 14)
Hours: Open every day for lunch & dinner
Telephone: 01 81 63 08 63

Reviews of interest

Reviews from the rue Saint-Sauveur location:

Le Figaro (2013) “Chaude comme bouillon, active à sortir du burger à la gauloise, juteux, vaillant, à la limite de la surcharge et du fourre-tout.”

Reviews from the rue du Faubourg Poissonnière location:

Table à Découvert (2013) “Un steak de bœuf charolais très généreux, du fromage à raclette, de la ciboulette, des oignons mitonnés, de la poitrine fumée extra grillée (qui croustille beaucoup, c’est ce qui est bon) et une sauce barbecue maison pas mal du tout… Mais au bout de quelques bouchées, je m’aperçois que la viande très moelleuse et la cuisson plus bleue que saignante (je l’ai demandée saignante) font que le bœuf fond en bouche dans un amalgame d’ingrédients qui le fait légèrement disparaître. C’est bon hein, tous les ingrédients sont là, identifiables et généreux, mais la viande manque un peu de mâche, alors que l’épaisseur est là, la quantité et la qualité doublement.”

Les Grands Ducs (2012) “Du pain spécialement préparé par le boulanger voisin, moelleux comme tout, de la viande hachée sur place juteuse comme on l’aime…Service survolté, drôle et bien organisé…”

Le Figaro (2012) “Big Fernand, c’est l’Amérique revisitée béret-baguette, la France profonde aux couleurs yankees…Tout est cuit devant vous, la viande et les frites sont très bonnes, le pain aussi.”

Photo courtesy of Big Fernand’s Facebook page

Floyd’s Bar & Grill

At first glance, Floyd’s appears to simply be a bar with craft cocktails and snacks. Keep wandering past the kitchen though and you’ll find the back half of the building is a modern Gallic update on the classic American steakhouse from the team behind Pink Flamingo. The menu features Franco-American fusion items like fried rabbit & waffles or buffalo frog’s legs, plus Kansas City style ribs. Sunday brunch is an Anglo-style roast with Yorkshire pudding and veg for 18€.

Frenchie To Go

Just down the street from the impossible to get into Frenchie, you can complete the Gregory Marchand hat trick at the latest outpost from the renowned Frenchie chef. The Anglo-inspired eatery features excellent Reubens, flavorful fish and chips, sweet treats like cheesecake and doughnuts, housemade ginger beer, pickles & maple smoked bacon, and a great beer list. Unless you like cold meat and a greasy bag, we suggest actually eating on-site at the 15 seat space rather than taking the goods to go as suggested.

Lobster Bar

This is no longer included among the favorite 350 addresses that make up Our Guide to Paris Restaurants. We’ve maintained this page so that you can refer to the practical information and other reviews of interest. Feel free to share your own opinion in the comments.

Practical information

Address: 41 rue Coquillière, 75001
Nearest transport: Louvre-Rivoli (1)
Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday
Reservations: Not accepted
Telephone: No phone, only email –
Average price for lunch: €20-34
Average price for dinner: €20-34
Style of cuisine: American (lobster rolls)

Reviews of interest

Caroline Mignot (2013) “Les coeurs de sucrine sont assaisonnés simplement, les frites avec leur vrai goût de pommes de terre et non de surgélation sont croustillantes à l’extérieur et un peu fermes à l’intérieur, exact gage de fraîcheur.  Le homard enfin, d’origine bretonne, il est cuit à la perfection. Servi froid, alors que je l’imaginais tiède (je ne sais pourquoi), dans une quantité de morceaux généreuse. La sucrosité de sa chair est d’une pure gourmandise. Pour assaisonnement, une pointe d’estragon et pas tellement plus m’a-t-il semblé. Le pain au lait légèrement toasté est assez fin, ce qui laisse toute la place au homard de s’exprimer.”

Emmaunuel Rubin for Le Figaro (2013)”Rillettes d’ormeaux: trop grasse. Lobster roll: aussi vite mâché qu’oublié. Cake au cidre: pas grand-chose.”

John Talbott (2013) “The lobster roll itself is not huge, for 26 E, it’s about 6 inches long; the roll part is sweet not neutral; the lobster in bigger chunks than usually served Down East; the sauce very hard to discern; the fries nice but ours were served semicold due to the crush I fear; but the lettuces had a terrific sauce.”