Ever tried french style american burgers? That’s what you get at Big Fernand. Located in one of the streets in the 9th arrondissement, this tiny bistro was very crowded when I dropped by on a friday evening. Keen to try it out, I resigned myself to queuing for the next 15 minutes (which isn’t very long). The good thing is upon ordering, you will get your meal within 3 minutes as there is a line of workers systematically toasting buns, flipping patties and packing your meal.
Service staff are very friendly, and greeted me in a twitter of French. Upon revealing that I can’t understand them, they promptly thrust me the english menu. The menu is simple, choose from 5 types of burger or create your own. Then decide whether you want a meal (which comes with drink, fries and dessert) or just the burger itself. The burgers here are smaller than what you get at an american diner, but they do taste better from the upclass ingredients they use. For example, the meats are of French origin (no less), choice of cheeses are raclette, goat or blue cheese. I decided to get the Le Bartholomé, which consisted of beef, bacon, caramelised onions, cheese and homemade bbq sauce. It was pretty good, especially the soft bun which soaked up the bbq sauce nicely. As it wasn’t very big, I could easily polish 2 if I didn’t order the fries. The fries were apparently hand cut, and doused in some spices which give them a slightly orange appearance. I thought they were alright, but nothing spectacular. The desserts Big Fernand offer looked good, but I didn’t try them. An authentic american diner may not appeal much to the French as their portions are huge, with mass produced ingredients used. Big Fernand offers burgers with a slight french twist, using better ingredients. Looking at the long queue, it looks like they got the formula right.