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Blend (Paris)

By Ann | February 14, 2012

Paris, Saturday, 7:24 pm. A jostling crowd gathers on the sidewalk outside the sliding glass doors of Blend, a new hamburger restaurant. Inside, black walls vibrate with buzzy energy and yellow lights beckon with cozy warmth, for it is a cold night, of the arctic variety.Why can’t we go in?” a little girl asks. “They don’t open until 7:30,” her mother replies.

The long minutes pass on the frozen tundra of the sidewalk. Finally, the doors creak open and people are allowed to enter the restaurant. It is 7:31 pm, Blend is open for business, and they are immediately full to capacity.

Things look up once we’re seated, sharing a table with a gaggle of excited tweenage girls. For one thing, until the food comes, there is wine to warm my frozen feet. And then the burgers arrive.

Meet the Cheesy (10€), which features a beef patty cooked rare (our server didn’t even ask our preference), topped with melted cheddar, barbecue sauce, bacon, lettuce, and sweet pickles. It braids together tangy, sweet, and savory, balancing the three on a perfectly spongy brioche bun, the kind of bready vehicle you fantasize about if you spend your spare time daydreaming about the perfect hamburger. (Yes, I do.) Full disclosure: the buns are baked by a friend, Croque Camille, but I’d love them even if she hadn’t masterminded them.

Here is the Signature (10€), which melts blue cheese over a beef patty, and tops it with spinach and a relish of caramelized onions and apples. It features that same blend of sweet and savory (in fact, if I could change one thing about the menu, it would be to offer a cheeseburger without a sweet counterpoint like grilled onions, or barbecue sauce), stacked in a neat, tidy package that’s not too messy to eat with your hands. And that’s another thing I like about this place: we’re not offered any cutlery, because the owners know that burgers are meant to be picked up with your fingers, not sawed at with a knife and fork.

Two baskets of fries play a supporting role to the burger starlets, one order of regular (3€, served cold, alas), and one of sweet potato (5€), which are fryer-fresh and finger-stinging, crisply exteriored and velvety within.

An assortment of baked goods end the meal, American treats like cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. We spoon up cheesecake with a gingerbread crust and cranberry topping (5€); it tastes just like my cousin Cindy’s, which is to say, excellent. We head back into the cold night, fortified by an evening of Americana, French style. Our table is occupied thirty seconds after we leave.

44 rue d’Argout, 2e
tel: 01 40 26 84 57
No reservations

Topics: Dining Out and About, Paris | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Blend (Paris)”

  1. Lindy Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I can smell those sweet potato fries from here. Deft camera work Ann, and a perfect little review. I love how they serve the food. Was that CK modelling le Cheesy?

  2. Voie de Vie Says:
    February 14th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Oh my, those burgers looks fantastic!

  3. Ann Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Thank you, Lindy! That is high praise coming from the Wistful Gourmet. And, yes, CK DID do the hand modeling — he’s a professional, you know.

    Voie de Vie — They were good — and the perfect size!

  4. Lindsey Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Was hoping you’d write up your experience! The one thing I didn’t like was how for every burger, the ingredients are already mashed (or blended, as it were) into the patty so it is impossible to leave anything out, say bacon for us non-pork fans. I know that’s perhaps their concept but I think it creates a more delicate patty which crumbled with my very first bite. But the flavors were interesting and the bun… the bun! The highlight, for sure.

  5. Sion Dayson @ paris (im)perfect Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Oh my gosh. Must. Eat. Burger. Now.

    Thankfully the Arctic weather seems to be waning, too, so the wait to get in wouldn’t feel like the tundra.

    Great review. Thanks!

  6. CK Says:
    February 16th, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I actually loved everything about the Cheesy (and yes, must say it, especially the bun). It combined all the flavors I love in a burger and exactly — I mean exactly — the right texture.

  7. Camille Says:
    February 16th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks for the awesome review, Ann! So glad you liked it – and that you didn’t have to wait too long in the cold. :) We need to get together sometime soon. It’s been way too long!

  8. Kim B. Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Sounds WONderful. Except for the cold fries. Boo!! But otherwise, boy does that make me want to go there for a burger!

  9. Bushido Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Looks nice but rather too American; is this why the French are becoming as fat, I wonder?

    I would have been a a little more interested in some mention of provenance in your article.

    The whole idea is suspiciously American, for example, the apparent need for adding as many ingredients as possible, such as barbecue sauce!
    I don’t think for a moment that this would be at all acceptable, if the meat et al were able to speak for themselves…. At least they serve wine, albeit we know not whence it came….

  10. A Jerk or a Chicken? « Croque-Camille Says:
    May 6th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    […] In English: Alec Lobrano, Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland (a burger hound if ever I knew one), Barbra Austin for Girls’ Guide to Paris, and Ann Mah. […]

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