Le Camion Qui Fume... What else. My search for the best burger in Paris wouldn't have been complete without trying the one and only burger truck, a place many have recommended I try. As the taxi driver stopped, more than fifty meters away from the truck, the grilling smell was so strong and appetizing, that he looked at me and said, "I feel like going down for it with you." But boy was he lucky he didn't do so.
Parked in the middle of the business area facing mk2 Bibliotheque
, smoke coming out from a blue and red truck strikes your attention. The name fits it perfectly well, Le Camion Qui Fume (The Smoking Truck). Although you have to eat while standing the choices are wide.
I stood in line, grabbed my phone and started writing until I realized that I was standing in the wrong spot; the right queue is for ordering and the left one is for picking up your order.
Dozens of students were waiting and looking straight ahead at the grilling process. Four busy youngsters cut, grill, fry and deliver the burger. I was expecting to see some action and fun like they did at Big Fernand
but it seems that here is a place where you come to eat and only eat.
Anyway, I waited and my hands were starting to freeze, while the temperature was dropping to 4degrees. "Come on guys, we're hungry and freezing!"
20 minutes after that, it was my turn: "which one do you recommend" I ask the guy with the hat and he suggested I go for the Day's Special, which is the classic one with chili sauce. So I ordered one with fries and coleslaw, all for 13,70€ and moved on to the next line where I waited another 20 minutes to get my order. I was really hoping that the burger was worth all this hassle.
Smoke and yet more smoke. These guys will smell of burgers for a year...
I received a blue and red paper bag that contained a burger fitted in a carton box and some fries. The burgers looked appetizing, generous and typically American. Before leaving the queue you can add ketchup, mustard or mayo from the big dirty Heinz bottles at the bar.
Searching for an adequate spot to sit and enjoy the burger, I looked for a place with privacy and some light to shoot these precious items - not many people understand my need of taking pictures. While unwrapping, my mouth-watered preparing my taste buds for the best. And here, was the biggest deception of a meal in Paris...
I bite into a hard thick dry and spongy bun that tears apart into chunks like an old loofah. A thick tasteless piece of mix topped with a mix of stale vegetables and a huge piece of onion, which I removed - a mess of a burger. Every bite was half in my mouth while the other half was dry pieces falling apart all over the place. I closed my eyes and tried to feel something, feel the ingredients, understand what's happening.
The burger I ordered was the chili special of the day, and believe me, I wouldn't have known if I didn't pay for it myself; no chili flavor whatsoever, no spiciness... Nothing! A huge deception that made me throw half of it away - trying to avoid empty calories. The cherry on top was the coleslaw salad: Yucky! A dry super cold cabbage salad fitted unappealingly in a plastic box. Pieces of vegetables mixed together with sugar. I didn't feel any sauce just a strong unpleasant smell of onions. It was even worse than the burger.
The fries, on another hand, are good. Skin on fries, well cooked, golden and crunchy and seasoned with the needed amount of salt.
I paid 20€ to come here, 13€ for this so called burger, 20€ to go back adding to all that a stomach ache. So 53€ to eat or try to eat the most deceiving burger I've had in ages. And everyone puts it in the Top10 burgers of the capital? Come on! Please, go taste Big Fernand
, La Maison Mere
or 231 East St.
and discover the huge difference for yourself at the same price.
During my second day in Paris I discovered my favorite burger place at lunch and my least favorite one at dinner. How is this place included in the Top10 lists beats me. Unbelievable!