It was Sunday and the restaurants my friends and I were planning to visit were closed. By pure coincidence on YELP, Jean came across a place called Le Depanneur, a beautiful concept that’s the newborn baby of the famous truck touring Paris called "California". Le Depanneur has been build to look exactly the same as American diners found on national highways in America - just like the stopovers we see in the movies. Just a few meters away from Moulin Rouge, reach on a corner street to find a metallic structure that looks like a real American diner. Stainless steel, large glass facades.... The place is breathtaking, decorated with fresh wood panels left unpainted; wooden floors painted in blue and pink hosting a dozen wood tables. I loved their chairs; they are lower than the usual, which nicely gives a certain feeling of warmth and coziness a few restaurants offer. Built around a bar, a few spheres pend down from the ceiling adding the needed amount of light, while the glass facades around naturally light up the place with style. A funky architectural touch is added using white and blue painted stones around the bar. The simple menu: starters, burgers, tacos, desserts and milkshakes To start with, we ordered the tacos, fresh simple tacos served with guacamole and tomato sauce. A very nice first impression - crunchy homemade non-oily tacos you don't often find in the French capital. Every bite combines richness and a pleasant salty aftertaste. The dips are just as good. Fresh guacamole with a hint of lemon and tomatoes perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper and the onions added are shredded in small pieces adding the needed finesse. Followed are two starters, we ordered the Ceviche and the Quinoa salad, which were both very good.
- The quinoa was served on a bed of mixed greenery and decorated with some pomegranate to add sweetness and interesting textures.
- The Ceviche is unique: Small cubes of cod fish served with red onions and tomatoes, seasoned with lemon and olive oil. The green salad is topped with grilled almonds. Two thumbs up.
The best was yet to come. We ordered two different burgers, their specialties. One includes blue cheese and BBQ sauce while the other is more complicated with bell pepper, caramelized onions, bacon and homemade mayonnaise. Served in brioche bread covered with sesame seeds, the burgers are good, very good in fact, although a bit more flavoring is required. I expected to feel the sweetness of caramelized onion. Crunch into the bell pepper and taste a hint of spiciness. The burgers are rich, simple and fresh. The meat is very good as we ordered one well done and the other medium and both were succulent. The ingredients used, like the cheese, are very tasty. I would make some improvements by changing the bun into a bit less chewy one and add a bit more flavor t the overall mix; something's missing, a boost, a richness, a spark. Don't worry though; this burger deserves to enter the Top10 best burgers in town. The fries! What can I say about the fries? They are really awesome - skin on fries, crunchy from the outside and moist from the inside - they are to die for. I loved their simplicity, way of cooking, texture and quality. Enjoy these fries with a burger; you'll enjoy a plate that's worth coming back for. The only minus is that their service is very slow. It should be faster especially at a diner. I was searching for the best burger in Paris, and don't know why this place is not on the list. We enjoyed a very nice and tasty lunch, which I would recommend to all my friends. If you're around the 9th District, Le Depanneur is definitely a must visit.