Big Fernand is a one whole world inside another...You are transported into somewhere far away from Paris where fun is the motto, love is the spirit and good food is the title of the chart. You enter a small space where each burger is made with love and dedication just for the pleasure of your senses. I walked for 20 minutes to come here and another 20 to return back and believe me, I'll be coming back for more...
Searching for the best burger in Paris, my quest continues. With the help of Yelp, Le Figaro, Time Out Paris and other websites I am trying one place after the other until I find the 'it' place. In the heart of the 9th district, up on Poissonniere road are the Fernand brothers; the elder serves burgers, hence the name, BIG Fernand, while the younger brother specializes in hotdogs.
I have heard a lot about this restaurant but I wasn't expecting to come across a small burger haven that's full of positive energy that will boost you up during lunch break. We reached a black wood facade that cannot be missed, especially that there is always a long line of people blocking the sidewalk just waiting to get in.
It was 1pm and the place was fully booked. We were welcomed by a joyful hostess that really made us smile. Shockingly, she approaches you and starts talking: "Good morning sir, is this your first time here? Awesome! So welcome and let me introduce you to the concept..." Taking a deep breath, she opens her jacket to take out two menus in English or French: "We have a choice of two beef burgers, pork or chicken. All our burger are tasty, welcome again to Big Fernand". The same hostess accompanied us throughout the meal. She welcomed us, made sure we chose a right spot followed by a tasteful experience.
Grilling smell, smoke and flames tickle your hunger buds... activating all your senses.
The place is small yet oozing with positive vibes:
- A small eatery, that's tight by long
- To the left is the long grill frying ten burgers at a time with a staff of six moving like a beehive in action
- Fun, life, positivity make everyone happy here
- The staff wears French beret and black aprons
- The seating area welcomes you at the end of the restaurant
- Little Fernand, the hotdog specialist up the street offers some bites for us to taste: '20cm dogs to help improve your virility" the funny waiter said with a smile.
Orders were delivered quicker than they do it at McDonald's. "Is it your first time at Big dear gentleman?" the cashier asks. And here, he grabbed a rope and started ringing a metallic bell to inform everyone of my coming. How nice, to be welcomed in a warm and joyful atmosphere. Don't we miss that in this chaotic world of ours?
Let's eat: Simplicity is key and it works perfectly well here. Unwrap and discover a ball. Yes a ball-like burger of fresh bun with two parts covering one another without anything spilling out. The meat doesn't show nor does the ingredients until you venture into first bite. Close your eyes and imagine... A thin bun emptied from the inside, cut easily with your teeth while plunging into a thick layer of white non-oily and melted cheese that protects the freshly prepared meat. Juicy meat full of flavors and love, and trust me you will feel the love. Different from conventional American burgers, Fernand's burger has only one soft texture of ingredients that melt under your teeth like butter. Everything inside is cooked to perfection, the cheese, meat, grilled tomato and shredded parsley all add up to create a fine burger: Big Fernand burger. We also tried another new introduction to the menu, Le Bartholome which is to die for. Imagine the above ingredients along with tasty bacon and sweet caramelized onions... be careful not to moan too high from joy.
With the burgers, we ordered a cup of fries that's also unique. The fries are cut in small pieces, soft and seasoned with paprika, salt and garlic powder.
A dessert then followed. Honestly, I don't recommend this part. After enjoying such a good burger and fries, the desserts were not as good. An apple tart that has nothing to write home about despite the fact that its puff pastry is fresh and crunchy, while the cheesecake is too cheesy, even though it's fresh and the biscuit layer is crunchy. A strong mascarpone cheese taste that's far from being a dessert.
I felt like starting lunch all over again, minus the dessert.
Some of you who saw the images of burger commented by saying that they don't look appetizing: Guys, remember that you're eating a burger, fries, coke and dessert for 15€ and yes, the burgers are even tastier than many diners out there.
I enjoyed Big Fernand so much and I'm planning to come back for more and maybe meet the little brother specialized in hot Dogs. Big Fernand is awesome!