Restaurant Joe Allen

As yesterday was my weekly sanctioned day to cheat on my diet we decided to have  lunch  at a local Americana-style place, Joe Allen. Living as an expat in Paris you will, sooner or later, get tired of French food. And the alternative cuisines in Paris are not for the most part appealing. Sure, you can get great food from North Africa (Tunisian, Algerian, Moroccan) and at times you can find the occasional Vietnamese place doing a nice business. Good Indian food is hard to find, good Chinese is apparently forbidden by some sort of law, and good Mexican food happens at precisely one restaurant in all of Paris.

But look, you don’t visit Paris for the non-French food. So stick with that. But sooner or later, sooner or later, you will crave something from home, wherever that may be. There is a small take-out place nearby which specializes in German food; who knew anyone wanted German food? I thought they kept trying to leave Germany for precisely this reason. But I digress… American food. Paris.

American food shouldn’t be hard to do. But in fact it just doesn’t happen very well outside the US with a few exceptions (UK & Ireland so maybe I should call this Anglophone food except that Canadians never quite nail it either, go figure). So getting good American food in Paris is hard, you can find good burgers in many places and good fries almost always are available. But somehow the atmosphere is wrong or everyone is eating burgers with a knife and fork (UN should really do something about that, it’s wrong). Joe Allen though was recommended and is a favorite on Yelp and really, it worked. The decor is correct enough, the beer is solid and thankfully not 1664 or Kronenbourg which is the normal fare and aren’t bad but do get a little old. The burgers are done well (correctly, not well done, another thing the UN should address as a crime) and the hand-cut fries are good. All in all an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

For a tourist note: the wonderful kitchen shop Delherrin is nearby so you can stop there and marvel over the industrial-grade kitchenwares then have lunch. I bought two steel pans for 15 euros each on this trip, wonderful.

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