What is pink and juicy and cheesy all over? You guessed it… the cheeseburger. As an American living in Paris, there is little that lends the comforts of home like the notorious beefy goodness of the burger. Sure, Paris probably has more restaurants that sell more burgers and fries than many parts of the stars and the stripes, but this isn’t your average beef patty.
And while I’m by no means a Parisian food critic, I have had my share of burgers in life. If there is one thing I can critique, it’s lettuce, mayonnaise, tomato, beef, cheese and a warm and toasty bun. You know? The basics.
Let me begin by telling you when I first fell in love with this burger. Touristy doesn’t begin to describe the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is home to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, the Eiffel Tower, where droves of families and lovers and travelers a like come from far and wide to get the tiniest taste of Parisian life. It is also where you can find my six-floor walk-up. The 7eme, as it is called, has plenty of restaurants, some good, and some not so good and some I really wish I never walked into. Tourist traps, they are everywhere… overpriced, bland food that’s thrown on a plate and served as if it is the real deal. Amid the unsavory, there are a few hidden gems.
Walking down rue de Grenelle one night, starving and exhausted… I just wanted easy food. I wasn’t in the mood for fancy or French or anything I may regret, just food that I knew and knew I would like. I walked up to this tiny little café across from a local bar, glanced over the menu outside and walked in. I ordered the cheeseburger and fries, paid a mere 9.50 euro and awaited my dinner.
The server placed my plate in front of me and let me tell you I first ate that burger with eyes and I loved every bit of it. A top a round white plate was a small basket of fries dusted lightly with paprika, salt and pepper. Adjacent to that was a sauce of what I made out to be a tangy ketchup and mayonnaise mixture. And the remainder of the plate was taken up by a little piece of heaven.
A lightly grilled fluffy sesame seed bun lay lifeless on the plate. It is topped with fresh green tender lettuce, a juicy red tomato slice, and above that sits the king on his throne…the succulent, pink, tender ground beef monster topped with a pile of melted, oozing cheddar cheese.
When I picked up this sandwich and took my first bite, it’s as if I heard angels sing. The grease splattered, the lettuce crunched and the combination of it came alive in my mouth. I had never experienced a burger in such a way. Bite after bite… I didn’t want it to end. This wasn’t any old frozen patty topped with Emmental… this my friends was a gourmet masterpiece.
And who must I attribute this masterpiece to? Casa Milano. This tiny little Italian bar and restaurant gave life to the best homemade burger I have ever had. I can’t wait to go back and try every burger they have to offer.
Take my word for it… or if you enjoy boring beef and buns then don’t… Casa Milano has the best burger in Paris. So if you are like me and you end up craving a little piece of America when you are 3,636 miles from home, this is the spot.
178 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
By Alexa Pizzi