Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bargain Bites with a Side of Anarchy


V is for Vegan!
It's pretty shameful; East Side Burgers has been open since September and only today, the first of May, did I actually pop in for a taste of Paris' best "New York Style" fast food. Not for lack of  desire, though; each previous attempt was thwarted by the ridiculously long line out the door. Today was no different; burger-hungry hipsters spilled out onto the sidewalk, but, thankfully, the line didn't enter deal-breaking territory.


After maybe 5 or 10 minutes' wait, we were standing at the register placing our orders. Two mushroom- burger specials: One vegan, one standard-issue. Frites--not the optional coleslaw (who chooses coleslaw over fries?!)--and a couple of cans of Oasis. That'll be 18 euro, s'il vous plait. What?! Cheaper even than our beloved Chettinadu? Woot! J'adore this place already.

Vegan quiche and non-vegan cheesecake consumed most of the space in the deli case.
I totally forgot to get one of those almond cookies. Damn!
Seating is extremely limited at East Side Burgers; there's a tiny subterranean dining room with roughly 5 tables, and two little two-seater set-ups out front. "You're in luck--someone's leaving downstairs," said the nice guy behind the counter. Turns out there's a little video camera in the dining room that beams images back up to kitchen staff. Good to know!

I liked the old-school wrapping. More so, the contents! 
I was surprised to see cheese on my vegan burger. M'expliquez, SVP. 
Down the spiral staircase we went, settling into our seats and waiting, eagerly, for our names to be called. When the blessed moment arrived, I sprinted upstairs and was met halfway by the guy from behind the counter, who handed me a faux-wood tray with our goodies nestled on top.

There were two distinct sizes of burgers: big and bigger. Opening them up, they both appeared to have cheese, so back upstairs I went to inquire whether the vegan burger was meant to have cheese. Mr. Cheerful assured me that it was indeed dairy-free fromage, and that my wrapper should have "VG" on it to indicate its veganness. Back down again I went, then the two of us spent the next 30 seconds mauling each burger to find the telltale scribble. Turns out mine was the bigger one. My bun was sort of whole-wheaty, while Jeff's was more traditional looking, with sesame seeds on top, even.


The burger was delish. I mean, really, really tasty, thanks in part to the caramelized onions and healthy squeeze of French's mustard, about which there is nothing remotely "French." I don't think they even sell yellow mustard anywhere in this country! I can't remember if the mushrooms were inside the burger or on top, but however they were integrated, they were integrated well.


Heading over by bike toward Stalingrad for a coffee date with Paris Paul, we got caught up in a May Day manifestation; International Workers Day is a traditional day of protest in France, and as the procession began, a well-mannered group of anarchists were among the first to march by.


Kill capitalism? OK. I'm pretty partial to Socialist values anyway, but can we please keep East Side Burgers?

6 comments:

  1. Even I would try one of these,,, but I am not really a burger eater ... I love coleslaw, Fries or Coleslaw ,, mmmmm would have to go for Coleslaw :-)

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    1. Going for coleslaw alone is not allowed. Sorry, Anne! :0)

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  2. Sounds awesome! And thanks for the coffee. Next time it's on me, and hopefully I'll have change for the tip! :-)

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  3. A long line at a restaurant is a good sign in ANY town, Aurelia -- your frites make my mouth water. Husband and I drove 100 miles to eat a good vegetarian meal yesterday -- not in Paris, that's the pity. He loved his vegan burger -- but what is 'hempnut,' for the uneducated??

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    1. Was the burger made of hempnut, or was it something else? Hempnut is just another way of saying "hempseed," which is NOT another way of saying "weed"! Hemp is full of nutritional yummyness--I imagine whatever it was either of you ate was really rich and really healthy. Tell me more!

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