Don’t feel too bad if you never paid attention in lit class. Here’s our simplified version of “A Tale of Two Cities” with New York standing in for London and a beefed up storyline.

Once upon a time, Parisians were growing tired of crappy 18-euro hamburgers that consisted of frozen meat patties thawed out, cooked up dry and slapped onto tasteless sesame buns that were probably bought in bulk and equivalent in quality to something you can find at your nearest Ed.

On the other side of the Atlantic, New Yorkers were sitting down to eat 10-dollar gourmet burgers that caused their eyes to roll back, their toes to curl under and their taste buds to quiver with pleasure at the juicy flavor, the inventive toppings and the buns which were given just as much thought as the meat.

So how did Paris resolve its shortage of quality burgers without compromising its loyalty to French ingredients? Someone started a burger revolution.

Since then, it’s Blend this, Big Fernand that and food trucks everywhere, but in the midst of this epic beef battle, newcomer Paris New York has a strategy that sets it apart from the rest.

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For starters, the fresh burger joint brings a chunk of authentic New York ambiance to the already lively rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis with its Broadway marquee façade and American diner-style interior. There are no frills, although it retains a certain “divey chic” air that mixes Parisian class with New York edginess.

Another plus is that the place is spread over two levels, so there’s more dining space and less pressure to chow and get out like at many of the other smaller burger spots in town.

Upstairs, an Americana influence persists with black and white film projections from classic cinema playing on the worn cement walls, and there’s a counter for solo diners or coffee/computer junkies.

As for the food, take Le Ponclet Breton Pie Noir beef that’s 3-weeks matured topped with cheddar Somerset cheese aged 18 months and a special “American sauce” (ingredients unknown) on a brioche bun that melts in your mouth like cotton candy, and you won’t question why your plate is clean in less than five minutes.

The clipboard menu is small and simple, but it gets the job done, and if you’re not ready for a relationship with mature beef, sub a crispy chicken patty or portobello mushroom cap for your sandwich. Add some gloriously greasy matchstick fries on the side, a slice of cheesecake for dessert and a Duff beer (yes, the beer from “The Simpsons”) to wash it all down, and you might as well forget about booking that ticket to NYC because PNY has brought it to you.

Paris New York
50 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
Metro: Château d’Eau
Opening hours: Daily 11am-3pm, 7pm-11pm
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article: Stephanie Holmes

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