Celebrating July 4th American Style: Eat a Burger with Your Hands and Laugh Out Loud
What do Americans in Paris do on July 4th? I can’t speak for everyone, but I eat a burger.
In years past, I’d invite friends for a hamburger dinner, complete with all the ‘fixins’: bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish…and serve them with cole slaw and potato chips. It wasn’t so easy to organize at the time — buns were hard to find and American style bacon was a specialty item. Even the cheese squares were not an ordinary item on the grocery store shelf.
All that has changed in the last five to ten years. Now, there’s a burger on every café menu in France and some of the French are starting to learn to eat them with their hands instead of a fork and knife!
(Did you see my recent post about sitting next to Jean Dujardin who ate a burger at Café Charlot like a true American? And I didn’t have a clue at the time that he had done a commercial for Quick a couple years ago! (Jean Dujardin video)
So, there’s no point in dirtying up the kitchen any more, just to slave over the grill when any café in town can come up with the goods. Unfortunately, it’s just not the same to celebrate Independence Day surrounded by the French eating hamburgers as if they were Coq au Vin!
One year eons ago I attended a Fourth of July Barbecue sponsored by one of the American organizations at a beautiful château outside of Paris. We met at the Trocadero and boarded a bus to take us to the event. Military men had volunteered to cook the burgers (and hot dogs) over big grills. Unfortunately, the rains came pouring down, killing the fire on the grill so that the burgers and dogs weren’t getting cooked. People in line to fill their plates were getting hungry and subsequently ornery. Little verbal disputes ensued among the members. Only a part of the seating was covered and everyone who couldn’t find shelter was getting drenched. Those who had the shelter didn’t want to give up their seats. It was a ‘memorable’ occasion and left a bad taste in my mouth (not to mention, hungry), so I never joined the organization (which shall remain nameless!).
This year, Democrats Abroad is inviting “ALL Americans — Young, Less Young, Democrats and Friends” to a festive party from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Lizard Lounge (18, rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris, Metro: Hotel de Ville) serving cheeseburgers and beer for 14€ (and tropical punch, too). They promise to…”play drinking games, dance into the night to American classics, mix and mingle, talk about politics, hang out for a while and have fun!” To attend, just RSVP to [email protected]. To learn more, visit
I won’t be there. Instead, I’ll be with friends at one of the oldest American restaurants in Paris, Joe Allen, around since 1972!
Sortir a Paris says that Joe Allen is one of the top ten best burgers in Paris…and well it should be! (Plus, this is where I know I can eat a burger with my hands comfortably among American friends and laugh as loudly as I like!)
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
(Burger in hand(s))
P.S. Don’t miss the delicious discussions at the next Parler Paris Après-Midi on Tuesday, July 9th when Chef Edward Keller shares his knowledge of “Gastronomy in France and the United States – History and Current Trends.” Join us at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais for lively conversation and to make new friends. See you there! Parler Paris Après-Midi