Skip to main content

BURGER KING, NARBONNE: RESTAURANT REVIEW (GOD FORGIVE ME)

After 48 years, The Southern Woman That I Married can still surprise me.

We went shopping the other day. You see, we're at the beginning of the French winter sales. Yes, stores here have sales all of the time, but I'm talking about THE SALES. Twice each year, once in winter and once in summer, every store holds sales. It's an official thing. There's a national start date (although it may vary a bit from region to region), a national end date, and stores are not permitted to bring in stock just for THE SALES. So these are true clearances. Discounts can be 70% or more. Serious savings.

Yes, I know. Controlled capitalism. How could it possibly work? Hint: It works because everybody buys into it, even the capitalists.


The day before we hit the shops, Cathey said,"Let's have lunch at Burger King." Be aware that Cathey has been trying to find a decent hamburger ever since we arrived in France. We've tried Buffalo Grill. We've ordered a burger at one of our favorite, totally French little bar/restaurants. We've talked about visiting Memphis Grill. And Cathey has tried to create the perfect burger at home. The problem, thwarting perfection, is the bun.

It is my contention that the best dogs and burgers are enhanced by cheap, squishy, white bread buns. I'm certain that some of you will disagree. I'm OK with that. But tell me why, in a country known for its marvelous and varied bread baking, the French can't come up with a hamburger roll that will survive the first couple of bites without breaking apart and falling to pieces? It's as if the French think that the proper bun for a hamburger should be closer to brioche than to Wonder Bread. Certainly, if the only requirement for a hamburger bun is that it doesn't break up before the burger is fully consumed, there are any number of Gallic breads and rolls that would do. But then you'd be chewing through a crunchy, crusty bun to get to the meat of the matter. The bun shouldn't be a distraction. It's about the burger and its condiments.

So, off to Burger King.

In the middle of a major shopping and office complex on the outskirts of Narbonne, the joint was jumping at lunchtime on a mostly sunny Friday. It's as big a place as any Burger King that I've seen in the States and it was just about full to capacity. The crowd was almost exclusively young, friends and family. Most ordered at the electronic ATM-like machines in the center aisle. We went to the counter and had no difficulty reading a menu that contained a surprising amount of English.

Cathey ordered a Whopper with fries and a bottle of water. I had a double with cheese, fries, and Sprite - my first soda in a couple of years, by the way. They came with packets of ketchup and fry sauce, a mayonnaise-based concoction from Heinz!  At the current lousy exchange rate, the cost came to about $20.00

Here's where it gets truly bizarre. Cathey said,"Yum. Iceberg lettuce. And the pickles are perfect. The bun almost held up all the way. All that it needs is some mustard under the patty. I'll bring some next time." Add that the fries, though reconstituted, were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, and Cathey's assessment was,"Itch scratched."

Well, if Cathey can take me to Burger King,  I guess that I have the right to demand KFC one of these days. We'll see.

By the way, if you are an American with an itch for a burger, I suppose that you could do worse. With that caveat, recommended. And if this review hasn't put you off, you can read more of them HERE.




Comments

  1. Good to know...I’ve only tried McD and the bun was so dry and didn’t like the fries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. Yes, the bun was as close to an American fast-food bun as we've found so far. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless.

From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch.

Let me count the ways...

RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking about, or …

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for.

The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama.