Le Burger Sizzles in Paris

French chefs make over the American standby
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 8:57 AM CDT
The Cafe des Deux Moulins in Montmartre. From zinc bars to three-star restaurants, the burger has become omnipresent in Paris.   ((c) Inti)
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(Newser) – Parisian gourmands might still revile McDonald's, but the lowly hamburger has become a mainstay on some of the best menus in the City of Light. From cafés on the Left Bank to top tables showered with Michelin stars, the quintessential American dish has undergone a French transformation. "The burger has become gastronomic," one chef told the New York Times.

A burger-munching tour of Paris would have to make stops at the restaurants of Alain Ducasse, who cooks his hamburgers à la plancha, and Joël Robuchon, who slips foie gras between a pair of patties. At the restaurant inside the Salle Pleyel, one of the capital's most prestigious concert halls, as many as a third of customers are ordering hamburgers. "Sometimes we say we have no more," confessed the chef. "It's just too much."