"Jazz brunch" at Le Reservoir this morning was forgettable. When asked a week ago when reserving whether I wanted the 11:30 am or 4:30 pm seating, I figured that meant the music would have two sets too. Silly. Getting there for 11:30 meant waiting an hour for the opening act...nice enough - not jazz by any means - and then finding out -- when I decided to bail because it was a beautiful day and this was lame -- that the music advertised for the brunch that day and the reason I did this in the first place, Soul Legend, would be at 2:30 pm. No need to stay inside on a beautiful day.
Thank goodness later on, after an adrenal-system boosting nap back in the studio, I stumbled on Le Camion Qui Fume's site when I was looking for Tombées du Camion, the darling store with its vintage wares displayed at the Saturday market in Place des Abbesses.
Back in David Lebovitz's writing about these burgers and this truck...I recall something about long lines of devoted groupies. Le Camion Qui Fume (literally "the truck that smokes") is Paris's first high-end food food truck. It took a while to convince the French public that a burger could be this good, and could be served this deliciously from a truck driving around Paris. The convincing is all done now.
With Quai de Valmy, what the web site says is the site for the truck at 19-21h today, just a 4-stop metro ride away, and some edgy art center, Point Ephemere, being nearby for eating the burger and drinking some boisson, this was a no-brainer for the dinner plan.
The very funky Point Ephemere: it photographs better than it looks in real life.
Like Franklin Barebecue in Austin, Texas, the Camion has stated hours for wherever they may be on a certain day, but when they run out of food, they are done for the day.
A burger is 8 euros. A burger and side is 10 euros. Include the cheap beer I got at the nearby funky venue of Point Ephemere, and the side of coleslaw I ordered at the Camion just to try it, and this was all of 14 euros thereabouts.
The Camion Qui Fume Drill.
Here are the steps to getting, enjoying, and savoring this burger. (Before leaving home though, bring more napkins.)
Stand in line.
. Classique : Boeuf Haché Maison, Cheddar, Laitue, Oignons, Pickles, Tomate, Mayonnaise
. Campagne : Boeuf Haché Maison, Champignons Sauvages, Oignons Caramélisés, Gruyère Agé
. Barbecue : Boeuf Haché Maison, Cheddar, Bacon, Beignet d’Oignon, Sauce Barbecue
. Bleu : Boeuf Haché Maison, Fourme d’Ambert, Oignons Caramélisé, Sauce au Porto
. Porc braisé : Porc Braisé, Sauce Barbecue, Coleslaw
. Végétarien : Champignons, Cheddar, Laitue, Oignons, Pickles, Tomate, Mayonnaise.
. 2 + 2 : double steak, double fromage sur un burger au choix : + 5€
Once another paper receipt is generated with your number by a little machine connected to the order-taker guy's iPad, go stand in another line to wait for your number to be called once your perfectly cooked dripping juicy burger and side are delivered to you in a brown paper bag.
Scurry away with brown paper bag and find a someplace to sit.
Take burger out carefully. Observe its heft. It is really heavy. There is a lot of meat in this burger. And it is drippy juicy. I did not know a burger could emit so much in the way of savory sauce-like meaty juiciness. I cannot believe it is only 8 euros. There is a five-burger limit per person (in case you are taking away for friends back at the office--I cannot even imagine trying to eat this more than a few minutes after it is made).
Notice how the well-formed thick bacon is critical to this burger. Note the big chunk of it teasingly hanging out the side here. It is really thick. Like chewy savory pork fat thickness. [It is, in many ways, like that spectaular cured ham that Melvin's Deli Comfort over in Austin serves on another luscious gooey sandwich, that croque monsieur, which also resulted in a lot of finger-licking during a taste teste.]
Enjoy burger while sitting on metal rail thing along a (not-so-pretty as other stretches) stretch of the Canal St. Martin.
Take long walk to redress some of what you have just inhaled. (My long walk included checking out the peniches - or house boats, parked along the quais of the Canal St. Martin.)
I walk all the way back to the Montmartre 'hood. [Note: Do not take this walk that tracks the Line 2 metro from Jaures to Anvers at night (the "Barbes" quartier). And this is not to say that I commend anyone to do this walk at any time. It's not too scenic but for the gorgeous metro line that is above ground here and the recently refurbished Luxor movie theatre.]
I am glad I had to change that return date back to Austin: I have one more Sunday in Paris before heading home.