Paris is a city that many people fall in love with when they visit. For some, it’s the romance of the Eiffel Tower. Or, a walk up the Champs. A cruise down the river Seine or that perfect cafe.
While Paris has never grabbed me as much as Venice or Taormina, I do like the city. We’ve done lunch at the traditional Laduree. We’ve also enjoyed Angelina, and that fabulous hot chocolate. We’ve sampled macarons until we were stuffed. And, we’ve enjoyed a simple cafe on our way to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.
What About The Other Direction?
What if you went to Paris and didn’t focus on authentic local cuisine? Would that miss the point of Paris? I really don’t think it would. And, that’s what we set out to do. There were 4 of us on this mission, all good friends. I thought the other 3 were just being my enablers, but they really got into the voyage. Susan is a dear friend who just happened to be in Paris the same time that Randy, Julie and I were enjoying one quick day together before parting ways. Susan was “in” for our adventure.
Boneshaker was far enough from our hotel that we chose to pile into an Uber. I certainly could have used the extra exercise after what was about to be consumed. We arrived at a small shop not too far North of the Louvre. The four of us filled up most of the space inside as we inspected the choices.
We met the owners Amanda and her husband Louis and did a deep dive on their donuts. Amanda is insanely particular about her craft, and I love it. She makes the donuts from scratch and uses all local ingredients. When I say she’s particular, look at the detail on these hand-flamed meringues:
It was really cool to see Amanda’s passion for her craft. She was really eager to see how we liked the donuts. They have some fun with the donut names. Almost too subtle for my wit. For example, “Baby Got Back” was a reference to “butt” for the white chocolate, peanut butter donut.
They specialize in yeast doughnuts, or the softer, airier version. On the day we stopped by, there was a “cake donut”, though it wasn’t exactly like what I’m used to. Still, pretty good nonetheless. Amongst the group, we tried the Raspberry Beret (RIP, Prince), the maple bacon donut, the rhubarb custard with that oh-so-perfect looking meringue. And, of course a Baby Got Back. For flavor, I’d say Baby Got Back was my favorite. Best looking donut obviously goes to the custard. Side note, they make their own lemonade.
We had a lot of fun hanging out with Amanda and her husband. These guys love what they do, and it shows. If I were you, I’d stop by just to meet this fun couple even if you don’t like donuts. But, who doesn’t love donuts???? Check out their website. It’ll definitely make you hungry.
But, Wait. Where’s The Beast?
This second part was Randy’s suggestion. Some folks have started a Texas-style BBQ restaurant in Paris. The founder trained in Texas at some of the best BBQ joints around. He then headed to Paris to open The Beast. Why The Beast? Maybe not the reason you’d think. He needed an authentic smoker, not an easy thing to find in Europe. So, he had one built in Texas. It’s a massive thing. He nicknamed it…..The Beast.
Thankfully, The Beast is over a kilometer from Boneshaker. Our group made the walk, burning off some of the donuts we had packed into our system not long after breakfast. We arrived at The Beast a bit on the early side for lunch. We were one of the only customers there. Maybe the lunch rush starts later in Paris?
The menu was pretty much what you’d expect at a Texas BBQ joint. We opted for some pork ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage. There were some sides, too. But, they weren’t our primary focus.
The brisket was sliced a bit on the thicker side, the way I think it should be sliced. It gets too cold when you slice it thin. It was moist and flavorful, pretty much as I would expect from a high-quality Texas BBQ joint. There was no need for sauce. I was duly impressed. If I hadn’t walked in from the streets of Paris, I could have believed I was in Texas.
The pork ribs were probably my favorite, meaty with a good smoked flavor. The chicken and sausage were also really good choices. We tried some pulled pork. Susan is a big fan of this normally, but found it just okay.
The restaurant also carries an exceptional variety of Bourbon. They take great care in their drinks, evidenced by the massive ice cubes. Since I’m a lightweight, I paired my ice cubes up with a Coke, which also helped keep me awake after a small amount of jet lag.
By the time we slowly made our way out the door, overstuffed on glorious BBQ, the restaurant was full.
The Final Two Pennies
As we left The Beast, we all decided walking was in our best interest. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend a few hours sampling high-quality donuts and Texas BBQ. It was even more special because it was in Paris, and with friends. Some might say that we wasted a day where we could have been enjoying Parisian cuisine. But, great food is great food, no matter where it is.
What added to the experience were the people we met. Amanda and Louis were great at Boneshaker. The folks at The Beast were thrilled to see a few American BBQ fans fawning over their food. And, we were thrilled to be eating in the most American of ways while strolling through Paris.
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