August 31 2013
Shortly before the summer break, Le Dépanneur re-opened under new management.
Situated in trendy SoPi (South Pigalle for those of you not in the know) the restaurant is barely a hop, skip and jump away from the seedy attractations around the Moulin Rouge. However its unique exterieur, large windows reminiscent of either a school bus or an old greenhouse, right on an intersection make this joint stand out from its surroundings.
What will also catch your eye is the number of well-dressed bobos sitting outside, smoking, and nursing a tequila cocktail. Oh the idiosyncrasies of Paris life! As you make your way inside, you'll surely notice the decor. Sleek, modern, with a little beach-house vibe going on. Washboard wood meets industrial chrome. This of course fits neatly with the theme of the restaurant - California in Paris. Tacos, tequila and burgers.
We sit down to eat. I choose the Cali Classic. It's good. The meat and the bun are perfect. I remember that it's Jordan from the Cantine California food truck in the kitchen. I savour the second bite. Unfortunately, that's where a little niggle crops up.
Did I really need guacamole and mayonnaise? Raw red onions as well as caramelised onions? Bacon, of course, is a staple in any good burger as far as I'm concerned and the Cheddar was exceptionnally tasty too (I'm always appreciative of good Cheddar)... but cheese and guacamole and mayonnaise and pickles and lettuce, tomatoes and... and... and... and... it all seemed a little too much.
Maybe this is an American thing that we Brits just don't get. Maybe it boils down to personal taste - I know I can be a boring old stooge at times.
In short, I love the vibe, I love the tequila and I love the fact that there's a vegetarian burger on the menu. (Apparently it's not half bad either.) I like the fact that you can get wine and cocktails alongside burgers and tacos. What I didn't like so much was the price. 17 euros for a burger seems rather on the hefty side to me, especially when you'll be paying 12-13 euros for the cocktail. Here's a suggestion: why not cut down on all those accoutrements and charge me a tenner? I tell you what - that would be such a great combination, you'd find me here every day!