Friday, February 17, 2006

Buffalo Grill

A western-themed restaurant that serves buffalo is probably the most anachronistic culinary stop possible in France... viewed from an American perspective. The French, though, seem to think it's a splendid idea, something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps? So it's not surprising (or if it is, it shouldn't be) that there are over 100 Buffalo Grill locations across France, and 10 within Paris itself, with several more locations spilling across national borders into Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Spain. (There are identically named, but unrelated, restaurants in the United States and Scotland.)

I lunched at the Boulevard St. Germain location in Paris with friends who are graduate students at the nearby Pierre & Marie Curie University (a prominent science and medical school) this January, and it was a good lunch.

I had the hache de bison, a decent-sized serving of buffalo steak that's been chopped somewhat. It came with french fries (well, pommes frites, but the French don't seem to mind being their namesake stateside) and was delicious. Two of my friends, if I recall, had beef, while one had filete dorade. The Dorade, also known as the Dorado, is a fish that we in Hawaii call Mahi-Mahi. It's quite popular here, and I was pleased to see it available in Europe as well.

For dessert, I enjoyed sorbet panache, three different flavors of fruit sorbet. My favorite by far was either raspberry or blackberry. One of the others had coupe america, which sounds like a car but was actually a generous and nice-looking ice cream sundae.

The decor, staff uniforms, background music (country, and not even good country, at that) all make the restaurant feel like the sort of "themed" restaurant one might be slightly ashamed to be seen in, were it actually in America. Prices are a bit more than in the U.S. - four of us managed to spend about $67 - but the listed prices include tax (of almost 20%) and tip, so they're not quite as bad as they sound.

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