By Megan Lisagor and Mark Repasky
“Sauce 1,000 îles,” read the menu, followed by “mayonnaise and ketchup” in parentheses. Far from ordinary lunch fare, the ingredients on this strange sandwich required explanation.
Fast food in France generally means grabbing a jambon beurre—ham and butter on a baguette—at the local boulangerie. While tasty in its simplicity, it’s not exactly a dish that draws travelers to Paris, or inspires much local excitement. Which explains the crowds at two newcomers: Frenchie to Go and Freddie’s Deli. Backed by big-name chefs—Gregory Marchand and Kristin Frederick, respectively—the restaurants are introducing Parisians to American flavors, pastrami in particular.
Both spots offer takes on the reuben with house-smoked meat that gets the royal treatment. Frenchie’s ($16) Euro-version calls for an Agent Provocateur beer, while the deli ($11.50, small size) stays true to the original; homesick visitors can pair theirs with a Brooklyn lager, or an icy fountain soda (considered exotic here). “Quality fast food is a big trend right now,” observed Frederick, who started the craze with her hamburger truck. “There are chefs reinventing classics like fish and chips, kebabs” and more.
Also in on the act, Verjus sells sandwiches from its wine bar that channel the East Village, Oakland and Seattle. For their part, New England fans will find a lobster roll ($30) back at Frenchie. Thankfully, butter is the only thing it has in common with jambon beurre.
Frenchie to Go, 9 rue du Nil, 01-40-39-96-19, frenchie-restaurant.com
Freddie’s Deli, 22 rue Crespin du Gast, 01-84-16-33-75, freddiesdeli.com
Verjus Sandwich, 47 rue Montpensier, 01-42-97-54-40, verjusparis.com