Big Fernand is a burger chain that has taken Paris by storm, and quite rightly so because the food is fantastic. Situated in the 9th, 2nd and 1st arrondissements (with an additional branch out at LaDefense), these little burger joints offer a simple concept. The decor is nothing fancy, and you must order and collect your food yourself from the bar, but at €16 a meal all in (consider that a burger at a normal bistro of substandard quality is likely to set you back €11), you can hardly go wrong. They make their bread and fries especially; quality and taste are very important factors here at Big Fernand.
All that makes it more than worth a visit - except if you have a low tolerance for frustratingly annoying waiting staff (which I do).
I can't itemise every way in which the waiters managed to make acquiring our meal an experience that was more pain than pleasure – it made me wish I had taken the Deliveroo option, which removes any need to interact with them for a mere €2.50. Or sacrifice a friend and make them go in and face the full force of some of the worst service ever. But some of their ways included arrogance, shouting and arguing among themselves.
Thankfully we opted to sit outside so we were sheltered slightly from the unnecessary shouting of orders to the kitchen, which is right next to the till and the tables where you will eat at if you choose to sit inside.
The plus side to this is whilst you are waiting for your food; you are able to see it being prepared right in front of you.
You can choose between a customised build it yourself burger, or one of their many named ones. My friends ordered the Le Big Fernand (beef, Tomme cheese, dried tomatoes and a house cocktail sauce, €11) and Le Bartholome (beef, Raclette cheese, smoked bacon, onion confit and a mix of cocktail and BBQ sauce, €12). I chose L'Alphonse (lamb, Tomme cheese, grilled aubergine, and house tomato sauce, €13).
For an extra €3 you can have the set price deal which includes drinks (beer incurs a surplus charge) and house chips/fries. I decided to sample their specialty lemonade with apple and licorice flavours.
They were all really good, though after a cheeky taste of my friends, I will say that the Big Fernand is so named after the chain because it is the tastiest, at least out of the three we sampled. Mine was good, but it tasted bland in comparison to the other two, which were both delicious and I was a little jealous after trying them. The house fries were perfect too, and the lemonade was an unexpected hit, even with the anti-licorice among us. The licorice gave it an unusual edge without being overly present, making it a nice change to conventional soft drinks.
I would thoroughly recommend Big Fernand food , as they take the quality of twhat they serve seriously. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the customer service although I am told the waiting staff are more diner-friendly in other branches.
Address: 55 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009 Paris
Metro: M7, Poissoniere