Paris Hotels Articles

April 8, 2010

Restaurant reviews: McDonalds, Champs Elysees, Paris

The splendor of Paris nightlife gracefully unfolded before my eyes on my honeymoon trip while strolling along the Champs-Elysee hand in hand with my husband.

This breathtaking avenue was simply spectacular and as I still recall,the night was sort of magical with its multitude of lights reaching against the moonless starry night.

And then surprisingly, amongst the various Patisserie and french speaking crowds was this familiar American icon. An improvised nostalgic trip back to my childhood struck me, as I walked towards this friendly taste of home.

A chill went down my spine as I got closer and closer and there it finally was: a MCDonald’s in the heart of Paris!

I recall that I didn’t even have to pronounce a word, my husband probably read through my eyes as we entered and got ready to order.

McDonald’s in Paris cannot be any ordinary McDonald’s, just as Paris cannot be an ordinary city, it had to be special and unforgettable.

The first thing that hit both of us was that it was pretty large and that it was almost at full capacity. For some reason, it attracted more customers than any ordinary McDonald’s back home. There were two levels and the surrounding decor was pretty up scale. We decided to eat at the second floor as the first was pretty crowded. I do not regret this choice as the views of the Champ Elysee were sensational.

For my husband’s happiness they served beer, I got an Evian bottled water.

In France,if you want a Quarter pounder with cheese you must say “a Royale with cheese”.

I decided to order this, just because I thought it felt sort of sophisticated.

As I looked around the crowded and noisy restaurant, it appeared that people of different cultural backgrounds were seated among us. There were long haired youngsters with backpacks on one side, some tourists of German descent on the other and in front of us two French men in elegant suits with their laptops on the table talking about business.

This mingling of different people made that McDonald’s feel almost like an intimate place to be, where the world decided to connect and suddenly share food, table and chairs.

This fast food restaurant seemed to almost transform itself from a humble place to eat into a new upscale cultural experience.

When we paid the bill, it was somewhat higher than I would expect here in the States, but then I figured out that after all, the real estate costs and labor must be much more higher in the heart of Paris than back home.

As we prepared to leave I regretted for leaving my camera at the hotel, so all that was left was to take myself a mental picture of this place as it was in my opinion pretty unique.

If I had the chance of going back anytime to Paris, I sure would love seeing again the Arc of Triomphe and the Tour Effeile, but it would also be mandatory a leisurely night time stroll in the midsummer breeze along the Champe Elysees to order another Royale with cheese and hopefully have my camera along!

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