On my last full day in Paris earlier this year, I was still feeling a little queasy from my bout with what was either food poisoning or my body's rejection of a very good - and very rich - duck entree I'd had a couple days prior. Our host from Devialet, Julien, specifically asked me what I'd like to have for lunch. I had managed to down a croissant at breakfast along with some water, so I thought I could go for something a little more substantial, but not exotic. I said, "You know, I think I need just a good ol' burger." He knew exactly where to take us, a little bistro not far from the office by the name of Le SO.
Le SO is one of those little Parisian bistros that isn't very big and features a small bar, sidewalk dining and a number of very uncomfortable chairs that are extremely too close to the floor to get in and out of. We walked less than two minutes down Rue Montmatre to the corner of Rue Paul Lelong and to Le SO. (see map)
Le SO is named after the owners of the place - the initials of their first names are S and O - and features a menu of organically raised foods. Their signature dish is their Le SO burgers which are all made with organic beef. They also have organically raised chicken sandwiches, a veggie burger, and a handful of entrees including a steak salad, veal Milanese (a breaded veal cutlet), shrimp and quinoa, and an Argentinian organically-raised beef filet.
Each of us went with the SO burger - organically raised beef topped with Comte cheese, fresh greens, sliced onions and served with a small splash of their homemade ketchup - which was more like a 1000 Island dressing - on the side. They offered three or four different types of buns including a peppercorn bun. I was intrigued by a peppercorn bun and I ordered that with my burger. Well, actually, Julien ordered for me as the waiter didn't speak English. But something got lost in translation as I got a sesame seed bun instead of the peppercorn bun. We got a small bin of French fries to go along with our burgers.
Now, I ordered my burger cooked "medium". There's a distinct difference in what the French call medium versus what we call medium in the U.S. My burger was what I would categorize as rare. And with a still somewhat queasy stomach, I was having a hard time downing the burger. The taste of the meat was very good - don't get me wrong. But I've had stomach problems with rare burgers in the past and coming off a previous stomach-issue episode, I didn't want to tempt fate a second time in Paris. I had about half the burger before I decided that I couldn't - or wouldn't - eat any more than what I had.
It's somewhat interesting that the burger revolution has hit in Paris, as well. The organic beef is a huge key to the flavor of the burgers at Le SO. It was a good burger, but was overly undercooked for my taste. It may have been because both Julien and Ian had ordered their burgers as medium-rare and they cooked them all the same. In any event, what could have - and should have - been a pretty good burger at Le SO was disappointing to me.