Les frites, or French fries, are very well known around the world. I don’t think there is a single country where they don’t fry potatoes. If the name French fries strongly suggests that it’s another French invention, the truth is that French fries originate from Belgium.
The best fries you can eat come from Belgium, and today, by accident, we tried a restaurant to see if it was true by reviewing a very special restaurant: Friterie Franco Belge.
Today we had to go to the OFII in the city of Melun, and for lunch we decided to try a famous place in the area. It happened that this store was right in the center, just in front of the Tribunal Judiciaire.
I won’t lie to you; it wasn’t easy to park in this area since there were many cars circling and the indoor parking was full.
We also arrived a tad early, since we are used to eating at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.In France, most restaurants won’t be open at that time. So we had to wait 15 minutes more before the store finally opened.
The place is very traditional and reminiscent of the colors of the Belgian flag. I am pretty sure the owner and workers in there are Belges as well. This is an authentic place.
The restaurant, if well located, is a bit small; there must be around 20–30 seats, but most French fry places in Belgium are actually trucks. Since it’s mainly food you take away.
The menu is quite simple: burgers, french fries, skewers, and of course Belgian beers. This menu is only text with no pictures, but every ingredient is listed so you can guess what you are going to get.
The burgers are interesting; there is a special burger that is made of this Belgian skewed specialty. It tasted like cooked saucisse.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Belgian French Fries Truck, but it’s quite something. There is a long inox barrel of hot oil, piles of fresh French fries, and specific tools to remove excess oil and add salt to them. It’s quite spectacular.
To accompany these fries, the store proposes some delicious sauces that you can order and pay for. It seems to me that these sauces are at least partially home-made.
Of course, Belgium is known for having the best beers in the world. So if you enjoy beers, you’ll have some choice here. Belgium beers are known to have rich flavors.
To be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting much from this restaurant. I checked online; it had good reviews, but so do most decent restaurants anyway.
At the beginning, we were a bit surprised by the hospitality, since the workers were not specially welcoming, not rude but not inviting like Americans with big smiles. However, after speaking with several customers, it appeared that it is simply part of the overt culture or character here.
Still, the lady serving us was nice and polite. After we ordered, our meal came in less than 3 minutes. The burgers appeared to be overcooked at first, but they were actually one of the best buns I’ve ever had.
But let’s start with the fries. Well, they are simply delicious. The specificity of Belgian “French Fries” is that the potatoes are fried in beef fat and served in “Cornet”.
These fries were perfect; they were light, crispy, soft on the inside, and not too salty. I am used to eating salty fries and McDonald’s-style fries. These ones tasted like a premium version of it. Something different, more traditional, and tasty
They came with some sauces that we selected when we ordered. The American sauce was thick and delicious. I wish I had one like this at home. I could be wrong, but it was not the regular sauce found in kebabs.
We ordered two different burgers; the first one was named “Belge” and the second one Chtimi,” both referring to people from Belgium or the North of France.
These two burgers were absolutely delicious. The bun seemed overbaked at first, but it happened to be one of the best I’ve tried. Better than Big Fernand or Paris, New York, in my opinion.
The Chtimi burger came with 100% beef steak, and the taste was interesting. First, it came slightly pink, which is rare, but the meat actually had some taste. The Che Te Mi sauce or cheese was absolutely delicious. I’ve tried many burgers, but the cheese in this one fit so perfectly with the meat.
The Belgian burger was something interesting; the meat was a mixture of something probably very close to what there is in the Fricadelle. It basically tastes like those burgers you buy for breakfast at Wall Mart, but the real thing.
This meat was hotter than hot; while biting into it, the warm vapor got in my mouth and made me cough. It’s the first time I’ve experienced such a thing. The burger and meat were both tasty and went well with the sauce.Very delicious as well; I wouldn’t hesitate to order again.
Finally, we ordered a dark beer, which was good but nothing out of the ordinary.
8.9 out of 10
We highly recommend this place. It’s a small burger joint, but with very high quality and tasty products. French fries are as traditional and as good as they can be thanks to the Belgian original recipe.
You have a large choice of Belgian bottled beers and sauces for your fries as well. But the main attraction here is the burgers.
The burgers are simply outstanding. I would put it up there with burgers like Big Fernand or Paris, New York. Where Friterie Franco Belge shines is that even with extremely tasty burgers, this price is almost half of what you would pay in the other two franchises.
We paid 22,50 euros for two menus (burger and fries) with a beer. Last time, we paid 50 euros for Five Guys, including a milkshake. Honestly, it’s a steal for this price. The only issue perhaps is that there’s only one store in Melun. Let’s hope this can become a franchise.
Friterie Franco Belge
Address : 9 Pl. de l’Ermitage, 77000 Melun
Phone : 01 64 83 02 02