Culinary treasures in Paris … Texas?

Move over Paris, France. Your Texan sister is equally big on taste.

Having just planned our culinary exploits for our upcoming Paris trip, it seemed apropos to stop in its namesake town on our way to see my mom and stepdad in Kilgore, Texas.

Reviews on Yelp steered us to Burgerland. A vinyl banner hung on the window proudly boasted its No. 1 spot as the burger king – not to be confused with the chain – in Paris.

Burger Land in Paris, Texas

An L-shaped bar lined with chrome stools surrounded the register and kitchen, where the made-to-order magic happened.

While the restaurant has been around since 1982, its most recent owner has been running it for the past two years. He traded month-long offshore drilling rig stints in Africa for the restaurant business, which also got him closer to home. Based on the crowd gathered around lunchtime, he’s doing a good job of carrying on the tradition.

Burgerlicious

Even though our waitress surprisingly recommended the chicken sandwich, we had to go with the classic cheeseburger. I overheard the table of regulars next to us request grilled jalapenos so I followed suit.

Our order arrived with a heaping mound of crispy, fresh-cut French fries. Thank goodness we ordered the “small” size. As if taste wasn’t enough proof, the occasional odd-shaped potato cut of these well-seasoned fries provided evidence of their freshness.

The burger chef grilled finely diced onions and jalapenos into the patties, which was a brilliant move as it provided just enough heat and smokiness to keep it interesting while not overpowering the burger.

Tasty value

Whether you’re in Paris, France or Texas, I suspect Burgerland would come out a winner in the classic greasy-burger competition. Dining here reminded me that while the experience may be shorter, you can get as much pleasure out of a meal costing $13.77 as one ringing up a bill in the hundreds.

When in comes to fine food tastes, Burgerland lives up to its Parisian expectations.

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