16 rue de Quatre Vents, 6th
Tel 01 46 33 77 00
There’s a Moose Loose about this Hoose
By Graham Cooper
Whether you’re an ex-pat or a visitor to Paris, there come those moments of nostalgia where you yearn for the slop that passes for food back home. You know, the really heinous stuff, usually served in a joint that offers all the ambiance of a field-hospital.
As an unreconstructed Glaswegian, there are specific home-town memories that set my salivary glands yearning: a closing-time line of drunken knuckle-draggers at a fish and chip shop; a ferocious crone with corned-beef forearms serving deep-fried Mars Bars, sausages, pizzas and worse to a baying horde; customers happily swearing and punching each other insensible tumbling out into the street, deep-fried policeman’s helmet in one hand, broken bottle of ‘Châteauneuf-du-Papist-Fenian-Bastard’ in the other. Good times….
In Glasgow, it’s what we had instead of Sports Bars.
If you’re one of our colonial cousins, maybe you yearn for a Sports Bar? Someplace where the food’s as utterly fried as that redneck sitting inches from your elbow. A rough-house where an unruly clientele bellows informed advice and encouragement at the athletes displayed on the flickering screens dotted around the joint. Deep-fried goodness blocking your arteries as surely as the innumerable sponsored messages from the auto and beer industries clog your very soul. Sounds like fun huh?
But here in Paris, if it’s a genuine American sports bar you crave, you’re S.O.L. How about a Canadian one instead?
The Moosehead bar, known by regulars as simply ‘The Moose’, has offered Paris a reasonably close facsimile to an authentic American sports bar for over a decade. They’re good at it. It’s the kind of place where you suspect the lighting and plasma-glow from the TV screens only serve to make the place even darker. My kind of joint.
The events shown on the screens are beamed in live via… electricity or something… I’m guessing… so the competitions on display are governed by the sporting calendar. Sometimes it’s baseball, occasionally it’s ice-hockey or American football and every so often they even show proper football as played here in the first world and Latin America [he means soccer -H].
Everything on the extensive menu was seemingly selected to offer the perfect accompaniment to watching televised competitive sports.
Starters include buffalo chicken wings and crab cakes and from there on in you’re faced with almost too many choices. Naturally there are various variations of cheeseburger but these are further augmented by an assortment of chicken-burgers including one with a cajun twist.
There’s also a good selection of classic pastas and salads on offer, but perhaps you’re feeling more adventurous, in which case there’s a couple of choices open to you. For example, the sandwich selection features options such as a Montreal smoked beef sandwich and a massive double-decker cheese melt with red-peppers, aubergines and all smothered in a pesto sauce.
House specials include a rare sighting of a chicken teriyaki stir-fry and an inevitable, but nevertheless welcome, steak, remarkable if only for its bourbon and 5-pepper sauce.
But The Moose celebrates its Canadian origins with an extensive selection of Quebecois ‘Poutines’ – basically a plate of french-fries smothered in cheese-curds, slices of meat, chicken and appropriate sauces. Essentially it’s blue-collar Canadian-cardiac-on-a-plate fare. Lumberjack comfort-food, if you will.
If by now you haven’t already dropped to the floor urgently clutching your chest, then by all means press on and order desert. There’s a solid mass of processed sugar on offer here including a New York Cheesecake and a Pecan Pie that you can customize to your abused hearts content with your preferred choice of additional Ben and Jerry ice-creams.
I could write about the quality of the food, but in a place like this it’s completely irrelevant. You know what this stuff tastes like already. It’s exactly what you’re expecting. Perhaps even better . Besides, its primary function here is to serve as an accompaniment to, and a solid stomach lining for, alcohol. So let’s get back to that for a moment.
Sure, there are wines available, but why would you want to do that here? Especially when not only is the beer selection so utterly comprehensive but they also seem to understand that beer, like revenge, is best served cold. This of course is not only the perfect accompaniment for the type of food and on-screen entertainment here, but also sets you up nicely for the ‘shooters’ menu. To hell with nanny-state ‘drink responsibly’ messages, a Russian-roulette of Slammers, B52’s, Kamikaze’s and the prophetically named ‘Sudden Death’ all beckon you to happy oblivion.
Just beware of the ‘Moose Drool’. I suspect it’s made of actual drool from a real moose, and that’s just waaaay too authentically Canadian for my refined tastes.
Mon – Fri 4pm-2am
Sat and Sun 11am-2am