The Eiffel tower, croissants and champagne are probably the first things that come to mind when you think of Paris. Good ol' Texas barbecue from deep in the heart of the U.S. might not. However, all of that is changing because Paris is now seeing the light thanks to one BBQ-loving Frenchman. This is the story of how Texas barbecue in Paris, France began.
Beef brisket is now on the list of Paris delicacies because Thomas Abramowicz opened Paris' first authentic smokehouse, known fittingly as The Beast.
Man Meets Meat
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When a high-paying job sent Thomas Abramowicz to NYC on business, he had his first real taste of barbecue. True, 'cue wasn't born in the Big Apple, but there are some pretty great barbecue joints doing great things there that's inspired by some of Texas' best, like Mueller and Kreuz Market.
These barbecue markets in New York were great enough to hook Abramowicz for life. He quit his job and high tailed it to Texas where he put himself through a kind of barbecue-university, which is actually a course you can take at one Southern U.S. university.
Man Studies Meat
First came the eating. Thomas ate his way up and down the state, sampling some of most famous barbecue Texas has to offer. He secured a job working on a barbecue food truck for a third-generation pitmaster, learning the art of smoking and cooking good barbecue.
Which, since he was in Texas, meant lots of brisket cooked low and slow with nothing more than a dry rub of salt and pepper for flavor. He learned a thing or two about pork ribs, sausage and chicken, but for The Beast, the beef is king.
Beef ribs, brisket, and beef sausage are all on offer, as well as classic American sides like macaroni 'n' cheese, braised greens and barbecue beans. You can get baby back ribs, pulled pork and chicken, too, but Abramowicz sees anything other than beef as a "side dish." It's all cooked in the smoker he had custom built in Texas and shipped to Paris.
Man Serves Meat ... and Bourbon
After Texas came Kentucky where he set his sights on bourbon. He learned all about the big brown booze and because of it, The Beast holds an impressive selection of 50+ bottles from all over the U.S.
What else does he have coming into France from the States? Funny you should ask because the 100 percent US Prime Angus beef graces the three-page menu at The Beast, where food is served cafeteria-style complete with silver lunch trays.
It took a while for the locals to catch on, but once they did, they were in beast mode. The Beast is often in attendance serving food at festivals and events and a second smoker has been ordered (this one an impressive red and sans wheels).
So things are looking good for the Frenchman with taste for Texas.
In Thomas Abramowicz's words,
"France is a big meat country. We already eat a ton of meat. It's not like I'm introducing a new product, it's just a new way to have it. I think I'm the right person to bring traditional BBQ to France. I was born in Paris but have worked in the States. I love New York and Texas and I think I understand both cultures. At the same time, Paris has really been opening up. We're ready now."
While it might seem silly to feast on Texas BBQ while you're abroad in France, it's fantastic to see that one Frenchman is celebrating our tried and true Texas tradition over the pond!
Would you try it? Comment below and let us know!