Melt- Authentic Texas BBQ in Paris
As the saying goes, you can take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the boy. Originally from deep in the heart of Texas, I was raised with an appreciation of slow-smoked meats, which is considered an art form in the Lone Star State. The smoke, the smell, the flavor of a brisket that has been cooking over a pit of wood-fired heat for 12+ hours- it is life for us Texans.
You could say that BBQ runs in the blood of most Texans and a smoked brisket is a staple in the diet, similar to how important a baguette is to the French. You don’t realize just how important bbq is in your life until you move across the pond to France and discover they don’t have the same appreciation for bbq, much less a slow-smoked brisket. It would be the same as the French moving to Waxahachie, Texas, and trying to find a fresh-baked baguette- good luck with that.
Having lived in the south of France now for almost five years, I have been living a life void of my God-given right to eat bbq on a weekly basis. My only savior is that I work in the travel industry and get to visit cities outside of France frequently that try to imitate Texas bbq. Even though I have now tried bbq in cities across the world, including London, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Dublin, nothing quite compares to the bbq in Texas.
When I had just about given up on quenching my desire for that smokey meat goodness outside of Texas, two young Frenchmen convinced a Texas pitmaster, Jeff Howard, from Grapevine (I grew up less than 30 minutes away) to come to Paris and they started Melt together.
“An authentic culinary journey to the heart of Texas and the southern US is the promise offered by MELT. Our barbecue is generous, warm but above all family friendly and believe us … you will not forget it! We carry on the traditions of the great barbecue masters who worked before us and bring our touch to it.”
“In constant search for the best ingredients, we cook “old school” with lots of wood and love for long, long hours until the perfect harmony of smoke, flavor and weather emanates. Cooking from 4 to 18 hours and ovens fueled with oak wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, orchestrated with passion by our amazing teams.”
Unlike many of the bbq places I have tried in Europe, the Melt menu has a full list of smoked meats, including the coveted, black bark brisket. For me, a restaurant cannot call itself a BBQ joint without brisket, and luckily Melt smokes up some authentic Texas black Angus brisket, right here in downtown Paris, France not Paris, Texas.
Served Texas-style on a piece of wax paper set within a tray, the sliced brisket is served with coleslaw, pickled onions, pickles, and a side of bbq sauce. Similar to menus you might find in Texas, Melt also serves up sides of roasted corn, southern-style beans, and smashed potatoes. To wash it all down, Melt even has Lone Star Beer, which I have never had outside of Texas, much less outside of the USA. For a flavorful mix of Tex and Mex, try the street-style nachos with crispy fries covered with smoked pulled pork, melted cheese, fresh sliced jalapeños, and Melt sauce. The only thing Melt was missing was banana pudding for dessert, but they do offer some other tasty options.
This Texan approves of Melt and is happy to say that there is definitely authentic Texas BBQ in France. If you live in Europe and have the same desire for quality bbq, there is no longer any need to fly to Texas as Melt is in the 11th arrondissement in Paris.