Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lyon: A Gruba Grub Grub

Hello Everybody,

Sorry about the wait, been trying to right myself. As some of you may know, I injured my back and have been going to physical therapy, although the electrodes being attached to my head are starting to make me question their procedures and now I seem to forget a many things…

Well back to LYON!!!

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Here is a picture of the face spasm I experienced many times upon tasting Le French Cuisine and while I have the look of utter confusion and perplexity, I assure all of you that it is the look of taste buds being reborn.

IMG_4071This time the face spasm inducing food was a Crème Brulee and some kind of chocolate crust tart filled with figs, pistachios and walnuts covered in a super dense caramel sauce. IMG_4072

For some of you might say…NO! that is to rich!…turn around and walk away. But wait, I’ll say the food sensation was something like this, it gave us a soft embrace, followed by a prolonged hug and then as we were finishing, reluctantly let go of our hands and then stared at us defiantly as we walked away saying, how could you, we were meant for each other. We could hardly look back our shame was immense, the heart break of knowing that we were heading to the macaroon bar to meet other beautiful taste treats, was to much for our chocolate tart.

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Ahh macaroon, L’s secret desire. I had no idea L liked macaroons so much. Through out vacation, she was constantly reminding me of having to stop by the macaroon bar. I began to think she had a macaroon problem and a family and friends intervention in the near future started to seem inevitable. HELP!

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Her she is, coming out of her macaroon haze. Well our first French dining experience was at the Le Cafe des Federations: Bouchon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouchon :Click on the link if you want to learn about a Bouchon.

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Here is a view of the place as you walk in. (picture from their website)They serve a five course meal with your choice of main dish and desert. I didn’t take pictures of our evening meal, but i did manage to find pictures I borrowed from the internet to illustrate our visit. If I used your picture, thank you.

I’ll now try to describe what we eat in order of appearance. Oh yeah, if you plan to eat at this restaurant, I recommend calling in advanced to make a reservation.

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Beginning

France 2007 081-2

1. Starter

A poached egg in a beef reduction sauce/soup. (picture borrowed from orangette, she also talks about this particular restaurant here http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/05/lyonized.html)

Cafe%20Fed%20starters 2. Whatever you call this: After Starter?

Lyonasse Salad (Arugula, Fatty Pork Bits, croutons, and mustard dressing) accompanied by Lentils,so gooooood, a small ramekin of pate, and a side of cured meats. I was done by the end of these two meals an ready to call it an evening. But wait, there’s more.

3. Main Course: *sorry no picture*

L had a Langoustine Dumpling cooked and served in a crock pot and I had a Chicken Liver Gatto. My dish was good, but L’s dish was amazing. Ocean goodness captured and then released into a dish that truly takes seafood to a new depth.

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4. Cheese Platter.

OK, now if I wasn’t full before I was definitely full by the time the cheese platter made it’s grand entrance, but being the good eater I am, I smiled and eat the cheese. The platter consists of four different cheeses, with the center bit being a fifth mixture of all four cheeses brought together with what I believed to be wine leftovers, for that extra something, causing a wine bits and cheese harmony that my tongue is still recovering from. Really.

All four cheeses individually were lovely, but of course there is always one that stands out, that out towers above the rest, the straight ‘A"’ kind of cheese and that be the yellowish one on the left of the picture. Smooooooth, is what I’ll say. The waitress also encourages tasting the cheeses starting from left to right and then diving into the middle cheese concoction.

Warning!!! don’t dive into the middle cheese head long, because it leaves your tongue lying on the floor kicked, stomped on and assaulted, literally numb from the wine seeds.

Once I had stopped crying and stopped staring at my tongue, which was begging for help. I gathered my tongue from off the floor dusted it off and went straight to work on the middle cheese again. Once your over the initial shock of taste overload and your eyes have uncrossed themselves, the cheese is super good…different…excellent,perhaps…unique…acquired…yes!

The taste is so off the wall, people at the restaurant applauded a couple of gentlemen that had finished an entire serving of the middle earth cheese.

5. Dessert: *sorry no picture*

We took it easy after the cheese assault and had ice cream. But it being France even the ice cream was…French. We both had vanilla ice cream smothered in a cherry and rum raisin sauce, which was superb.

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The following afternoon we hit our first crepe restaurant. The crepes were good but we later had even better ones.

pictures below.

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Here I am trying to act unimpressed by the great food and the silly surroundings of the crepe restaurant. Jean-Luc gave me pointers on how to blend in, he said look like the food could be better and you’ll be respected and feared as a foodie…it didn’t work.

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Here we stopped at a spice store which L had…you guessed it, researched. We bought several spices and some olives that were soaked and cured in fish juice, sounds a bit strange, but was yummy.

Ah yes the crepe winners.

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L had a salmon crepe and…I don’t remember what the reduction was in the center of her crepe called, I’ll ask her when she gets home., but it was yummy.

I had a langoustine and butter cream sauce crepe. We really hit the seafood while in Lyon, since it’s hard to get good seafood where we are presently living, you know where we are…in a land lock. Plus I’d never tasted langoustine and figured, when in France.

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These crepes were awesome as well. I’m not a big banana and chocolate sauce crepe fan, but I was won over.

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The Hall of Lyon or Les Halles de Lyon.

The hall of Lyon is a food market where all the ‘best’ local chefs, butchers, cheese makers and dessert makers gather to sell and celebrate great food.

Need I say more.

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^Keep an eye on this guy it shows up later.^

By the way, according to the locals, Lyon is know for it’s food more so than Paris, or at least that’s what the locals will have you thinking. I mean come on the French go to Lyon to vacation. We will be visiting Paris in late fall, so I’ll be writing a comprehensive comparison and evaluation.

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Other Restaurants visited.

Le Petit Buffon: A Basque Restaurant

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One evening L and I were starving and we hadn’t made dinner reservations , big mistake, we must have traveled all the streets of Lyon for what seemed like hours searching for a place to dinner. Plus if you don’t know, dinner in Lyon restaurants do not start until 8pm sometimes 9pm (not all, but the French ones do). And for those of you that know L, we were in crisis mode, it was starting to get ugly, L turned French right before my eyes, and behold in the middle of our meltdown appeared a Buffon, Le Petit Buffon.

Le Petit Buffon is a Basque style rugby bar/restaurant. The people you see in the picture are the waitress and the chef, who were super nice and at the end of our meal served us free drinks.

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Here is a picture of what I eat. A chorizo, potato, bell pepper, onion and truck loads of garlic plate of Basque/French inspired goodness. So good that I tried to make it here at home.

I traveled to a Spanish store in Nuremberg just to get the right Chorizo. I knew I was in the right Spanish store because the people in the store weren’t just Germans pretending to be Spanish. A Spanish family ran the place. I got to speak to them and talked about different chorizos and where to get the good stuff when visiting Spain. But that’s another story, back to Lyon.

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A nameless restaurant, because I can’t remember, that sits next to the Basilica de Norte Dame.

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All the food was good, both L and I had duck, but the cheese dessert you see in the picture above stole my heart and then locked it away in some cavernous wine cave not to return it to me until I visit again.

Eating at the loft.

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^This was my cooking station while visiting Lyon.^

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Remember when I said to keep an eye on this guy, well here he is, pate and cheese…

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plus smoked butter…I know smoked butter?!?!

For dinner I cooked steak, which I purchased from a butcher at the Hall of Lyon. And the salmon was also bought at the hall.

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Steak and Salmon Tartar
A sort of surf and turf, and a nice local red wine.

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Breakfast

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The following morning we hit the local bakery and bought ourselves a potato bacon tart thingy and for L, because she couldn’t leave France without having some, croissants.

I’ll now leave you with our last meal, simple steak and potato. Why so much steak you ask, well because it’s hard to find good steak around these here parts and the good steak is imported from Argentina…Wha?

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Until next time, be happy.

love

M&L

PS. not for everybody

Lock your car. And I can’t believe jerks would do such a thing.

3 comments:

Tracy said...

what!? Did somebody steal something from your car.... love the food summary Martin, hilarious!!

Martin said...

No, the Shelton Duo had thivery. So I was telling them to lock their doors. Thanks for the comment.

Kathleen said...

we're not the brightest duo - i locked the volvo the other day (as per your advice) with the key, the only key, still in it, lj