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Mostly Food Report on Lyon and Paris- Feb 21-Mar 6

Mostly Food Report on Lyon and Paris- Feb 21-Mar 6

Mar 15th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Mostly Food Report on Lyon and Paris- Feb 21-Mar 6

We spent a week in Lyon and a week in Paris this winter. I don't see much written about Lyon so here is my trip report on Lyon. At the end I will hit on a few places we ate in Paris.

We rented a great apartment:http://www.lepetittramassac.fr/en It was a great location in the old town He rents for less than a week as well as taking cc so reserving and paying is great. I think it is 450 E a week, not sure on that since we rented for 5 nights .That said the apartment is on the 3rd floor, without elevator. The owner met us at the apartment as well as meeting us at the end and carried my overpacked heavy luggage up and down the 58 spiral stairs, thank god he did that. He does this for all his guests...good thing. I had argued with him at first that, NO, I could carry my own luggage but when I saw the stairs I laughed. He was sweating bullets when he finished bringing up the second overpacked bag.

Tourist office: couldn't have been better ,so helpful. We bought two day city passes that got us in to all museums,an all day transportation ticket, and covered the cost of our two walks, one up on the Fourviier Hill with the two roman theaters and one in the old silk area, Croix Rouge. They didn't really have anything in english so we took the french tours, well they were OK, but a little to wordy for my limited french. The tour guidess were great though and tried to tell us in english if we asked. The passes were 30E for two days for one person. The walks themselves are 10E so it was a no brainer.

Lyon: in general a beautiful city, wonderful architecture, very Italian, loved the traboules and wandering through them, they are all maked with a plaque outside of the doors, and at the bottom the info is written in english. You enter one and walk through the buildings inner courtyards, with wells and spiral stone staircases. They are fun to find and all are very different. I do believe that the Lyomaise might be the nicest friendliest people in all of France, and we have been to quite a few areas. We told someone this and they said that they have the exact opposite reputation!

Besides the two walks, we explored the town on our own, went to a few great museums. I really liked the miniature museum, where everything was 1/12 or 1/24th it's size...amazing things that people have made. There is also a section about how they use these miniatures in movies, it was my favorite in Lyon. We also saw the Beaux Arts as well as the history of Lyon, the name escapes me, maybe Garner? The shopping district is big, with no cars, so strolling and shopping was great. Although we really liked visiting Lyon, we knew we would not go back, it just didn't speak to us, which is a good thing because so many other places are calling us.

We are very adventurous eaters, as you will see . The first few dinners were very different than what we were use to. I won't say that they were delicious and I can't wait to have it again, but I'm glad that we tried it.

The Bouchons: not exactly what I was expecting. After eating at two we opted for a young creative modern chef/meal.

La Machonnerie, 36 rue Tramassac, 04 78 42 24 62
One of the good ones in the old town, there are lots of bad places here to eat we were told. This was a very cute restaurant, very friendly staff. The owner seem to socialize with most tables, including ours.
We started off with one of the most unusual amuse bouch, a fresh sourish cream cheese, toasted bread pieces and cold, salty, fried bacon fat, yes, just the fat! We had a delicious salad lyonnaise although the poached eggs were too cooked and didn't run all over the salad, very disappointing. I had the kidneys in a wonderful rich brown sauce, served with a casserole of leeks, they were to die for,you couldn't hardly find the leeks amoungst all the cream, cheese and butter. DH's plat wasn't as successful, it seemed to be a pot eu fue but will all pork products, boiled potatoes and cabbage. It really reminded us of the food in Alsace, which was also not our favorite french food. I have to say there were a few pieces in the pot the I have no idea what they could have been. People looked surprised that we were tasting all of it,must not be comon for Americans,the people at the next table struck up a converrsation after they saw us trying what looked like a ribbon of fat, folded over itself a few times and tied with a string., I haven't a clue what that was, it didn't taste like chicken....with a couple of glasses of wine our bill was about 70E. We found the food to be quite reasonable in Lyon.

Next day we went up to Forviere, looked around the roman theaters and the church. The mosaic murals in the church are just amazing. We decided to have lunch before the scheduled walk.
Le restaurant de Fourvière Adresse : 9 place de Fourvière right next to the church
Téléphone : 04 78 25 21 15

The views are beautiful from the dinning room and we were surprised to have one of our better meals. I had the chicken in vinigar, which I make, but was nothing like this one because I don't put cream in mine, DH had a grilled liver with a parsley garlic sauce, both plats came with potatoes daphine and green beens, really great, we shared an ice cream sunday for desert, total with one glass of wine,about 50E

We also tried Chez Hugon, 12 pizay, 04 78 28 10 94
This was like eating at your grandmothers home. We called the day before and it was all booked for that night so we booked two days out. It's a tiny place with about 12 tables, again, unusual food. The menu was hand written which is sometimes harder for me to read. DH started with a cold pate turrine, served with no bread or mustard, I had boiled potatoes and fish,which was ok, but I think they boiled it in oil?, odd. We saw lamb on the menu,good we like lamb, any lamb cooked anyway, but madam pointed to her head, we "bayed" she said "oui" and we enjoyed the lamb brains, good lemony sauce , probably wont order that again. Again the father and daughter dining next to us engaged us in conversation and invited us to there place in Paris when we returned at the end of the week. We were too sick to take them up on the invitation..too bad.

At this point I have had it with mystery meals and would like to read a menu and know what it is, and not have people at home ask me if it tasted like chicken...NO, it never tastes like chicken.

La Boname de Bruno:5 grand rue des feuillants 04 78 30 83 93 Our best meal by far. We decided that we needed to go back to what we like, young creative chefs. The room was beautifully decorated, the architecture old and the table setting very modern. I started with champagne followed by a delishous Macon, my new favorite white wine. I started with a cold squid salad, sliced very thin with sliced zucchni and a hint of mint, DH had a fresh pear, pealed and sliced and layered with a foi gois terrine between the layers and a wonderful prune sauce on the plate. DH had grilled lamb chops, which were perfect and I had a rabbit soup/stew, the rabbit seemed to have been marinated in red wine, the broth and veggies hit the spot!!!! For desert, chocolate soup, which turned out to be a bowl of chocolate and carmel sauce with a bread pudding square in the center, YUM! I highly recommend this place. Again, our total bill was about 70E

We skipped dinner the next night in favor of drinks at Grand Cafe Negociates. It is a beautiful old fashioned tea room/bar/restaurant in the downtown shopping area. Lovely setting, always packed. We had two drinks, a diet coke and a cheese platter for 20E, quite reasonable considering it looked touristy. Again the people next to use struck up a conversation with us, such nice people in Lyon.

Boulangerie du Palais, 8, Rue du Palais de Justice , 69005 Lyon We loved this bakery. The famous Lyon pastry which is shocking pink, they said it was praline but I've never seen it that color, was to die for. They made about 6 different ones and I have to say ALL were wonderful. We also got sick and could just stumble down to this bakery for bread, pizza sliced and sandwiches, all were just great.

We ended up with some weird virus that made me cough non stop for days and nights, we weren't able to have another nice meal, we really wanted to try Paul Bocuse's smaller restaurants but we couldn't taste anything.

Next up a few notes on Paris.
susanna is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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Weird and delicious, not necessarily simultaneously! Thank you for this enjoyable report. I look forward to your Paris notes.
Leely2 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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bardo1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 12:33 AM
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Enjoyed reading about your time in Lyon. What a shame you got sick.
Like you, we always found the locals to be friendly, despite their reputation to the contrary.

You were definitely very adventurous when eating out - much more than I ever was in Lyon! I'm not a big fan of pork or offal so we tended to steer clear of the more traditional eateries and go for the younger, more modern places. Have some great recommendations should you ever return to the city!

Incidentally, you didn't miss out on anything by not eating at any of the smaller Bocuse restaurants (I assume you mean his various brasseries around the city) - they are totally overpriced and overhyped IMO, and the food is nothing special.
hanl is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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Thanks for your great trip report! I'm traveling to Lyon next month to visit my daughter who's studying abroad there, and I have not been able to find much on that city. Luckily, I will have my daughter as a guide. I'll take your restaurant guide with me when I travel, but I am certainly not as adventurous with food as you are!
smithva is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 11:16 AM
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OMG, I just wrote the Paris part for over an hour, previewed it and LOST it...does anyone know if I can get it back before I rewrite it?

Hanl, I'm glad to hear that I didn't miss out on the Bocuse chain. I grew up when Alice Waters started Chez Pannise and Cafe Fanny, and he is such an icon like her, I really wanted to try his food, but didn't want to go to the starred restaurant.

smithva: one thing that I missed in Lyon, only seeing one or two, were the buildings with the trompe, murals, paintings. THe ones we saw were amazing, and I hear there are many. I was hoping for a day to go around and see as many as I could but it didn't happen. A book in our apartment that had great restaurant recs was "the best restaurants in lyon" of course in french only, we thought it was terrific.
susanna is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Oh no! Hope someone more tech savvy than me can help you. Looking forward to more.
bardo1 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 06:57 AM
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Ok, I can't find it, so here is pasting and cutting so that doesn't happen again...this will take me a few days to finish as I have to work.

We stayed at the same apartment that we love in the Marais. http://www.vrbo.com/49273
Please don't book it all up in Febuary's when I like to go. It's spotlessly clean, the owner is easy to work with, it's on a courtyard and dead quite, I love that it's high up in the Marais.

MY DH lost his sleeping mojo on the plane and crashed upon check in!!! He slept right through till the next day. I'm a bit brain dead after the trip from SF to Paris, I wandered around the hood, stopped at BHV to see what was new, and sadly I never made it back for a shopping spree, and started to crash myself by about 500.

L'as du Fallafel 34 rue des Rosiers , what can I say that hasn't already been said. Just the best meal, 7E, I always get the grilled chicken with veggies, the pita is warm and fresh, the chicken and veggies are grilled prefect, love all the sauces so that it is extremely messy. This is the perfect hangover/jetlag meal, I always take it back to the apartment and eat it in stages, its HUGE, it lasts me the whole night!!!

Les Cocottes 135 Rue Saint-Dominique 01 45 50 10 31 Our first great lunch, we walked in about 1230 and snagged a place at the counter. I started with a creamy warm mushroom soup on a chilly day it was heaven. DH took a taste and ordered another one! I had the salad lyonaise, a perfect poached egg, maple flavored lardons, crutons, just the perfect salad. DH had a grilled steak, asked for rare, they asked american rare or french rare, french SVP, a perfect blu piece of meat topped with a tasty shallot garlic sauce, "what is this sauce" "eeat ees not a sauce, eeat ees a condiment" Eeet ees delish!

Au P'tit Panisse35 Rue de Montreuil 75011 01 43 71 37 90 We met friends here for dinner the first night, their choice. It was on my list last year, as are always so many that I don't get too, it's a nice little local place, totally full, 30E three course menu. We had a nice grilled fish over veggies, marrow bones, blood sausages and sweet potato fries, pretty standard good food. I wouldn't cross town to come here, but if in the area a great little choice.

We had friends take the channel over from London for the day, we showed her granddaughter the sights in Paris, we had a late lungh at
Lauderee on the champs elysees. I love the looks of this place, but not really the food. It is a beautiful old bakery, tea room, restaurant, I love to sit upstairs, GD felt like she was eating at Versailles, which was the point, even the bathrooms are elegant. I had an ok omlette, the other three had club sandwiches which were again just ok, but what was disappointing was the deserts, the eclairs were nothing special, we didn't have macaroons which we don't really like, but the other deserts were just fair. I always come here for a lunch at an odd time with newbies to Paris, don't go for the food, go for the atmosphere.
susanna is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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How great. We have a trip through the Dordogne scheduled in late May. We spend 3 nights in Lyon at the end. We love the place and are excited to see and eat more of it. Thanks for adding to the info stores. Sorry your cold cut short your opportunities to add even more.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Nice report. I ate at Machonnerie also. Mostly seafood. It is quite well rated, and offers the 'real' type of Lyonnnais food.

Did you try the gnafron drink? I ended up chatting up the chef, and they kept giving me more of the gnafron as he called me his 'Quebec cousin'.

I really liked Lyon and would go back to explore a bit more. Easy access from Paris and a central location fro the sites you want to see.

Did you wander Fourviere and see the roman area?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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"there were a few pieces in the pot the I have no idea what they could have been."

Probably pork crackling ("couennes") also called jokingly "pigeons ficelés (pidgeons in a string) and the cold bacon fat was "grattons".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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Susanna, I would just like to let you know that just about everybody in Paris has the endless weird coughing virus, and it is extremely annoying while clearly not "serious".

I can't get rid of it.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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Michael, no I didn't try that drink, but, I'm sure it was the same friendly owner.

An easy 2 hour train ride from Paris, this would be a great day trip too I think.

Grattons was definitely the amuse bouche, I googled the image, but the other was not couennes. It was white and pink, transparent, about a foot and a half long when untied, as wide as a finger, maybe boiled?

K: yup that's it!! Even the codeine cough medicine wouldn't stop it...two weeks and counting...hope your's gets better soon.

Paris Food:

LIttle Italy Cafe: 92 Rue Montorgueil, Paris - 01 42 36 36 25 We have eaten here before and they just have the best food. I almost always have their pasta, which is always cooked al dente, never over sauced, just the perfect bowl of pasta, which DH had, I had a perfectly
undercooked to order piece of cod fish with veggies and pasta, and a friend had veal scallopini, everything was delicious , the place is always packed and loud at lunch, I've never been to dinner here.

Worst meal, and it was to be expected, Cafe Wilson, across from the Trocadero. Truly ,the worst soggy salad, bottled dressing and all. We were at the
Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine -
1 Place du Trocadéro ,which was so wonderful with all the reproductions of buildings, mostly church fronts I think, in France. I spent way too long looking at all the details, it was fascinating, but when we walked out we just crossed the street and ate at the busy cafe!!! DH had sausages that were OK, they didn't even have good fries...we were hoping to be surprised with a good meal!

Le Bistrot du Peintre
116 avenue Ledru Rollin
75011 +33 (0)1 47 00 34 39

This is our go to place, they are open 7 days a week so we like them for Sunday dinners, they serve great food all day long, so we like it if we are hungry at odd times or for an early dinner. It's a beautiful old place, has a big terrace outside, with heaters in the winter, friendly staff. The marrow bones are HUGE and tasty, really great fries, potatoy on the inside and hot hot on the outside just as they should be. DH had a "egg mcmuffin...a n open brioche with a poached egg, sautéed spinish and salmon, their profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce are as big as my head, really really good. We always end up here and are always surprised at the quality of the food, and the nice wines by the glass.

We only ate at one new place this trip:
Jeanne A, 42 rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud, 11th, Tel. 01-43-55-09-49. This is the new grocery store/restaurant next to Astier. It was wonderful and for the life of me I can't remember a single thing that we ate. But, we both loved it and said we would definitely return. It's really small, with only about 8 tables, all full that evening, so I would definitely call for a table. I actually liked it better than Astier, it's modern and you have much more room at the table and they have an incredible cheese selection, just like Astier.

I think that's it.....
susanna is offline  
Mar 19th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for sharing, Su
ira is offline  
Mar 21st, 2011, 08:55 AM
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I thought of one more thing.

Not knowing we were going to return to Paris sick, we decided to spend our last night back in Paris instead of the airport. I looked around for an inexpensive room but everything I wanted was coming in at about 170E and we really just needed a place to sleep. I will usually bid on a room on Priceline at the airport, have always gotten a 4* for about $90-100 which is just great. We always come into the city on the train and have dinner and then it's an easy trip in the morning to the airlines.

This time we chose to stay in the city and we bid on Priceline and won the Marriot in the 14th, although I believe that they might have said it was the St Gemain area....anyway it was really a great hotel, we paid $120, nice big room, coffee/tea, fridge, great bathroom with wonderful shower pressure, nice hotel staff, really bad view across the train tracks, two metro stops right by, I would defiately stay here again for the price.

Being sick we ventured out to Rue Draguer, a short walk away, really cute pedestrian street. My nephew lived here for a while and I was dying to get out and explore the area that he talked so highly about, but, we only walked the block, had a really nice early dinner at Cafe Draquer, which was packed, and back to bed by about 600pm..boo hoo.
susanna is offline  
Mar 21st, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Poor Susan! What an adventure! Thanks for sharing again!
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