Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Moon's Sandwich Shop

-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the locals eat

Hard to believe it but this is post #1000. Seems like just yesterday I was playing around on my computer when deciding to start this site. That was actually in 2008 and while I don't have anything to special planned for #1000 I thought it was the perfect time to go back to the sites roots. When I started S'C'&C my only goal was to bring light to the lesser traveled spots of the city and the restaurants within those areas. One of the first places I ever set out to was Moon's Sandwich Shop.

Locals Favorite on the West Side 

Located on Western just south of Madison Moon's is one of those places that's been around longer than most. They date back to 1933. I've been coming here since at least 2008 when I first learned of it over at LTHforum through the legendary GWiv. I knew my guy knew good food and his love of Moon's shot it onto my radar. So what took me so long to post about it? Truth be told I always wanted to feature a big post on all they offer but despite handfuls of trips here I cant ever get past the corned beef sandwich. While Moon's is a full fledged diner (open at 5:30a) their corned beef is king.

 a peek inside

A visit to Moon's usually means jumping into the storm. Rarely is this place not busy with folks from all over stopping by to dine in and take away. If you pay attention to what those people are ordering more than half of them are getting corned beef sandwiches. Moon's makes their corned beef in house and serves it in sandwich form and also as a dinner. The sandwich is one of my favorites anywhere.

 Corned Beef Sandwich at Moon's

Fresh sliced beef is piled to just the right height to where you can still take a normal bite. If you ask for everything they'll put mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle on it but I prefer mine with just mustard and pickles on the side. No matter how hard I try to explore the rest of the menu I always find myself going back to this. On top of a perfectly made sandwich the people at Moon's are always cordial and on point as far as making sure you get your order in a timely fashion amidst the chaos. It's truly one of Chicago's great treasures when it comes to old school eateries with generations of customers.

 The insides 

Moon's Sandwich Shop
16 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 226-5094

Monday, June 19, 2017

Grill Master

-Grubbing in Chicago  
Central Asian Grilled Meats

Nothing quite turns my ahead around than a new (to me) restaurant. Whenever I see one I make sure to see what they're serving and then make a mental note if it looks like a place I'd like to try. As was the case with Grill Master. From the looks of it this is one of those generic grills where they serve everything from burgers to gyros but peek a bit closer and you'll see it's actually a Central Asian joint.

Newly Opened in Avondale

I'd driven by Grill Master a few times but it wasn't until a friend from the gym told me I must go that I finally made a point of doing so. The folks behind this place come from Kyrgyzstan which is a country in Central Asia bordering the Silk Road. Over the last five years Chicago has seen a few Central Asian restaurants open up and Grill Master is the latest. The menu is pretty simple with kebabs being the focal point though there's other Kyrgyz favorites like grilled lamb ribs and such. Kebab plates come in two sizes ($8 / $13) and make for a great dinner. The lamb was just right as far as flavor while the tender meat gave little resistance when cutting it up. I'm not sure if the BBQ sauce on the side is Kyrgyz or an American touch but it works mixed with the meat and semi sticky rice.

Lamb Kebab at Grill Master

As far as menu items you don't often see they had a few that caught my eye. The picture of the Beef Jarovnya looked good enough to try it my next visit in. Basically this is a beef stir fry and it comes paired with either vegetables or potatoes and is also available with chicken. I got to say that I usually avoid beef at Asian spots as it's usually gross but not the case here. The beef was extra tender and easily ripped apart. Served with sliced bell peppers, onion, zucchini, and paired with a big bowl of rice it was a huge plate of food that could stretch into two separate meals. Delicious. Service has come with a smile and thank you upon paying. Grill Master opens at 5p and stays open late. I'm a fan.

Beef Jarovnya at Grill Master

Grill Master
2949 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 961-7639

Friday, June 16, 2017

Spinning J

-Weekend Brunchin'

The four corners at California and Augusta in Humboldt Park are where it's at these days. Seemingly out of nowhere the area turned into a hip and happening corner of the city. My favorite place of those that popped up is a place called Spinning J. It can best be described as a new age soda fountain.

Newly Opened in Humboldt Park 

I drive down California pretty regularly and Spinning J always intrigued me. When I finally decided to stop in and try the place the only thing that annoyed me about it was the fact I hadn't stopped in earlier. The folks behind the place purchased an old school soda fountain in Wisconsin (not just the machine, the entire setup, bar, chairs and all) and restored it here in Chicago. They knocked it out of the park. If not for the fact I knew Spinning J was semi-new there would be no way of telling whether it just opened or had been on this corner forever. Take a seat at the bar for a trip back into time.

Soda of the Day Rhubarb-Ginger Shrub

Old School Soda Fountains are actually something that pretty much went extinct in Chicago. Maybe there's one or two out in some suburb but to the best of my recollection you wont find any old school counters serving egg creme soda etc. Enter spinning J and their hipsteriffic takes on the classics. My favorite being a Thai Tea Egg Creme that's the perfect treat on a hot summer day. No booze (byob) but there's fantastic food. We recently enjoyed a lox platter on special that really hit the spot.

Lox and Bagel Platter for Brunch 

But the star of the food menu is without a doubt the chicken pot pie. I feel like every year (usually in Winter) I find myself craving a real deal chicken pot pie and every year I'm disappointed. Not anymore. Spinning J makes a near flawless example that's done the proper way. This means crust on both bottom and top. It's flaky and it's buttery while the inside is filled with creamy chicken and veggies just like the original recipe calls for. You don't want to forget about this come winter.

Chicken Pot Pie

Last but not least is the bakery section of the business. They have cookies and pie amongst other things. On a recent visit the days pie choice included a wonderful key Lime Hibiscus. It's still the only piece of pie I've tried but I see myself at Spinning J a few times a month as there's lots of goodness going on. It's the perfect place for a family looking to enjoy a meal out or a solo diner looking to snack on something and catch up on emails. There's something for everyone.

Pie Case at Spinning J

Spinning J
1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 829-2793

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Reggae Island

-Grubbing in Chicago
Southside Jerk Joints

I decided I will try to make this the summer that I finally attack the city's jerk chicken scene. It's been an ongoing idea of mine for a handful of years now however I've never been able to dedicate the time needed to do so. The truth is I'm not sure if I have that time these days anyway but I'm going to at the very least attempt to sample as many of them as I can. I plan to put it into one big guide that will most likely be featured elsewhere but in the meantime I will share some of the finds over here.

Locals Favorite in Back of the Yards 

Reggae Island is the definition of a shack. When it's all said and done this place might feel the most Jamaican as I couldn't help but feel like I was somewhere in the middle of town in Negril. It's also attached to a gas station and there's nowhere to sit so you'll be taking your jerk chicken to go. The signature item from here is what they call Jerk Chicken Fried Rice but truth be told it's a bit misleading. There is no fried rice in this dish but rather rice and peas with chopped jerked chicken sitting atop it. So it's basically like a Jamaican bowl but at $4/5 for a small which was actually really large this was a great little lunch with the housemade jerk sauce rounding it all out. More to come. 

Jerk Chicken Fried Rice at Reggae Island 

Reggae Island
5101 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 675-5039

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lotus Cafe & Banh Mi

-Grubbing in Chicago
Fresh Vietnamese on Maxwell Street

Lotus Cafe is one of those places you kind of have to live or work near to know about it. I say this because it sits on a street that isn't really driven unless you work or live right near there. That street is Maxwell st, one of the city's most iconic streets. Long gone are the days of old as the area did a 180 a decade or so ago. Lotus was one of the new spots to open around the time the development was done. I remember a Hungry Hound segment tipping me off and have enjoyed few visits since then.

Locals Favorite around UIC 

Lotus has a fairly basic Vietnamese Menu with items like Banh Mi, Pho, and Noodle and Rice bowls. When it comes to the Banh Mi sandwiches they have one in particular that really should get more love from the city's big instagram food scene. The Sunny-Side beef is made with sautéed rib-eye steak topped with a sunny-side egg, caramelized onions and crispy sweet potato fries as well as the usual banh mi toppings. It might not be traditional but it is delicious. I'm craving one right now.

 Sunny-Side Up Banh Mi at Lotus Cafe

Because the sandwich is so good I haven't been able to order past that with the exception of their shrimp spring rolls. These are the item that Dolinsky had featured in his piece on the place and they too caught my eye. It's not like I've done some tour scouring the city for the best spring rolls but these were the best I can remember for the sole fact of how fresh they were. Steamed shrimp, lettuce, pickled daikon, fried shallots and thin vermicelli noodles are wrapped inside Vietnamese rice paper, and come serve with a refreshing pineapple peanut sauce. The reason I put this post up today is fresh spring rolls are the perfect food to enjoy on a hot and humid day. Stay cool out there Chicago.

Shrimp Spring Rolls at Lotus Cafe 

Lotus Cafe & Banh Mi
719 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-7595

Monday, June 5, 2017

Eating BIG in Lyon

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

- Eating and Exploring France's Culinary Capitol 

If I had to choose one word to describe our three day trip to Lyon last May it would be frustrating. But before I explain that let me share my 2nd and 3rd words I'd use to describe France's third largest city. They would be Delicious and Beautiful. So why frustrating? Well when we decided to spend three days in Lyon we had no idea that the first of the three (May 1) would be a national holiday and thus practically the whole city would be shut down. It was. On top of that it would rain at the most inopportune times and getting around via Uber was expensive (minimum $13e per ride). All this said there's a good chance your experience is much different than mine. Though if you go and take in the views of a gorgeous city with a fantastic food scene you'd also be having a similar trip to me.

 Sights from Lyon

We arrived on the aforementioned holiday and the town was indeed dead. There was an exception or two here or there but I'd say 90% of the city was shutdown including the public transportation system. We got an uber and had him take us to our AirBNB where a bunch of frustrating things would happen but I'm not going to waste your time with delays and wrong addresses etc. We eventually got settled in and decided to go for a stroll. We wandered around for a little bit before deciding we were hungry. Knowing the holiday was going to be happening I went on Trip Advisor and asked where, if anywhere, was worth eating on this day. A local who seemed to know his stuff had mentioned that all the touristy spots would be open but one was actually pretty good whereas the rest were exactly what you think of when you think of stupid tourists and their bad eating habits.

Brasserie Georges

Brasserie Georges was his pick and I'm glad I followed through on his rec. Located in the city's 2nd arrondissement it's the oldest brasserie in Lyon. It's also one of the largest brasseries in all of Europe. I can't think of a bigger restaurant that I've ever dined inside and it was jam packed. Not an empty seat in the house. I'm assuming this was due to the holiday as there were many families with what looked to be three or more generations of people enjoying their day. The wait was only about 20 minutes and they have all sorts of places to sit and drink while you wait for your buzzer to beep.

Sights inside Brasserie Georges

Having been around since 1836 this place has all the feels of a classic establishment. From the huge art deco building it sits in to the guy who's sole job is to go from birthday table to birthday table and play this old musical instrument while the entire staff (and patrons) sing happy birthday. It's a very festive atmosphere. They even brew their own beer on sight. It's also an extremely well run ship. Service was swift and this was probably the one place on the entire trip that actually got us in and out in a reasonable time. The menu varies by season but there's pretty much something for everyone even vegetarians which is rare in a city that loves to eat every last piece of the pig. She got what would be the first of many Saucisson Lyonnais plates and I went for the charcuterie platter. 

Saucisson Lyonnais at Brasserie Georges

Sausage Lyonnais is available on pretty much every menu in town. This version came stuffed with pistachios and served in a bed of cream with some very average (for France standards) mashed potatoes. It wasn't the best dish of the trip by any stretch but like most everything else we ate it was still pretty good. My charcuterie platter was much better. The pate was out of this world good which it pretty much all is in these parts. Unless you're in Lyon on May 1st I wouldn't make an entire meal out of this place but it's certainly worth experiencing the festive atmosphere over a drink and a snack.

 House Charcuterie Plate at Brasserie Georges

After lunch we walked back to our place which was only about 25 minutes from where we were. During that stroll back home we took in the tourist part of town which sits in the old part of town. All of those stores and the restaurant surrounding them were open but for the most part they were selling garbage. A couple exceptions were a place with a fantastic variety of honey and also a limoncello store that had a lime version that I bought thinking it would taste great mixed into a margarita.

 More Sights from Lyon

Rain would dampen the rest of the afternoon but luckily it stopped by the time dinner rolled around. Since it was still the holiday our pickings were slim but I did manage to find a spot that was away from the tourist zone and open for business. The goal was to eat at a bouchon each night in town and this would be our first dive into one. Bouchons being the old school restaurants that serve the old school dishes that helped make the city an international dining destination. More on them as we go.

Café Comptoir Abel

According to the website this place has been serving food since 1926 with the current chef/owner having been there since 1976. The inside featured two dining rooms that were separated by the kitchen. As we walked through to get to our seat I couldn't help but feel like we finally arrived in Lyon. The looks, the smell, everything about this place was classic France. The food? Well that was classic Lyon. The menu isn't big but it sports many of the city's favorites including the best Lyonnaise Salad of the trip. In case you're unaware of the worlds greatest salad recipe it consists of nothing but lettuce, lardons (bacon), poached egg, croutons, and some dressing. A flawless example below.

Lyonnaise Salad

Moving onto the entree we decided to order the houses famous dish which consists of baked chicken in an extremely rich cream sauce with or without morel mushrooms. The answer to morel mushrooms is always yes and the answer to whether or not this dish was any good was YES. Served with side of white rice this was one decadent dish and the beginning of three straight days of French Soul Food.

Chicken with Morels in Cream Sauce

That was it for the holiday as there was noting else to see or do by the time the end of the evening rolled around. We would just head back to the AirBNB and wait for the city to come back to life the next day. Not only that but two of my good friends (one from Paris the other from Barcelona) would be joining us for two days of food and fun. The next day I woke up and decided to take a morning stroll to a couple of bakeries that I had heard very good things about. Boulangerie's are one of the many things that make France a world class dining destination and Lyon is home to some of the best.

Boulangerie Saint Vincent

I had a map with a couple handfuls worth of bakeries that I wanted to check out. No way time would allow me to do that as they were scattered throughout the city. Thus I chose to seek out two that really caught my eye and also only happened to be about a 20 minute walk from each other. First stop up was along the river at a place called Boulangerie Saint Vincent. According to some things I read online this was one of a few places left cooking exclusively with fire. But don't quote me on that as the language barrier would be tough to overcome. Thus I asked for her favorites best I knew how.

Brioche Praline on Display

First things first was the brioche praline seen up above on the left. Lyon has it's own pink praline and it's extremely popular with it being found on almost every dessert menu in town. This was the best thing I ate using the famous pink pralines. They get their pink color from being coated with cooked sugar and dye. 

Croissants at Boulangerie Saint Vincent

The croissants were also delicious and like every other one I ate in France they were better than any croissant I've had here in the States. The lady working the counter chose what seemed to be some sort of chocolate concoction and while I couldn't tell you it's name I can tell you it was damn good.

Pastry at Boulangerie Saint Vincent

As I took off for my next stop I realized I was heading up. Lyon's close proximity to the Alps means it's a very hilly town and the walk up from the bottom of the city to the top was enduring though also beautiful. I was kind of amazed that there was another part of the city all the way up in the mountains. Lots of good views for those that head up that way. Just be ready to walk up.

Sights from Lyon

By the time I reached the top I was very happy to be there. Knowing the walk down would be a breeze this had meant the hard part was over. My reward was a stop at Partisan Boulanger which is a place I found searching for Kouign-amann. Supposedly this place makes one of the best versions anywhere but a frustrated me wouldn't find out as they didn't have them on my visit.

Partisan Boulanger

No time to cry as I had to figure out what I was going to get. It all looked good and that which you see below looked similar enough to a Kouign-amann that I decided to try it. Again the language gap was too much to overcome as far as figuring out exactly what it was but I did remember to snap a pic of the name and it's called a chausson aux pommes and it was similar to an apple turnover. Delicious.

Chausson aux Pommes at Partisan Boulanger

 The two or three people in front of me in line each got a loaf of bread which the store was heavily stocked in. So I decided I too should give that a try. We ended up being very happy with my call as this might've been the best bread I ever ate. So good it didn't need anything as far as butter etc goes. It was labeled 'canuse au lin' which translates to canines linen. No idea but it was memorable.

Canuse au Linen at Partisan Boulanger

I almost made the ultimate DOH! that would've made this part of the trip that much more frustrating when I botched our time reservation for Takao Takano. The one star Michelin restaurant is manned by a Japanese Chef who's name is that of his restaurant. Thank god they only do one seating per meal as our table was waiting for us despite being 30 minutes late to the party. They weren't fazed one bit and the service was exemplary from the get go. This was probably my most anticipated meal.

 Takao Takano

Sometimes the experience lives up to the hype and that's what happened here. Me and she both agreed this was the best meal of a eight day stay in France that included five days in Paris. I remember reading that the dishes served here were about 90% French and 10% Japanese. It was just one of the many Japanese owned spots we visited and all of them were pretty great. No sense in trying to tell you how good the meal was when the pics do it justice. So instead I'll just share the pics and do so in order as we each got a different tasting menu. Hers was three courses (plus amuse bouche) for thirty five Euros and it went as seen below. I'll try to translate the dishes for the reader.

Menu for Lunch at Takao Takano on 5/2/2017

Perhaps the best thing I ate in all of France turned out to be the complimentary starter from the chef. I don't remember exactly what it was but it seemed to be some sort of custard cream with deep Japanese flavor and some smoked fish sitting atop of it. This was by far the most Japanese tasting dish of the day and I got to say it was one of the best things I ever ate, I just wish I knew exactly what it was. I wholeheartedly recommend securing a reservation at Takao Takano if traveling to Lyon.

Amuse Bouche (included with both lunches)

White Asparagus with Octopus and Herb Based Hollandaise

Lamb, Carrots, Potatoes, Gravy at Takao Takano

Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream, Honey, Crispy Dough, Elderflower 

Everything you see up above was cooked perfectly and paired flawlessly. I'll still be thinking about this lunch years from now. My menu was five courses and included a visit from the cheese cart. Once again every plate that came out not only looked fantastic but it tasted every bit as good as looked. I'm loosely translating the descriptions from the menu with the help of google translator.

Extended Lunch Menu at Takao Takano from 5/2/2017

Poached Oyster over Smoked Polenta Foam

Haddock with Asparagus, Peas, Caviar, Herb Sauce at Takao Takano

Lamb with Smoked Garlic

Local Cheese Tray at Takao Takano

A little bit of everything

Rhubarb, Ice Cream, Flowers at Takao Takano

Complimentary cookies to end the meal

After lunch she wanted to go check out some local clothing stores and I decided to go check out some local butchers. There was one I really wanted to check out and it was close enough to walk over to so I made my way there. Reynon has been a part of Lyon's gastronomy scene since 1937.


The butcher shops in France are out of this world and Reynon was a stunner. The type of place you can find something to eat for pretty much every day of the week. Even the prepared foods looked wonderful. It put pretty much every place in the US to shame. Here are a couple photos below.  

Sights from Reynon

What brought me here was a head cheese I had read about. It's called Tete roulee pistachee which translates to rolled pigs face with pistachio. Said to be one of the country's great bites. I got the smallest cut I could which was about half of a circle cut piece about two inches deep. I brought it back to the AirBNB where we indulged in it with the wonderful bread I bought earlier. Take me back!

Rolled Pigs Face with Pistachios

As the evening approached we waited for my friends to make contact with us before we all met up for dinner. I chose a place that gets lots of online love for it's somewhat modern take on bouchon food. In the tradition of the city's original bouchons this place is run by three young woman cooking family recipes with a little bit of their own modern touches. But nothing too out of the norm.

 Le Bouchon Des Filles 

The menu here was pretty simple in that you choose an entree (all 29 euros) and that comes with an assortment of stuff on top of the main dish. The closest thing the USA has to Lyon style Bouchons is the Wisconsin Supper Club. This is evident in the beginning of the meal as your table gets three huge portions of whats basically a relish tray on steroids. These dishes are common in bouchons.

 Lentils with Shallots at Le Bouchon des Filles

This up above was a simple dish that tasted so much better than it looks and or sounds. It's just cold lentils with shallots in a mayo based sauce but it had so much flavor and the texture of the lentil was perfecto. Moving on the next plate up was a pickled herring dish on top of thinly sliced carrots with sliced almonds and dill. I dont love pickled fish but this was the best version of the dish I've had.

 Pickled Herring Plate

Then there was the chicken liver pate which was also out of this world. The fact this was just the beginning of the meal and not the main course was unbelievable. I would've happily paid $26 euro for what we had ate up to this point. On top of that they'll happily bring you more if you request it.

 Chicken Liver Pate at  Le Bouchon des Filles

 Amuse Bouche (Creamy Asparagus Soup Shot)

By the time the entrees came around we had already gone through a massive amount of food and at least two or three bottles of wine. The latter of which was wonderful as we had my buddy from Paris who knows his shit making the selections bottle by bottle. The entree selection wasn't massive but it did include a whats what of Lyon favorites as well as a Paris favorite in Bo Bun. This is where the modern side of this bouchon can be seen as it's basically a Vietnamese dish you wont find at any other bouchon in town. Vermicelli rice noodles are topped with, in this case, fall apart tender pork.

 Pork Bo Bun Bowl at Le Bouchon des Filles

I knew what I was getting weeks before we dined and that was going to be the Quenelle which is one of Lyon's most iconic dishes. As explained on Wiki "A quenelle is a small or moderate quantity of a mixture of creamed fish or meat, sometimes combined with breadcrumbs, with a light egg binding, usually formed into an egg-like shape, and then cooked. The usual preparation is by poaching," The pike dumpling is then topped with a creamy sauce usually made from crayfish stock. I read that Le Bouchon Des Filles makes a lighter quenelle than norm but I wouldn't know as this was my first time trying the popular French dish. How was it? One of the best things I ate all year. No doubt about it.

 Quenelle at Le Bouchon des Filles

As if this wasn't already an enormous amount of food we still had a couple courses to go. Reminder that this was under 30 euros per person not including drinks. Ridiculous. So after our entree plates were cleared we got a cheese plate with a taster of two types of cheese both of which tasted great.

 Cheese Sampler 

Then it was time for dessert. I opted for the praline cake and ice cream and it was the only miss of the meal. Too damn sweet for me but the cheese was in fact all I needed to end a wonderful meal. I loved the food, I loved the service, and I loved the atmosphere of this place. Memorable meal for sure.

Praline Dessert

After dinner we bought a couple bottles of wine from the restaurant and took them over to a local park. Unfortunately the town is dead on Mondays and Tuesdays so we were told and that was obvious in the fact we were the only people out and about. When the wine ran out we had no choice but to go try and find a bar. After ending up in a whorehouse (by accident you heathens) and then a shit bar for young Lyon folk and Americans studying abroad, we sampled another one of the city's claims to food fame. But you wont read about this dish in any Michelin Guide. It's a story still waiting to be told.

 Break Time Kabobs 

I first learned of the Lyon style Taco from the ever adventurous David Hammond. Anyone that knows my love for not just tacos but also weird regional eats knew I would be all over this bastard of a dish. So what is it? Well it's called a taco but eats more like a burrito but taste nothing like Mexican food. So if not Mexican than what kind of food does it taste like? That's hard to say when there's ingredients from the likes of the Middle East, France, Africa, Mexico, USA and so on.

 Lyon Style Taco

I'm not sure there's anyone out there that can give us an answer on it's exact origins but the idea is you put meat inside a tortilla and include fries as well as Middle Eastern sandwich toppings. Really the only thing Mexican about it is the fact it's rolled like a burrito. Despite the fact I had my fluent in French friend with me we were not able to get any type of answer regarding the history of this dish. All I know is it's found all over Lyon and they actually taste pretty great after a long night out. 

The insides of a Lyon Style Taco

After taking a little extra time to get ready the next morning, beer, wine, whiskey, champagne will do that, we took off for the Paul Bocuse Food Hall. Portrayed in the art on the building in the picture below Paul Bocuse is a living legend in these parts. He's one of the country's greatest chef's and Lyon is very proud to call him their own as this is where he's from and still resides today. His list of accomplishments is to long to list but if you go over to his Wiki page you can learn all about him.

Les Halles de Paul Bocuse (across the street)

This market bearing the famed chefs name is one of the best food halls you'll ever come across. From a pure shopping perspective the place has close to 60 stalls and you can find pretty much anything you need. It's overwhelming but well worth a visit as you can also lunch at one of the many restaurants that holds court inside the building. My pics dont do the place justice but nonetheless.

Sights from Les Halles de Paul Bocuse 

After spending a good 40 minutes roaming from stall to stall and trying everything from sausage bites to Canelé we decided to sit and do lunch. Most of the places serve food for lunch only and while some closed before 2p others were open until past 3p. One of the places was more packed than the others and the menu seemed to have something for everyone so we had them clear us a table.

Resto Halle 

The menu here was a bunch of local favorites made with meats purchased from the stall located directly across the hall from it. For starters we got what else but a salad lyonnaise. I'm not sure there's such thing as a bad one of these but this was the least loved of all the ones I tried. Good not great.

Salad Lyonnaise

Moving onto the good stuff I couldn't help but get another round of the local sausage paired with perfectly cooked potatoes. It's by no means an extravagant dish but damn is it delicious. The food in Lyon is all about comfort and this was probably the best plate of sausage I've ate in a long time.

Lyon Style Garlic Sausage 

Feeling a wee bit hungover I also went with a big ass plate of Veal Milanese. It came with a big pile of fresh cut fries but unfortunately they weren't fresh fried. The Milanese did it's job but this wasn't one of the better things I ate and it's not something I'll ever long for again. Same goes for dessert.

Veal Milanese 

All in all the best part about this meal aside from the sausage was the company we kept. It was great being with my wife and old friends in a place so food and wine driven. In hindsight we probably should've ate somewhere else but we just didn't have the time to go to the food hall and then go eat somewhere else when everywhere closes around 2 or 3p before reopening for the evening at 7 or 8.

Pink Praline Pie 

While she rested I walked around the neighborhood and decided to stop into a butcher and buy some pate. Lyon has so many of these style of shops that you cold get lost all day and always be near something delicious from one of these. Which is why I recommend getting a AirBNB with fridge etc.

Le Domaine de Limagne

I got some foie gras pate encrusted in bread seen below and it was so damn decadent I wanted to make plans to move to France right then and there. Everything is so good I cant stress it enough.

Sights from Le Domaine de Limagne

Our last meal of the trip came later that evening. You could tell we were all feeling the effects of the previous night though La Mere Jean would be the perfect place to relax and laugh. It's as small as a newborn baby but as old as your grandpa. It's been here since 1923.

La Mere Jean

The menu here isn't big but it has something for everyone. This was part of the reasoning in my choosing in that one of my friends is a semi picky eater but he loves steak. So much so he had it at all three spots we ate out as a group. I had come for the crispy breaded tripe but Lyon had to frustrate me one last time as the guy who just ordered before me had gotten the last one. I still ate well.

Lentil Salad with Shallots at La Mere Jean

An opening round of the lentils we enjoyed so much the previous night was a hit this night as well. We also had an excellent Salad Lyonnaise made with big pieces of pork that tasted more like ham than bacon. Either way they were so tender and full of pork flavor we couldn't help but get another.

Salad Lyonnaise at La Mere Jean

The local garlic sausage boiled with potatoes was so good at each previous stop we ordered it again while here. You know the drill. It didn't disappoint. One of the best plates of food for $10 out there.

Lyon Style Sausage and Boiled Potatoes 

The less adventurous eaters were thrilled with the chicken slathered in white cream sauce while the rest of us loved our Onglet de Bouef (skirt steak) with Saint Marcellin cheese sauce. The scalloped potatoes with my steak were out of this world while a mushroom pate also on the side was divine

Chicken with Cream

Skirt Steak at La Mere Jean

This was yet another meal where I couldn't believe the price. While the wine wasn't as good as the options at our previous stops the desserts were by far the best of the bunch. Our group had five people in it and that's about the max you can get unless you call and plan something with them as I swear this place only sat about 25-30 people. If you want classic France you'll experience it here.

Dessert at La Mere Jean

By this time I was ready to get out of Lyon but only because I wasn't sure my body could take anymore of it's heavy ass food. This isn't the type of place you travel to if you weigh yourself everyday. Nonetheless it's the type of place you travel to if you love to eat and drink like a king/queen. Which is why when looking back on my trip I realize that even though we basically forfeited one of our days we still did plenty. I definitely feel like we did damage but in a city with 20,000 restaurants there's always more. After that it was back to Paris to spend the back-end of our five day stay there (coming soon).

Sights from Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. See ya next time.

Note: Feel free to use my Lyon Google Map Guide which lists all of the restaurants featured in this post plus many more I didn't get to try. Click HERE to see it. As always thanks for reading.


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