Archive for June, 2010

The real fast food of France

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by aliaalafaireet

Sure there are Macdos here, but the real fast food of Lyon is the kebab joint. They are everywhere and everyone of them is a little bit different. They all boast something  makes them unique, like house made bread or Turkish coffee. My favorite kebab place is Kebab Golbasi on Rue St. Jean in Vieux Lyon. The kebabs are excellent, with onions and a hint of mint, but the real kicker, curry fries. Crunchy, salty fries, with a creamy curry sauce. This will be recreated in the US.


La Tartine

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by aliaalafaireet

A tartine is basically an open-faced sandwich, something I happen to love. When I was little my grandma would make us open-faced sandwiches made out of leftover roast. A thick slice of toasted white bread from her breadmaker (they were very a la mode at the time) piled high with mashed potatoes and roast and slathered in hot gravy.

At a little cafe close to my school we eat the french version. There are about 15 tartines on the menu, from cool chicken salad with spring vegetable, to a warm bree tartine with nuts and honey. In addition to the mainstays, there is a tartine du jour, which is usually what I order because it is always something quirky and wonderful.

My favorite thus far would have to be the ratatouille tartine with goat cheese and ham. I enjoyed because it was delicious, but also for it’s hearty grandma-like qualities.

A proper french breakfast

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 by aliaalafaireet

Friend at the train station

Every day I get up at 7:30, get dressed, have a quick breakfast with my French family accompanied by the morning news on the radio, and rush off to catch the 8:54 train into the city. A proper French breakfast consists 0f bread, toasted or natural, with butter or jam or both, and coffee. This is all according to my French mother Babette. She explains to me that bread is much more economical than the cornflakes her grandchildren now eat. My first official meal in France was a proper French breakfast. Babette and Alain do allow me a few American eccentricies, like orange juice, and milk in my coffee.

My train ride is beautiful. We leave from Lentilly and go passed pasture after pasture of horses and sheep, and the stray cats that amble along, enjoying the cool of the morning. We stop at little towns with names like Charbonniere-les-bains, La tour de Salvagny, and Ecully La-Demi-Lune, and while the suburbs get bigger and bigger as we go along, Lyon always appears suddenly, Poof! Right out of the trees. This is all very romatic and wonderful, but by the end of my train ride, as I am walking towards the metro, I am already a little hungry. By the time by classes start at 10:30 I am already thinking about what might be the plat du jour at the little cafe right next to my school. Perhaps it is slices of cold pork and beef with lettuce and cornichons, and wonderful zesty French mayonnaise. By the time my first class ends at 12:15, I am about ready to eat my arm.

Un Bouchon Lyonnais

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 by aliaalafaireet

That’s right! I am in France! For the next few weeks Lyon is my home. A bouchon is a type of restaurant unique to Lyon. They serve hearty fair, heavy on the meat, and are usually run by women. My group and I ate a wonderful lunch at Chez Mouniers. You can order an entree, a main course, cheese, and a dessert, for the very reasonable price of 11 euro. For my entree, I had a salad with warm fried rounds of goat cheese and a light mustardy dressing. Then I ate cannelles, with are these long sausage shaped souffee type things with a pate of chicken livers, tomato sauce, and olives. I have never liked liver before, the the pate just melts in your mouth with the sweetness of the tomato and the tart bite of the olives.

 Then I tried a cows milk cheese called Saint Marcelin. I appreciate that in France cheese is special enough to carry the name of a saint. It was a drier, very pungent cheese, the kind that will wake you up if you starting to doze off after a huge meal. Before dessert, I needed to find the bathroom. The door was painted bright blue and marked “W.C.” It was tiny, so tiny the I smacked my knees on the door trying to get up. It is things like this that give a restaurant charm. I was too full to eat a whole dessert, so I split a lemon tart with my professor.