Au Petit Bouchon ‘Chez Georges’
8 Rue Garet, 69001, Lyon, France
For our second venture into the world of bouchons, we decided on a more traditional restaurant that had been awarded the title of ‘Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais’. It was obvious upon entering that this was a local haunt – the owner didn’t speak a word of English and all the patrons were jabbering away in French. We were seated elbow-to-elbow with another group of diners, and thoroughly enjoyed the game of food charades that we played with the owner.
The set menu offered 2 courses for €20, 3 courses for €24 and 4 courses for €27, all fairly standard prices for this kind of meal.
For my entrée, I chose the Salade Lyonnaise, a traditional salad with bacon, croutons and a poached egg. I was taken aback by how large the serving was, although all the ingredients tasted fresh and were full of flavour. The liquid egg yolk acted as a great dressing and the generous scattering of croutons added great texture.
K’s starter was a charcuterie platter of sorts, which went very well with the bread provided. To his surprise, he was also presented with a huge terrine of pork and roasted carrots, which the owner set down on the table with a flourish and a few words of French. K wasn’t entirely sure whether he was expected to finish the whole thing, but not wanting to appear rude, he dug right in and ate as much as he could. It turned out that the entire terrine was not just for him, but for the whole communal table of 10 people, who all found it quite amusing that he had tried to eat it all. The owner thought it was hilarious and even encouraged him to have more after everyone else had had their serving, but by this stage K was too embarrassed to accept the offer.
The hilarity of the meal didn’t end there. K had ordered his main course fearlessly and without any understanding of what any of the dishes were. When it was presented to him, I suspected straight away what it was, but he didn’t clue on until he had taken a few bites. It finally dawned on him that he’d never had this cut of meat before, and upon tasting it myself, it was clear that K had ordered himself some intestine.
Having now done some research on the dish, I now know that andouillette is a sausage made from intestines, and is actually very commonly used in traditional French cooking. It had the distinctive taste and smell of intestine, which can be quite enjoyable for some, although I found it a bit off-putting to be completely honest. This particular andouillette was very rich, as was the parsley sauce that accompanied it, so K struggled to finish the whole dish, although he made a very good effort. All in all, we were glad to have tried it, but it wasn’t an entirely enjoyable experience.
For my main, I ordered the tablier de sapeur knowing that it was a very classic tripe dish. I had read about it prior to travelling to Lyon so I knew that it was something I wanted to try, and I had had a lot of experience with tripe before and knew that I enjoyed eating it. It was a very simple piece of tripe that had been breaded and fried (much like a schnitzel), and I thought it was quite tasty. The sauce did well to cut through the heaviness of the batter and the tripe was nice and tender.
By the time dessert rolled around, both K and I were absolutely stuffed, but couldn’t say no to a shared bowl of baked apple and cinnamon ice-cream which ended the meal very nicely.
We both loved the home-cooking style of Chez Georges. The atmosphere was very friendly and the owner made us feel like we were part of the family (the odd uncle and aunt who didn’t know what was happening most of the time). The food was delicious, although I would definitely recommend my tripe dish over K’s, unless you’re very adventurous. If you’re in Lyon and want to have an authentic bouchon experience, this restaurant would be a great choice!