I confess that I had been feeling like a hound dog for some days, crying all the time. Not tears of woe but tears of fucking desperation as it had become apparent to me that my new internet server had never caught a rabbit and was certainly no friend of mine. As with all good things, all bad things must come to an end which end found me standing in a misty car park clutching an over designed cardboard box filled with wire and plastic that would serve to allow me to do that which I am now doing. The all pervading greyness of the occasion caused my memory to alight on the acronym GUM which, on that damp muffled morning in an empty provincial town, spoke volumes to me of erstwhile grim Soviet melancholy, only lacking in precision that which the insertion of the letter “L”after the letter”G” would have afforded. I have never been to Moscow, or indeed to Russia, so my sentiments are without foundation ….. as is our house which, never the less, stands as solid as a rock, unlike my conceptions that change with the frequency of a paper table cloth in a busy French brasserie.
And so the table cloth of my mind is whipped away from beneath the last set of dismal thoughts revealing a reverie of where and how I like to eat. There is an ambiance to a “bouchon”, which is where this dream is set, that cannot be recreated with carefully considered design or a kitchen bent on cleverly crafting dishes from combinations of ever more obscure ingredients. This is “echt”. Good charcuterie, pate en croute, oeufs meurettes, truites d’Iraty meuniere, classic desserts, followed by well chosen cheese and affordable wines. Ideal in its simplicity yet so very difficult to find….why?
Beautifully photographed – captures the quality of the place. Of course even ‘simple’ food – pâtés en croûte, salad dressings etc – requires a good craftsman’s skills and innate appreciation of what is good rather than just an assemblage of ingredients.
Too right…and the chefs in the bouchons of Lyon are top craftsmen:)
I have family in Lyon, and my mother buried there, so know the place well, including La Meunière. Always enjoy taking gourmand friends to a good bouchon.
I also enjoyed Le Potager…I think a chef from Le Potager now cooks at La Meuniere:)
did you manage to visit/photograph the Marche Paul Bocuse? Poulets de Bresse at 50+ euros (!), huge range of saucissons, cheeses etc etc all beautifully presented. A bit touristy maybe, but top quality.
I did indeed visit the marche Paul Bocuse…wonderful,but a nightmare to photograph the products…but, as you say, fantastic produce …loved it:)
Glum rock… didn’t that come after the 70s and continue up to the present day?
That looks like my kind of restaurant, I’m sure it would blow away the grey skies and drizzle – is it in Lyon?
Yes, it’s called La Meuniere and is a classic bouchon Lyonnais
I could eat there every day 😉
I went to another place, Le Potager, that served the most gigantic marrow bones…very good:)
Perhaps I could alternate lunch and dinner between the two!
I want to eat there. Now.
You’ll have to do a Lyon trip, Rosemary..I think you’d love it.
No one seems to know how to present food and dining as well as the French. I miss that so I thank you for this lovely meander through your mind and food and ambiance.
Cheers, Joss, thanks for visiting:)
My, you write so well. I truly felt your desperation when your internet server was actually a snail. I believe internet escargot is in order.
As far as the grace of a brasserie goes, perhaps it has to do with switching off conscious thought when doing something. They’ve been doing that dance so long, that it is now natural? I have found that people with true style really don’t think about it. They just do.
Have a wonderful day.
~Janet @ The Kitchen Bridge
Many thanks for a lovely comment…delightful:)
Simplicity.. always wins.. c
When you can find it:)
Hmm, the attack of the Gremlins. Nothhing like a good brasserie to cure those blues. My mind conjures now the food of my favourite in Beane.
I feel for you about the server. I am going through worse with the new window 8 laptop and without the photoshop. But I am forgetting about the problem and sipping wine thinking of the good I ate at Marche de Paul Bocuse. I can’t travel at the moment though I want to fly there tomorrow. Thanks.
Windows 8 is a nightmare…can’t understand why they created it…same goes for Vista. Good luck!
Why oh why can’t I have restaurants like this near me? I would promise I would never tire of them.
It never fails to amaze me why there aren’t more of them. Good food at reasonable prices in a warm atmosphere is all we want….I have heard that La Meuniere is under new management and the prices have risen quite steeply.
Oh that’s a shame. Too bad they can’t follow the mantra ” if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
You are so right, about the glumness of tech woes, about the joy of simple, well prepared food, about Lyon… sigh. Long lives the memory of the best brûlée of my life. RIP.
Excellent memory…we need to hang on to those:)
Now you have me craving some charcuterie and pate en croute…I will admit though, sometimes, when I’m alone, that pate goes straight from the knife into my mouth.
You’re not alone:)
Consistently good simple affordable food and internet coverage both are joyous when present and woeful when not. Far too many pretenders.
It’s so easy to make a restaurant or an internet offer LOOK good….:)
GUM – surprisingly, I know – is actually quite a cheerful place. You’d meet people by the fountain inside there and eat ice cream back in the day. But I digress – even a glum day (and oh vey, the frustrations of phone & internet service are pervasive) can be brightened up with all that lovely Lyonnaise food.
I knew they’d be someone who had visited GUM and would have good things to say about it! It was the name that suited my piece and I’m pleased to find out that it’s not as glum as it sounds:)
So glad you remembered such an ‘echt’ place [indeed 🙂 !] to chase away the glumness of everyday . . . wonderful what pictures in the mind can do . . .
They’re the most important:)
I love foundation-less sediments. They are with out a doubt my personal favourite!
Another cracking anecdote my friend 🙂
Why indeed. Masterchef has so much to answer for.
So right….apart from being among the most annoying programmes on TV:)0
Makes me want to get on the first plane to Lyon.
It’s a good time to be there, around Christmas…
So beautiful and that terrine looks insanely delicious.
The range of pate en croute in Lyon is fantastic:)
I’ve been reading lots of Elizabeth David and she has a chapter all about it.
It just shows that nothing much changes with truly good food 🙂
early Dec is an excellent time to visit Lyon, for the specatcular Fete des Lumieres – see http://www.fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr/en
I was only reading about it yesterday…I hadn’t heard of it before….many thanks for the link..
Good simple food can definitely chase away the gloom of a day. I’ve spent the morning catching up with all you have written and have enjoyed every moment. 🙂
Thanks for spending the time and I’m glad you enjoyed it…very much appreciated:)
It is always my pleasure Roger…sometimes I just don’t have enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to but I get it done eventually. 🙂