Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lyon; Grand Café de la Soierie

This Saturday I spent most of the day in bed. My left shoulder was already hurting a bit before I left but my flight didn't help my case at all. I was sitting by the window next to a man who had no concept of personal space whatsoever. I'm too awkward to let people know it annoys me so I usually use subtle signs to let them know. For some reason I have a feeling he was doing it on purpose. His feet and elbow were on my side, touching me all the time ... *shivers*. Even more awkward is he often fell asleep his head turned towards me.

Here, a picture of how I spent this six hour flight.


Swiss Air seats are very comfortable but damnit this guy ruined everything.

So what was I saying? Yes I spent the whole day in bed wishing the pain would go away. My left side is still a bit sensitive but it's mostly gone now.

Basically I didn't get to visit a gym nor my university but that's okay, this can be done another day. In the evening I went for a walk around Croix Rousse, went down to Pont Lafayette and then Gare Part-Dieu. Obviously everything was closed except for bars and restaurants.

I had spotted this bar when I got here, le Grand Café de la Soierie (and other places obviously) so I gave it a try because it looked warm and cozy (and because it's in Croix Rousse, basically next to where I live). I got in and was already prepared to get bad service because I have been told this is the way in France. There were two ladies, one at the bar (probably the boss) and a waitress. They both looked at me and said hello but that was it ... didn't ask me if I was looking for something or someone. I talked to the older one and told her I wasn't from here so I didn't know whether I could sit where I wanted or if they had to assign me a seat. Apparently you can just walk in, sit where you want, and hope the waitress saw you or else you'll never get service.

After I had sat down the waitress comes and asks me what I want to order ... euh dude I don't know? I told her I wanted to eat and drink but didn't know what was on the menu. So she left. After a while (which seemed like an eternity to me but I guess that was because I was alone and still don't have a cellphone) a waiter comes to me and hands me a menu saying "I've been told you wanted to eat, right?" In my mind I laughed. He looked like a typical French guy with a mustache. All that was missing was the scarf and beret.

I took a look at the menu which didn't look like a bar menu ... they had frog, beef tartare, cheese, sandwiches, wine by the glass or the bottle, many types of ice creams and sorbets ... I might have to come back try the other items on the menu. I ordered the honey duck with potato gratin (gratin dauphinois) and a glass of white beer ... don't remember the name.



The place was quite nice. There are tables, a bar and tables outside as well. For some reason kids are allowed in bars here ... obviously they can't drink alcohol. People come here to have a coffee or a drink with friends. I felt like such a loner haha. There were television screens displaying music videos so I was watching them while I was waiting for my order.


The beer came first with a small bowl of olives. I don't know if that's the way everywhere but it's okay I was happy to be able to put some food in my mouth.




Green olives, kalamata olives, spicy olives ... it was an interesting selection. I love olives so I was quite happy. Unfortunately for me I didn't have the time to eat a lot when the waiter came with my plate ... and took away my nibbles. But I wasn't even mad because the portion was huge.




The gratin could have been a meal by itself. It's supposed to be a side dish but I think I could have shared it with someone. The gratin was quite rich. But I can't say much because it is the first time ever I eat gratin dauphinois. Yep. Oh shame on me.




I was surprised to see the size of my portion of duck. Like an entire breast. Something tells me I am going to abuse duck for the rest of my stay. The nice part about it is the waiter asked me how I wanted my duck, told him pink. And guess what I got?




Delicious bloody fat duck. No, do not worry. Duck meat is still good for you even if it's pink inside. I don't know why it applies to duck but not to chicken or turkey. Go figure.


And as if it wasn't enough, the waiter brings me fresh water and a basket of bread, as well as salt, pepper and ... DIJON MUSTARD. At first when I saw the yellow bottle I was like oh ew, yellow mustard. Then I thought no, I'm in France, there's no such thing as yellow mustard here. I was right. Dijon. I blessed my gratin with some of it.




So I had all this for myself. See that amount of bread? This is what they give you in Montreal for a table of six.


I took my time eating and savoring. I don't know if that is considered as good but I don't give a damn. I would never eat that in a bar in Montreal. The honey duck was very sweet but very good. It was a good idea to pair it with white beer. I dipped a bit of bread in the sauce but not too much because I was already starting to feel full.


The service was, to my surprise, quite good. I think it was just that waiter that was nice to me because he must have seen I wasn't from here. He asked me where I was from so I said Montreal which, apparently, he has been to before. We both agreed on the fact that Lyon and Montreal look a lot alike. The main difference is the way people wait in line ... perfect line up in Montreal, first come first serve free for all in France. Oh and jay walking is a lot worse than it is in Montreal.

When he gave me my bill, it was 20,10€ (29,05CAD). In France tip and taxes are included. Less hassle thinking "damnit how much should I leave for the guy" but it might also explain the reason why the service is generally considered as meh. In Canada you gotta work your ass off to earn your tip.

I was quite glad I had such a nice waiter. The girl disappeared after she talked to me the first time. I guess it was the end of her shift anyways. But even if she had stayed she probably wouldn't have cared as much as he did.

The only thing I have to say against this place is the use of Comic Sans on their fronts of the building. I mean really? The funny part is so far I have the feeling Comic Sans is used a lot in Lyon.


So I guess that is it for tonight. Before I leave maybe I should mention something about the fact that I am sharing my blog url with my friends ... yes I have started blogging quite a while ago but never had the guts to tell more than a few people about it. Many of my older posts are quite crappy. But eh who cares. I find sharing stories using a blog is much more interesting than on Facebook. So go ahead, read and make fun of me :)

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