Brains for Dinner at Le Bistrot Lyonnais

Last Friday we went to a restaurant just round the corner from the apartment I’ve been renting for the past 5 months in Avignon. I’ve seen this particular restaurant many times on my way to and from uni. It’s painted a dark purple and over the door in gothic gold letters it states: “Le Bistrot Lyonnais”.


Le Bistrot Lyonnais, proudly serving up brains on Rue Carreterie

Le Bistrot Lyonnais, with its slightly ominous exterior

It’s a family-run business, which is one of the many things I’ve come to love about France. At home in England many cities feel the same: there’s a Topshop, a Nando’s and a Costa Coffee. In France there are a lot more independently run shops and restaurants, which means you never know quite what to expect when you sit down for a meal.

Even so, I was left a little speechless at this little French restaurant. The chef breezes out of the kitchen wearing a pristine white chef’s hat. He remarks in a heavy French accent, “I’m a bum, you know?”

“…A bum?”

“Yeah, not a sex bomb though…” (It’s here I realise he meant to say bomb and not bum), “…a GASTRONOMIC bomb!” And with that final statement he hurries off into the kitchen to cook up some more delicious food.

I didn’t think the evening could get any more bizarre. Until, that is, my boyfriend decided to order la cervelle. It looks like squidgy fried pieces of cauliflower but it’s actually fried brains! Is my boyfriend a zombie?! My tourist instinct took over and I couldn’t help taking a photo.

A hearty portion of cervelle

A hearty portion of cervelle

Sorry for anyone who’s a bit squeamish out there. If it helps, I’m a vegetarian and a bit squeamish about eating brains too! It’s these surreal moments that make travelling so much fun and that make the year abroad such an unforgettable experience. Does any one else have any strange tales to tell of their travels?

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Emily B

About Emily B

Emily has now retired from blogging. Hello! My name's Emily. I'm in my fourth year of a French and Spanish degree here at Leicester, which is also where I was born and raised. When I'm not working at becoming trilingual, I love horror films and travelling (I spent my year abroad in Colombia and France). Read my blog and feel free to ask me any questions about the year abroad, about the city of Leicester, or about studying Modern Languages at Leicester.

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