A bouchon is an informal, bistro-style restaurant serving local specialities. I went to one of the most traditional, the Café des Fédérations, 'founded a long time ago'. It's typically furnished: nothing glamorous or contemporary, just relaxed and homely with red checked serviettes, friendly service and a menu heavy on local dishes and ingredients.
Pig products feature heavily, and my aperitif came with a basket of pork scratchings. The starter was a huge assortment of charcuterie, lentil salad, and a salade lyonnaise with bacon, croutons and egg. The choice of main courses included boudin noir (black pudding) and apple, calf's head, andouillette (chitterling sausage) with mustard, and quenelle with prawn sauce. Hardly a vegetarian paradise, I'm afraid! I chose the quenelle, which is a sort of fish dumpling and very much a Lyon speciality. It isn't pretty, but it is tasty. By contrast, the cheese plate was both pretty and tasty - although by this stage in the meal, I could barely scratch the surface of it!
As well as having a great meal, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to experience an amazing bit of the city's heritage. With a few glasses of wine, it was also a lot more relaxing than museums and the like...
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