Brassiere Georges, established in 1839, was a big recommendation from our waiter Joël from Les Files Gueles. He said on Sunday, it’s busy with French families who get together for a traditional lunch.
It was a 25-minute walk from our hotel, out of the main hub of Lyon. It felt like we were in suburbia. Walking in, it was like entering a huge train station. The place was massive with high ceilings, huge windows, ornate light fittings, booths of tables with red bench seats set in long rows, tiled floor, white linen, and French groups and families everywhere. It must have sat 400 people or more. Smartly dressed waiters in waistcoats and bow ties were scurrying around delivering dishes, or at tables mixing beef tartar in front of diners and serving dishes from platters.
The menu featured traditional dishes, speciality Lyonaisse dishes, and some special sauerkraut dishes, which I thought was a bit unusual. For entree, I choose the Lyonaisse salad, like a Caesar salad with chicken, bacon, croutons, and poached egg. The chicken was a sliced roulade that had been layered with ham and smoky bacon. The salad was fresh, crunchy, and seasoned perfectly.
Zorba had cold mullet with tomato. His dish was pretty to look at, and the tomato complemented the mullet beautifully.
For main, my eyes popped out of my head when Zorba’s sauerkraut and sausage came to the table. It was the biggest dish I’ve seen served in France with a soccer ball size of sauerkraut. Oh dear, what affects will have later on? The efficient waiter served Zorba’s meal at the table and left the platter on a rack warmed with tea-light candles. Zorba happily chomped through the frankfurt, thick slab of bacon, the sausage, gammon and potatoes, as well as eating all that sauerkraut. He hates to waste good food, clearly.
I ordered veal in white wine with mashed potatoes that was delicate and delicious. The white wine sauce was creamy and thick, the veal was beautifully tender, and the rustic mash was perfectly seasoned. It says a lot when I don’t have to reach for the salt. However, I was so engrossed by the amount of food in front of Zorba that I actually forgot to take a photo of my dish – sorry!
Every so often, the waiters would stop and clap and ‘Happy Birthday’ would start to play on an organ as a birthday cake is brought out to one of the tables. All patrons would clap and sing, including us – it was lovely! Well, it was lovely for the first three times, before it started becoming a bit of an interruption. It must’ve happened 12 times during our lunch.
For dessert, we shared a crunchy chocolate praline. The top layer was smooth like a mousse, and the bottom layer was biscuity and contained crisp bits of praline. It was gorgeous, and I was glad to share it.
We had a pot (500ml) of Chablis that was just gorgeous. I’m really enjoying the white wine in France. It’s less acidic – or so it feels – than Australian whites.
Our final bill for two entrees, two mains, one dessert, a pot of wine and bottle of sparking water came to 108 Euro. It was a fantastic experience to a traditional Sunday lunch at a French Brassiere.
Verdict: 9/10 – come for a traditional French lunch experience
30 Cours de Verdun, 69002 Lyon
Tel: +33 (0)4 72 56 5454