If you follow our travels, we recently visited Lyon, France and had a great experience there, including experiencing great Lyon Bouchon food. So we thought it would be fun to do a direct comparison of the food we had in a Lyon Bouchon to that found in Chef Aaron's St Jack in PDX. So here we go . . .
To match the foods we had in the Lyon, at St Jack's we ordered: Tablier de Sapeur (fried tripe), salade Lyonnais, escargots, and pommes frites.
From our perspective, St Jack's clearly has taken the French Bouchon staples and elevated them to Northwest standards.
• The Tablier de Sapeur at St Jack's was more delicate (thinner) and less 'greasy' than we found in Lyon and the 'sauce' at St Jack's was balanced and even added a 'texture' to the dish that was welcomed.
• The salade Lyonnais at St Jack's is made with frisee as opposed to 'greens' in Lyon. At St. Jack's, the bacon was meaty and nicely cooked (fat rendered) while in Lyon, it was mostly fat. Both came with a poached egg on top, where St Jack's was more soft/firm and Lyon was very 'runny'.
• The escargots at St Jack's were braised vs in shell in Lyon, so not a fair comparison - both excellent.
• The pommes frites at St Jack's were excellent - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, thin, seasoned to the point of being addictive with a side of 'sauce'. In Lyon, the frites were more like steak fries in America, very large, be well done, with no seasoning, but a side of mayo.
So there you are - if you are looking for Lyon style Bouchon cuisine in PDX, clearly Chef Aaron has mastered (and in some cases elevated) the Lyon Bouchon food experience.
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