I wasn't feeling well the Monday evening we were in Saint-Etienne during my trip to France. The salmon I had earlier in the day didn't agree with me. I almost skipped dinner, but I thought I'd go and hang with the crew for the evening.
I'm glad I did. We went to a funky little restaurant with a country/farm theme to it - Cornes d'Aurochs (see map), which roughly translates into "Horns of the Ox." It is run by the charismatic Bruno Billamboz (shown at left) and his wife, Adele.
Cornes d'Aurochs has a lot of old time farm implements and tools on the walls and on shelves. They have little models of cattle and farm animals and a lot of little tractors. Since the Quad Cities is the home of John Deere, I had to take this picture of this miniature John Deere tractor.
For dinner, we had our choice of a chicken dish, lamb or beef. I went with the beef, which was a thin piece of sirloin steak in a wild mushroom sauce. It had a medley of vegetables along with it.
Other than the fact that I wasn't feeling all that well, the food was very good. I hardly finished the steak, though. I was so gassy and bloated, I just felt like I was going to blow up.
Still Bruno and his wife were very nice people. In their broken English, they found that I was from Iowa and being that their restaurant was farm themed, they were very impressed that someone from Iowa was eating in their place. And that had to be a first for any Iowan eating in a restaurant in France.
Bruno's big thing is to take pictures of people under his huge ox horns he has hung in his restaurant. My colleague, Todd Hurry, took this picture when Bruno had me sit there and he sent it to me. Other than the fact that I felt like shit, the picture is rather funny.
As an aside - I stood up and looked at the tag on the bottom of the plaque. The ox horns were mounted by the Jonas Brothers taxidermy studio of Broomfield, CO. I about crapped (literally and figuratively) on the spot.
Years ago, I had a friend - Steve Miller - who lived across the hall from me when I first had an apartment in Newton, IA. Steve was dating this girl whose mother married Joe Jonas, one sons of the Jonas Brothers, who are world renown taxidermists. We went out there a couple of times and I visited Joe's studio in Broomfield. It was absolutely one of the most fascinating places I've ever visited.
Of course, nobody believed that I knew the taxidermy studio that did the horns for Bruno. But at that point in time, I really didn't give a shit. I was more interested in getting back to the hotel to - unfortunately - purge my dinner.