Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crêpes by Candlelight

Don't get me wrong, I love my tortilla and jamon, but on Saturday night it was time to take a break from Spanish cuisine. A friend I work with, Roxanna, is from Paris and invited me to dinner at a French crêperie called Breizh for a traditional Brittany dining experience. When I was studying in Greece I tried my fair share of crêpes, both savory and sweet, but something told me these would taste different- and they did! My idea of French food consists of cheese, wine, baguettes and macarons. I mean, what more do you need, really.. I have never been to France nor have I ever been close to anyone from the country so my knowledge of its cuisine is actually quite limited. When Roxanna invited me to go out with some of her friends I was thankful to try something new and expand, if only a little, my limited idea of french food.

As we wound our way through the narrow streets of Malasaña I introduced myself to her French, German and English friends in the common language we shared- Spanish. The moment we entered the small restaurant, the power cut out and everything went dark. Turns out they were having some issues with their electricity, but the owner/chef welcomed us with some French cider while we waited for them to fix the problem. We were in no rush and happy to sip on some free cider surrounded by soft pink candles, joking that we were to have a heightened gastronomical experience with our limited sense of sight. When it became clearer that the problem was not to be fixed anytime soon they offered us a discounted price with a list of crêpes they were still able to make without power in the restaurant. All of us feeling too lazy to change locations at that point in the night, we chose to stay. I decided on a crêpe with jamon de pato, caramelo de naranja y pistachos (dried, thinly sliced duck meat, orange honey and pistachios), and I was NOT disappointed by the choice. The thin, flaky crepe mixed with the sweet sauce and salty duck was a perfect blend and I savored every bite, wanting more when there was nothing left on my plate. Everyone feeling similarly, we decided to order more, moving from savory to sweet. So it was with chocolate, fruit, nutella and ice cream crêpes that we finished the night, discussing tv series and how annoying the job of teaching languages can be. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a Saturday evening. 

I find that with every new experience my eyes open wider and my mind is humbled by the friendliness of strangers. This city is filled with people from all over the world who offer me insight, generosity and friendship, and I find it somewhat ironic: it is with strangers from all over the world that the city feels starts to feel more like home.. 

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