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12 October 2013

Stormy Friday Night in Café Breton

Friday night, the city is drenched in rain and the streets are littered with cars full of angry drivers.  To make most of the night, three of my friends who were available and willing to brave the rainy Friday night decided to just eat out.  Being the oldest of the group, I decided to educate these three twenty-something friends, who by the way, I first interviewed and hired after they graduated from college.  I remember them as enthusiastic bunch of young people full of confidence mixed with insecurities but youthful and promising. Fast forward, they are now successful, if not completely yet, but getting there. 

Top: Fire Ball. Middle: Excalibur.
Bottom: Vesuve
Still, I do not want them just spending their days and nights eating fast food and drinking coffee in the usual coffee shops.  It was time to diversify and expand the range of their palate.  Although most of them have eaten in many restaurants in the city, and they have tasted numerous kinds of drinks and dishes, I felt it was time to make them experience the highs and lows of eating without getting full.

Dining in Café Breton (ˈkæfeɪ  ˈbrɛtən) is the best introductory course. Café Breton is known for its assortment of crepes, with tastes varying from excellent to middling. Some dishes are worth your money but other dishes are excessively overpriced and should be avoided.  However, restaurants like Café Breton are not just about food, it is about finding an alternative to crowded dining places.  There are two kinds of places to eat:  the place you go “to be seen” and the place you go “not to be seen.” Like a movie star, if you have reached some level of success, you go to places where you will be invisible. If you are just starting, you want the press to be there so you go to places to be “seen.”

Places like Café Breton, in my opinion, are the midpoint.

The mini-culinary lessons started with Fire Ball, a dessert crepe with fruits flambéed in rum.  Considering these are twenty something kids, I thought it best to start with a blast!  Then we ordered a bottle of Breton’s Colombelle red wine, which was middling but it sufficed (white  wine was not available at that time.) After an informal lesson on how to hold a wine glass, how to pour and drink wine, we ordered Vesuve, a moderately priced crepe. The kids loved it. The four of us just shared because, after all, this was a mini-course. Then came Excalibur, which most of us thought had a nice presentation but not worth the price.  Lastly, we ordered Dracula, one of the cheapest crepes. 

In my opinion, the best crepes in Breton are always the do-it-yourself ones. You can have the option to have the usual crepe or the buckwheat gallette and then choose the ingredients that go with your crepe.

Bon appétit! Jeunes hommes et femmes!

Colombelle Red Wine (2012)
Before going to Tomas Morato, my friend A.R. and I headed to U.P. and ate in “Mang Larry’s Isawan.” We ordered grillé foie de poulet, and grillé intestin de poulet (isaw atay ng manok at isaw manok). Cheap and delicious as well. Ooh la la!

In English, crepe is pronounced as /kreɪp/ but in its original French, crêpe is pronounced like /cre-puh/.

Trinoma Branch
Café Breton in Trinoma also has friendly waiters and waitresses and if you are a regular, some of their staff greet you as you pass by their café even if you are not dining.  They also care about your belongings. One time, I did not realize that I left my cellphone in the café; I thought I lost it somewhere else.  The next day, Café Breton people called some of my friends informing them that they found my phone and they would keep it for safekeeping.  When I came to visit the café, they handed my phone back.

Source: Wikipedia

“Some galette-saucisse, an eastern Brittany 
speciality” by Trizek. This file is licensed under the 
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 
Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 
1.0 Generic license. The creator of the image 
does not endorse this blog. Click this 
for more info.
Did you know that Breton or Brittany (or Lesser Britain as opposed to Great Britain) is a cultural region in the northwest part of France? (1) Britanny is part of the Celtic nations, which includes Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales. (2)

Breton is also a Celtic language more closely related to languages in United Kingdom than French is, although most natives of Brittany speak French now.  UNESCO considers Breton as “severely endangered language” because very few people speak it and majority of them are in their 60s.  (1)

Pancakes (crepes) and galletes are the most widely known Breton food. (1)

Brittany flag part of public
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The two symbols that you see next to the Café Breton sign are ermine spots (3) that are also found in Breton’s flag and coat of arms that date back many centuries ago.

(1) “Celtic Nations,”, accessed 10/12/2013
(2) “Britanny,”, accessed 10/12/2013
(3) “Ermine (Heraldry),, accessed 10/12/2013

The epicureans (clockwise) Rob, Jaypee, Bianca and A.R.

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