The Universal Language of Bacon

20120912-002420.jpgOkay. I admit it — I cheated… Last night’s update was actually not posted until this morning. I’m glad I got that off my chest and can now move on.

Anyway I spent all day at the conference, and even went a little over due to a late meeting. During the free time between talks, I contemplated options for tonight’s dinner. I seriously considered going to the restaurant that had been recommended last night and looks great, but frankly food in Copenhagen is expensive and my wallet needs a break. I’m not just talking pricey… I’m talking, “this explains why the whole country is thin” expensive. I’m talking, “let’s take out a mortgage and have dinner” expensive. This isn’t just me choosing costly restaurants – this is just how Denmark is. The “cheap” places are ridiculously expensive. I’m not complaining about the prices at this establishment in particular. Rather I am yearning for their food, but setting personal limits.

Anyway, as great as every restaurant has been, I wanted to spend less tonight, but I still wanted something really good, so this time I eschewed the Michelin guide and went to Yelp! for aid. After some searching on Yelp! I finally settled on a creperie, La Pétanque, in the center of town. It wasn’t Danish, but it was well reviewed, so that was it!

Unfortunately, the menu was in French and Danish, neither of which are languages that mom or I speaks. Mom speaks English. I speak English. I can muddle through in Italian… and if the waitress is in labor I can speak Spanish. She wasn’t in labor, though, so we basically chose blindly. Fortunately, the Danish word for “bacon” is “bacon,” which was very helpful.

Mom and I started with a Rosé and soup. Mom started with an onion soup, which was served with croutons and cheese. When the onion soup arrived it was clearly not made with the beef broth, but rather the waitress reported that it was made with water and white wine. I have to say this was very different from an American French onion soup, as it was very much lighter and really a fantastic experience. I loved it, and think Mom did as well. I have heard in the past that traditionally onion soup was made with water and not beef broth, and now I understand why.

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My fish soup was just as outstanding. There were no chunks in it, and it was more of a fish stock or fish broth, probably with some tomatoes as well given the right color, but the flavor was simply perfect. It was served with croutons and cheese, and I made the mistake of dumping those in right off the bat. In retrospect I don’t think it really needed either. In fact I think they just distracted from the balance of the soup.

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After the soup came our Gallettes. Mom’s (number 33) had bacon, cheese, mushrooms, and an egg in a whole-wheat crepe. Sadly, mom doesn’t like soft-cooked eggs. Still… I can attest to the quality of the egg, while Mom can attest to the quality of the rest of the gallette.

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Mine (number 36) had ham, cheese, crème fraîche, onions, and potatoes. I think. In any case it was really really good.

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Finally, mom and I decided to split crêpe Suzette for dessert. This was caramelized apples in a crêpe, flambéed with Brandy, and served with vanilla ice cream. It was lovely. And with an espresso to finish the evening I was in heaven.

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After dinner we spoke with the delightful Danish couple next to us. Coincidentally enough, it turns out they had also been considering going to Marv og Ben, yet they also decided against it for financial reasons. The woman asked me about the prices in Copenhagen, and I tried to be tactful, but ultimately just said, “it is very expensive to eat here.” Apparently she was entirely aware of this and that had been the point she had been trying to make.

Now that we were satisfied, we went back to the hotel for the last night.

Big bonus for the evening: no need to take out a mortgage. Tonight a home-equity loan will suffice. And no, I’m really not kidding.

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