Monday, March 29, 2010

Black Forest Crepe

The Black Forest Crepe at the Landmark Cafe... Mine never look this good

This weekend I took Miss Lu and Mr. Man to visit Grandma, the trip was more about having fun than food but you know me I am going to talk about food anyway. I was doing my best to be a good hubby and give Kris a couple of days to herself and some time to do some stuff around that house that we can't ever get done because we actually enjoy hanging out with the kiddos more than we enjoy having a Better Homes and Garden's style home.

Miss Lu and Mrs. A hangin' at the Landmark

Miss Lu and I did manage to take a side trip with my good friend Mrs. A. we went to the Landmark Cafe in Galesburg IL for ice cream. The Landmark holds a lot of memories for me, I worked there for a while after I was fired by Satan's older sister, (she taught him every thing he knows). I was the F & B Manager at a small retirement community and was miserable every day that I went there, so the Dark Witch letting me go wasn't the worst thing that I had ever had happen... I rolled with it and went to work at this small Cafe and Crepere that kind of seems out of place in Galesburg. I started there as a waiter working mostly lunches and brunch/lunch on weekends. I really wanted a break from being a manager for a while.

Of course that plan hardly ever works for me, the manager there, Phil, took me under his wing for some reason it seemed that he saw something in me that others (like the Dark Witch) didn't. After I had worked there for a couple of months there was a kitchen fire.

Oh crap... that will kill a waiter's job quick, but like I said Phil seemed to have taken a liking to me so he asked me to help out with the clean-up and restoration of the place. I was a quick study to plumbing, electric work, refinishing wood and antiques “whatever, I got ya' covered.” After a few weeks of that the Chef at his other restaurant the "Jumping Bean" quit and Phil asked me if I would take on the Chef Manager position there, how the hell did that happen? I got nothin'… either I was so good at refinishing the restaurant equipment that my boss was impressed by my enthusiasm and work ethic or so bad at it that he feared I would destroy his baby. Whatever it was this is the point that food, cooking, and all things culinary went from being part of my job to being something more...

If I had a question about Mexican food my boss would find me a cookbook to learn from (some of them still on my bedside table almost 20 years later). If I wasn’t familiar with a cut of meat Phil would send me to the Packinghouse (a steakhouse down the street) to learn to cut beef. "Bryan just figure out what you need to run your restaurant better." Sometimes after we closed for the night at 11:00 I would pull stuff and start preparing food for the next day’s special, just in case there was a disaster. I spent mornings reading culinary books and magazines and evenings trying to pull the stuff off. Mostly things worked well, some things, didn’t Southwest Meatloaf stuffed with Roasted Poblanos come to mind.

Anyway I get nostalgic about this restaurant because that was the time that I went from a mind set of “I am a food service manager that could as easily manage a toy store or tire shop.” To the annoying nerdy foodie guy I am today.

Ok sometimes I talk too much… Recipe:

Like I said Mrs. A Miss Lu and I were going out for ice cream. Just ice cream in a cup for Miss Lu Mrs. A and I needed the Black Forest Crepe.  The Black Forest Crepe  is a legend it is a decadent beast... Haagan Daz Ice Cream wrapped in a chocolate crepe topped with cherries, whipped cream and sliced almonds.

I am not sure that I could copy the Landmark's recipe for Chocolate Crepes if I wanted to (it has been almost 20 years) but here is one from

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Mix all ingredients together in a blender then set aside for an hour (or refrigerate  overnight) when it is time to cook lightly spray a large pan with pan spray and put about 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan  roll the pan around so the batter spreads evenly and return to heat for about a minute.  Flip and cook other side for a few seconds then remove from heat and set aside.

When it comes time to impress your friends take one crepe set two scoops of ice cream in it (one chocolate and one vanilla if you are me) and wrap burrito style.  put a couple of dollops of cherry pie filling on a plate and garnish with whipped cream and sliced almonds.


  1. Hi Bryan!! I'm glad you were in but sorry to miss you. Let me know when you are coming in next time. (and bring back those cookbooks :-)


  2. We use to visit Galesburg when we lived in Chicago. Then it was like taking a step backward in time. I also remember how nice it was to see undulation in the landscape. I love the crepes you shared with us today. Have a fantastic holiday. Blessings...Mary

  3. What a fun trip! I loved the story about how you transformed into a food geek. It happens to the best of us!

  4. Phil Dickinson, Oh my GOD! what brings you to my quiet little corner of the web? I am so happy to hear from you! I will definitely look you up before I visit again! Oh and the cookbooks they are mine now all mine!

    Phoo-D thanks, Yes I didn't realize the transformation was taking place until it was too late...

  5. Hey Bryan what a great story!
    You were meant to be on the other side of the just didn't know it at the time. With kids that tired it must of been a great holiday!

  6. I have an google alert set for the Landmark Cafe and your blog popped up and here I am. (and just like before....I am watching)

  7. Now that Mrs. A. looks like a wise and sassy broad! :)

    That crepe looks to-die-for!