These last three weeks were full of travel, travel, and more travel, and then as is often the case, we caught the plague. Well, okay- just a cold, but enough to lay us all out for a week. All in the name of fun. So after such a long absence, I’m suffering from blogging-withdrawal and this is just the time to remedy that. This week (officially Thursday the 22nd) marks the 1st birthday of The Triangle Plate. That means I plan to dwell on food even more than usual (to hell with laundry!), and will be sharing my musings with you.
Colorado’s breathtaking autumn colors are nearing their peak over the next couple of weeks up in the mountains. Should you happen to be traveling near Breckenridge, there’s somewhere you should eat. Crêpes á la Cart. It’s a little tiny joint with outdoor seating (I’m guessing that it seats about 10-12 comfortably, which means, chances are low you will ever find a seat) on the adjoining deck right on Main Street. It’s a place we’ve frequented over the last 5 years or so. Here’s our not-so-secret confession: every time we are in Breckenridge, we absolutely stop at Crêpes á la Cart. This means, if we are just passing through, we try to be passing through around lunch time, or snack time (which, by the way, is all of the time). If we are staying there, strolling into town for lunch can only mean to one place. Just . . . don’t be in a hurry. They are actually making your crêpe with fresh ingredients, and therefore, that’s going to take a little time. What you should know is that it is absolutely worth the wait. You can pass the time listening to Bob and watching all the tourists and locals stroll by. You can also count on the crêpe-makers to be entertaining — jokers even. After all, there are usually just two of them cramped in a very, very small space, so it’s probably self-selecting to have outgoing, engaging, happy employees who sing along to the music and dance in their small space while putting brie, ham, and Dijon on a hot crêpe.
There are plenty of traditional choices for your crêpe filling, both sweet and savory, and then of course, lots of other fresh ingredients for you to choose from to make your own. I’ve recently become a fan of the bacon, tomato, and spinach crêpe, and I ask them to melt some Brie in there as well. It’s delicious. And that simple.
Our latest stay in Breck had to do with a little bike race. Okay, not so little. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
The top three placers of the Tour de France rode this race: yes, that’s Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck, and Frank Schleck. Also along for the ride were Levi Leipheimer, Rafael Montiel, Elia Viviani, TeJay VanGarderen, and Timmy Duggan who were the final jersey winners.
Colorado Springs was privileged to welcome the racers for the Prologue — a time trial beginning in the Garden of the Gods and ending downtown.
The following days took the riders from Salida to Crested Butte, from Gunnison over Cottonwood Pass and Independence pass into Aspen, a time trial up Vail Pass, Avon to Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge, and the final stage from Golden into Denver for a fabulous finish! If you ride, you immediately understand the adrenaline rush that goes with watching the pros race.
Seeing the peloton in action is exhilarating and following the progress of the riders over the course of the different stages is addictive. We knew that cheering the riders on for the Prologue wouldn’t be enough, so we drove to Breckenridge to see Stage 5.
The mountain town was ready to welcome the riders as only a Colorado mountain town could. While we were out on our bikes, scouting places to watch the finish, we accidentally found ourselves riding in a pre-race bike parade of locals with all sorts of characters!
One guy had huge speakers strapped on his bike, providing the rockin’ music for the not-so-pro-riders-parade.
Costumes were hilarious, and I was especially fond of a man I shall refer to as “Mr. Tiki,” who happily made friends with my mother.
After about 30 minutes of riding up and down Main Street, we bid our new friends goodbye and found ourselves the perfect spot to watch and wait. The finish could not have been better with Andy Schleck making a breakaway over Swan Mountain, only to be caught by 4 other riders who, on the homestretch were swallowed by the peloton right before our eyes, giving Viviani his second stage win. Those few seconds of watching the riders fly by made the whole trip worth it.
That, and the crêpes, of course. And what more appropriate food to eat when you are cheering on world-class cyclists than the crêpe? If I can’t be in France eating their crepes, then I want to be in Breckenridge at Crêpes á la Cart. See you there!