I love food manga. Last year I started reading a manga series called "It will be breakfast at Tiffany someday" (いつかティファニーで朝食を Itsuka Tiffany de Choushoku wo) by Maki Hirochi, published by Bunch Comics, Shinchosha. (Only five books in the picture, but there are currently 6 volumes of the manga out.)
Apart from enjoying the story, what I like about this manga is that it features a lot of different real cafes and restaurants where you can eat breakfast in Japan--mostly in Tokyo, although she does go on business trips to Nagoya, etc., so there are other places as well.
A spin-off manga series starring the boyfriend she broke up with also started recently; "Sotaro's lonely lunch of business trip" (創太郎の出張ぼっちめし Soutarou no Bocchi Meshi).
In the first (and so far only) volume of this manga, Sotaro actually goes on a business trip to Aomori City and goes to a cafe that neither my husband (who worked in Aomori City for a couple of years before moving to Towada) nor I had ever been to before. Obviously, I was very interested in checking the cafe out!
My husband had a meeting in Aomori City from 10am-12pm this past Saturday morning, so I went with him to Aomori and spent most of the time while he was in the meeting at the cafe, Kissa Marron 喫茶マロン (also known as Marron Coffee/Coffee Marron マロン珈琲店).
It has a great retro look and feel, and the atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly. It clearly appeals to a wide range of people, since in the slightly over two hours I was there, I saw single diners (male and female), couples, groups of friends, and families (mother and daughter, and mother and son) all come in.
While I was enjoying my "morning service," I heard a number of people ordering the kabocha purin (pumpkin pudding). Once I found out that it is a seasonal item, only available from fall to spring, of course, I naturally had to try it as well. I expected it to be like something you could get in a grocery store--an orange coloured pudding served in a dish--so was quite surprised when it came out looking more like a rare cheese cake!
I had the "morning service" around 10:00am and the pumpkin pudding around 10:30am. Since the manga had featured "Jamaican curry" (ジャマイカンカレー), I couldn't very well leave without trying that, so around 11:00am (the start of "lunch service"--a drink comes with the lunch), I ordered the Jamaican curry (comes with a "stick salad").
My husband scolded me for being too greedy when I told him how much I had eaten, but I rather thought that it was his fault for not being there to share with me so I could try more food! :P (jokes) I did feel sheepish, though, when I remembered that I had heard people ordering take-out, so I probably could have just asked them to box up whatever I couldn't finish rather than forcing myself to eat everything! Since not all restaurants/cafes in Japan allow people to take doggy bags, I've gotten used to assuming that everything is strictly eat-in only.
Oh well, next time I plan to go with my husband so I can try out more of the menu: the "tuna curry toast" (comes with a side of fruit) sounded really tempting and there's also still the "Marron parfait" featured in the manga that I wasn't able to try since it is only served after 2:00pm.
(I probably won't have to wait long for my chance, since apparently my husband has a meeting in Aomori next Sunday afternoon...!)
Kissa Marron 喫茶マロン
(a.k.a. Marron Coffee/Coffee Marron マロン珈琲店)
Hours: 7:00-21:00 Daily (closed 1st & 3rd Wednesday each month)
"Morning Service" 7:00-11:00; "Lunch Service" 11:00-14:00
Parking: N/A (pay parking across the street)