Mr. Crêpe: good crepes and great waffles
They've just started serving crepes in a very bright cafe-like atmosphere. They are doing pretty well but still have some just-opened problems to sort out.
The place was packed last night (Friday) with a mix of families, couples and groups out for a quick bite, perhaps before a movie, and cafe-types (there was a Spanish lesson going on at the table next to us). Lots of small kids, and it's a great place for them since it's very bright and loud to begin with so they won't disturb anyone. In addition, the less adventurous crepes are toddler friendly.
Two dinner crepes (plus a cheese crepe for the small one) were quite good but a little less than filling. In the future, I think I'll be adding an egg and some spinach to bulk up my crepe. A dessert crepe was overcooked to the point of crunchiness, which is too bad, but I suspect they will fix that as they get more experience.
The high point of the evening was the waffle. It's not your typical "Belgian waffle" which is made to take syrup or fruit topping, but rather a gaufre de Liège (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Li... ) made to be eaten plain as finger-food. While Mr. Crêpe's version isn't the best I've ever had, it is right up there. If you're craving real Belgian waffles, this is the place. Yum. And I suspect it will only improve with time. Total for a light dinner for three people was about $25.
My one time at Mr. Crepe I found the service to be fine, but the product, itself, to be anything
but. The crepe (I got a sweet crepe) was thick, kind of hard, and not especially tasty.
If I'm looking for a better crepe I shoot over to i-cafe (teele square) or..um..I haven't been in a
while, but I remember Paris Creperie being ok.
Adding a recent experience to the Mr. Crepe thread -- service issues continue. There were at least 4 counter people there and it was still hard to get one to take my order at about 2 p.m. today. Tables needed to be cleared, tabletops were crumby and chairs were all over the place. There were very few patrons there -- seemed to be a mix of Jumbos and people looking for coffee or a late lunch, like me. They have a sign on the counter that limits people's lingering time to 30 minutes during peak hours, but the place was about 75% empty today so I don't know if they'll actually need to worry or enforce it.
The food: I used to like this place a lot in the old spot and the menu is largely the same. Sweet and Savory crepe combinations as well as make your own. I typically make my own crepe. For $5.75 you get choice of cheese, spinach or arugula, and one other veggie. You can pay more and add meat, like smoked turkey or merguez sausage. At your request, they squeeze a little lemon over the arugula and avocado (my choices) which is nice. They'll also black pepper it. You just have to ask.
I took mine to go but I ate it in the car because it turned out I was starving. It was really good -- not too messy, everything melty and gooey and certainly filling enough for lunch. I didn't detect any sweetness to the crepe batter (yay) and it was actually pretty perfectly prepared by the one guy cooking. (WHAT were the other 3 guys there for? They didn't seem to know either). For that kind of lunch in Davis, I'll definitely be back.
Their problem is going to be to walk the fine line between college hangout / community spot / homeless guy warmup zone. Anything in that spot would need to deal with the interesting Davis Square demographic. It's pretty cozy inside despite the stark furnishings, and I don't fear for their profits -- they are definitely charging enough for the food and bev. I think I slightly prefer the funky Sherman cafe model -- although they don't have crepes, they have very good food and it seems more neighborhoody.
With the opening of Diesel in Union Square, we'll be lousy with places to have good food to go with our coffee. Which reminds me, I need to get back to True Grounds for a pressed cheese sandwich. Mmmm.
Love those True Grounds sammiches...let me know when you go...I'm due for a visit myself!
I'll add, to stay on topic, that I'm disappointed by the Mr. Crepe reviews so far, I had high hopes for this place...perhaps I'll give them a bit more time to work out their service kinks. I never made it when they were in the old location, so it's a new Davis Sq addition for me.
Ate there two weeks ago. The service was still really slow, they seem to still be getting their staff up to speed. Ordered a ham and cheese crepe. It was pretty mediocre. The ham was overly salty and dry. The cheese looked like kraft singles or something and was fairly tasteless. Also, the crepe was too thick. My expectations for an american crepe may be too high, however...
I had a crepe today - it was tasty, and I think I figured out why several of the crepes have a flavor in common - I think there's a spice mix shaken on.
My main MrC complaint is that the crepes are... well... drippy. My to-go crepe leaked out of the foil and through the bag, onto my datebook.