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mr crepe in davis -- meh

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with memories of a particularly good crepe from the Creperie on Beacon Hill we tried Mr. Crepe. First: 2 crepes = $18... ok deep breath! now the details: mine was avocado, jack, tomatoes, arugula, and an egg (yes, that was an extra $1.25) ... i was saddened to see the egg in a clump, the ingredients were sparse and it just was a sad sad crepe made with no love. I'm used to the egg being almost the same size as the crepe, nice and thin and folded together...

DC had a turkey, sundried tomatoes, red onion, goat cheese, arugula crepe and it was just so-so. His (hot) coffee was served cold and the staff was very unfamiliar with the menu -- yeah, i know they just opened...maybe it'll get better later on.

there was also a sign that restricted patrons to 20 minutes of table use if you didnt have food during busy times which is probably a good thing -- there's about 10 small-ish tables (2-tops). i gotta tell you tho, it does look great! clean and open and clean :) I wasn't a fan of the Someday space, great people but hated the space...

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  1. Let me get that straight: turkey, sundried tomato, red onion, goat cheese, AND arugula, all in a crepe? Sounds like overload to me, or more like a crepe trying to be a wrap (and why would a crepe aspire to be a wrap???). Nevertheless, a problematic concept is no excuse for poor execution, and I usually have little patience for the "just opened" excuse: if you open a restaurant, why wouldn't you train your workers before they actually start on real customers? And wasn't Mr Crepe in business before it moved to its current space? These are rhetorical questions!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bella_sarda

      Mr. Crepe closed in its former space in late 2004, so I'd imagine most of the workers would be new and still learning. In the old space (I haven't tried them in the new space yet), despite the number of ingredients in some of the recipes, the fillings were never in the quantities that you'd find in a wrap, so it was well-balanced with the delicacy of the crepe wrapper itself.

    2. A crepe should be simple. Butter, cinnamon, sugar. Yum~

      1. Stopped into Mr. Crepe last night in hopes of trying a gaufre, but they were all out. Ugh. So we split a nutella, banana and toasted almond crepe. The fillings were fine (really, who doesn't love nutella?), but the crepe itself was a little tough and way too thick for my taste. I wanted it to be delicate. Instead, it was industrial strength. Also, $6. I wonder how expensive a lemon & sugar crepe from them would be?

        1. One day walking by, I stopped in to get a cup of coffee and check out the menu. Coffee was fine, the menu looked ok (they do also do very simple crepes for whoever mentioned it) but I thought prices were ridiculous. Even the most basic crepes (which are pretty much flour and water) were almost $5, and anything substantial was up closer to $7-8. Thats just silly for a little bit of mushrooms, cheese, and onions wrapped up in a pancake.

          I'll stop in sometime and eat, perhaps, but with all the complaints about service and the prices for what they offer it's not likely to be anytime soon.

          Too bad, a good affordable crepe spot is just what Davis (or most anywhere) needs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: andytee

            what is it about griping about a restaurant that sometimes makes you want to eat there? today i was in davis and wanted to sit and have a coffee and feeling a bit peckish so i stopped in to try mr. crepe.

            wasn't expecting much, thankfully. coffee (roasted by the wonderful rao's in western mass) was good. the crepe was overcooked and dry, and lacked in flavor. it felt like it was both a mediocre batter and not cooked well. fillings were all right, but lacking in attention to detail. my crepe had mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes, and jack cheese. that and a medium coffee set me back $8.03. the crepe was understuffed, overcooked, and the stuff in it was mediocre. nothing about it was really wrong, but, as the original poster said - meh.

            for the prices they charge (with so-called "supercrepes" running $8.75) meh just doesnt cut it.

            much complained about service was ok, not terrible. i didn't have to wait in line, and the guy taking my order was neither rude nor helpful. he gave my my coffee, another woman brought out the crepe. she looked at me sideways, said "you andy?" and plunked it down with little grace and no ceremony. i don't expect much in the way or gracious service at a place like this, but at least a smile, if not a "here you go" or "enjoy your meal" would have been appropriate.

            anyhow, yes, meh it is.

          2. Oh, that's terribly wrong - slathering all those ingredients onto something that is by definition "a thin, light, delicate pancake."

            At the old Mr. Crepe, unless the eponymous man was there, the other crepe makers always overcooked the crepes.

            The little Creperie outside Harvard Square has always done it right - are they still around?

            The high prices of Mr. Crepe seem to suggest that it is not long for that location - I predict it will become a Peet's by 2008.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              "A Peet's by 2008. "

              From your lips to God's ears.

            2. Are they doing the Belgian waffles yet? Any good?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sgt Snackers

                Tried this place out a few weeks back. Nice enough arugula-and-cheese crepe, but it was a little too expensive. That and the fact that there was a big clump of staff standing around while I waited for them to come to the cash register. Pass.

                1. re: Sgt Snackers

                  They are indeed doing the Belgian waffles, and they're very good. Dense, sweet, and sticky. I prefer them without the chocolate topping, but I certainly respect the sentiments of those who would disagree.

                  1. re: Sgt Snackers

                    Yes. The crepes are pretty good, but the waffles are outstanding and totally authentic gaufres de Liège! Make sure the waffle is hot as they sometimes don't heat them enough and it makes a big difference.

                    By the way, these are not at all the same thing as you'd get if you ordered a "Belgian waffle" at a diner.

                    1. re: DavisSquare

                      I take it all back. I went in this evening for a post-Passover waffle fix only to find that they no longer make them. Something about not enough volume to keep the waffle iron hot... Very sad indeed as I don't think there's anywhere else to get gaufres de Liège in greater Boston (please please tell me if I'm wrong). It's still a good casual place to go with kids, but much, much less exciting than before. Boo.

                  2. I went there for takeout a week ago, about 2pm on a Sunday. I had to wait close to 10 minutes in line (and there were only three people ahead of me!) and then waited 25 minutes (exactly) for my crepe. The crepe turned out to be quite good but by that time I was too annoyed to enjoy it much.

                    It seems like they have done everything possible to ensure that service is slow. The menus are up at the register so you can't peruse them in line without going up and stealing one from the middle of the stack the person who's ordering is reading the top one of. There's just enough extra choice in one's order (what kind of cheese) that people don't just say "I'll have the number 3" but hem and haw. The guys behind the register wrote down a longwinded account of every order, slowing things down more. There were lots of extra questions that were guaranteed to slow down customers - dark roast, regular or decaf? do you need a receipt for your credit card? I saw two drink orders get lost while I was waiting for my food. When food came out, they would half-heartedly yell the name of the customer it was for, just loud enough that a third of the place could hear, then have to make a full tour looking for the right table. Beyond the actual events I'm describing there was just a sense that the guys behind the counter were in over their head. I don't know what was slowing things down on the food preparation side but I don't imagine they were making my crepe for 25 minutes. The place was packed but that's largely because half the customers were waiting for their food.

                    If they don't speed up it's going to be pretty tough for them to compete with the other places nearby that can get you your food within 15 minutes.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: dfan

                      I haven't been to the new place, but I remember the same long wait at the old place, which was about a quarter of the size. After one visit, I decided my life was complete without Mr. Crepe's crepes!

                      1. re: phoebek

                        I had a simliar experience a few months ago. Long wait in the line and then for the actual crepe to be delivered.

                        Also, I ordered a goat cheese crepe, and when the waitress came to deliver it, she said "Feta?" and I said "No, I ordered goat cheese?" thinking it was the wrong order, and she put it down on the table, said "same thing!" and walked away.

                        1. re: wannbe_foodie

                          Must have been Bulgarian feta. ;)

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            Don't be silly; goat cheese feta is now made in Vermont; Vermont Butter and Cheese Co! Taken the place of Bulgarian feta in my heart! ;)

                      2. re: dfan

                        Weird - I had an almost identical experience in early March, and I figured it was because they were still new. Guess they're not learning.

                        I went well over my 20 minute table limit because the food didn't come out that quickly.

                        1. re: dfan

                          Update: I've stopped by twice recently when they didn't look too crowded and things appear to have gotten better. For example, they just give you an order number now instead of asking for your name, avoiding a couple of potential speedbumps. Takeout crepes arrived in 10-15 minutes both times.

                        2. If you hadn't been to this place, you might think these comments were concocted by haters from the Someday era. But I didn't like the Someday either, and I have to say my visit to Mr. Crepe featured an arbitrarily long wait for the food, sub-monosyllabic counter staff, and surprising expense. Still, the crepe was eatable if a little antiseptic (had the feel of being assembled from a kit rather than cooked). Nothing like a real French crepe or galette, though. I'd probably go again for a laugh, but by no means was I impressed.

                          1. Well, I went this morning for a meeting, and was expecting the worst. But, y'know, I actually had a very nice crepe, good coffee, and the woman at the counter was totally personable. A little flighty perhaps, but generally pleasant if not terribly swift. We arrived around 9:30a, and the place was lightly populated until about 11:30, when it began to get very busy. (We weren't held to the 20 min time limit until around noon.) I could tell that those who arrived and ordered during the busy period had a long wait -- at the counter and for their crepes. But -- and my sense is that the place generally functions better when there aren't too many customers to wait upon -- I had a surprisingly nice experience. I had a crepe with scallion, tomato, cilantro, and merguez. It was savory, spicy, earthy, and salty (as I'd hoped it would be), all folded into a perfectly decent and tasty crepe. The great disappointment however is that the reports here are true: no waffles. We'll all have to wait until the next beer fest, I'm afraid. What a damn shame.

                            So, I wouldn't recommend Mr Crepe during busy times, but I wouldn't write the place off entirely. Though it won't be a regular haunt, I'm in Davis Sq often enough to drop by again if there's a lull.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: litchick

                              yeah, that actually doesnt sound too different than a lot of other posts. i dont have anything really bad to say about the place myself - i just think the original poster summer it up perfectly with "meh".