Eats and Treats Creperie, Allston (Brighton Ave)
- BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 1, 2007 01:36 PM
New creperie -- five days old -- near the corner of Brighton and Harvard, inbound side, near Harpers Ferry and V. Majestic. It's in the space that used to be Beantown Dogs.
In fact, the interior space IS Beantown Dogs (a place I was sorry to see go out, because after a shaky start, they became a more than worthy replacement for Spike's Junkyard Giant Wads Of Flavorless Bread Dough): not a single thing has changed except the menu.
The menu is indeed most impressive: three house salads, a variety of espresso drinks, smoothies, soft drinks and (count 'em!) 68 different styles of crepe, broken down into Chicken, Seafood, Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey, Veggie and Sweet.
I went for a baseline reading and ordered my favorite style of crepe, which here is called the Ham Feast: ham, cheddar, green peppers and onions. The crepes are made fresh to order in full view of the room on your standard crepe-maker thingy, then filled, folded and, in this case, left briefly on the griddle to warm the filling through. Sit-down orders are served on square ceramic plates with flatware. Looks like takeaway orders are wrapped in foil and stowed in your basic styrofoam clasmshell.
The crepe itself could stand to be a bit more flavorful, but it was perfectly cooked, extremely tender, properly thin and not at all tough or chewy. This one came absolutely packed with diced ham, sharp cheddar and good quality onions and peppers. Very nice indeed.
But it was the smoothie I was most impressed with: unlike just about every other place I know of in town, this was not a prepared flavor mix blended with ice, but a Latin-style fruit shake: fruit, ice and your choice of water, skim milk or whole milk. That's it. There are five flavors, strawberry, mango, pineapple, passionfruit and acerola; I had pineapple but look forward to trying all the others.
The reason for the Latin-style fruit shakes is that the couple who run the place are Brazilian. And while they know that the last thing Allston needs is another Brazilian restaurant, they know the makeup of the neighborhood well enough to serve guarana and include both dulce de leche and plain ol' condensed milk crepes (the latter of which is an absolutely BRILLIANT idea, I think!) in the sweet and some definitely Brazilian-inspired combos in the savory crepes.
Most expensive thing on the menu by a long shot is a red caviar crepe (um...okay) at $9. 66 of the crepes are $6.50 or under, and most of them are well under $6. That delicious smoothie is a measly $2.75.
Seating consists of about four or five high tables with stools. This is definitely mostly a takeaway spot.
Open 7 days, 11 a.m. to midnight. Credit cards accepted.
I heard about this place from this thread, so I decided to check it out and post the results. I can't add anything to the original post regarding atmosphere, pricing, menu, etc as its exactly as described. I did opt for take out and can confirm that the crepes are packaged in styrofoam clamshells, though no foil involved. The crepes were each sized almost exactly the base of the take-out containers. The girl who took the order also made a point of stressing (I believe she mentioned this 3x) that they encourage you to call ahead, so you don't have to wait for the crepes to be made (which was mentioned in a friendly manner... not pushy or suggesting that we were somehow annoyed with the wait).
All three crepes were quite tasty and worth the price. I had the Michelangelo (ham, tomatoes, black olives, onions, & cheddar) for $5.50, SO had one of the veggie ones (can't remember which?) for $5.50, and we split a Nutella for $4.25. Mine was very good (stuffed but not over stuffed with fillings) and the bite of the veggie was just as good. It was the Nutella crepe that won us over. We aren't big sweet eaters but we agreed that this little treat should be popular with later in the evening crowds, experiencing "enhanced" appetites.
I wasn't really feeling up for fruit or more dairy, so I took as pass this time on the smoothie. Considering we liked our crepes so much, I'm guessing there will be future visits to explore the menu some more.
The crepes are better than the versions at Mr Crepe in Davis Sq.; these have a bit of body and aren't too dry. I'd still give a significant edge to the version at La Creperie near Harvard Sq., which has a nice and nuanced chewy texture that this version lacks but is much pricier.
Stroganoff was a pleasant combination of basic chicken breast with corn, hearts of palm with its mild tangy flavour and mozzarella.
The shakes seem to be made from a frozen concentrate -- I had the acerola, which was mild and slightly orangey in flavour. Quite nice.
Was torn between the dessert crepes with guava/mozzarella and dulce de leche/dried prunes/coconut flakes. Went for the latter, which was a very nice combination, the caramel richness turning to pruney fruit and then given a rustling lighhtness of coconut.
I've been to Crispy Crepes once and once only. Official verdict: meh.
I like the Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner, but this one is closer to me, less expensive and nowhere near so jampacked (at least, not yet) -- I think it's officially my go-to crepe place.
VivreManger -- the owners (the Brazilian couple behind the counter) are very friendly and approachable. The woman took quite seriously my suggestion that they offer a "build your own" option along with the 69 others. I bet if you asked them -- or even better, if you brought them a little bag of buckwheat flour, a recipe, and the name of a place where they could buy buckwheat flour -- they would at least take it under advisement. They seem VERY eager to please, just like the folks at Deep Ellum and YoMa, the other new places in the neighborhood. I'm liking the fact that the new crop of restauranteurs are taking public opinion so seriously!
In fact, not only did they take BFP's suggestion quite seriously, they've already implemented it. We went last night for a late dessert - a simple and sublime lemon-sugar-and-butter crepe with a really pleasing chewiness, which was a perfect foil to a slightly overambitious feast at Punjab Palace. (We ordered too ambitiously, that is - the food was great but rather too much.) BFP was tickled to see a placard on the counter offering "build your own" with a basic cheese crepe (your choice of cheese) and up to three items from an assortment of filling ingredients for one price, plus various sauces for a small additional charge.