[Dallas] If You Love Crepes
I love them. I remember going to Magic Pan in NorthPark as a little girl. That was always such a big treat and I can remember how sometimes you might have to wait an hour or so to get in. It was so worth it.
I don't quite remember when Magic Pan closed but oh what a sad day. My love of crepes only increased as I began in my early 20's to travel to France.
I have looked for crepes all over the city of Dallas of course I have tried cafe Brazil and use to go often but still nothing can match those childhood memories from the magic pan unless you hop a plane to Paris.
To my great surprise I happened upon a New place at Midway and Rosemeade in far North Dallas the other day called Normandy Alliance. It is run by a man whose is so French you feel like your there. Everything on the menu is French,French, French. He offers both Sweet and Savory Crepes. They are so good. Oh, it takes you back to those sidewalk cafe's. I also tried the Zucchini and Goat cheese Soup fantastic. If you love crepes this place is worth the drive. I was also happy to find it was not priced like a typical French place it is very reasonable.
Another good place to get your crepe fix near downtown Dallas is Creperie du Chateau. It's in an office building on McKinney across from the Crescent. The crepes are Sarrasin-style, that is they're made with wheat flour, so they may be different from the crepes you remember from Magic Pan, but they're quite tasty and reasonably priced considering one savory crepes could easily feed two people.
I never get down to that area but we will have to make a trip to Creperie du Chateau. The savory crepes at NA were made of buckwheat but I ask the chef if he could made them with regular flour and he said of course. This is how he does the sweet ones. I actually think I prefer the non buckwheat crepes.
We tried Normandy Alliance last night. The crepes are very good. Just like at Creperie du Chateau, they are made with buckwheat flour. They are not the typical rolled crepe - instead hey are folded into a square. These are more hearty and less delicate, but are a nice change.
I've eaten at Creperie du Chateau, and these were much, much, better. The savory crepes I had at Creperie du Chateau were oily and tasteless.
There are signs all over the place that mention that they are light, healthy, and organic.
The chef came out and explained his philosophy further. He wants to eventually expand the menu to offer more entree-type meals. He's very charming, and really does a good job making you appreciate his vision.
Not everything was perfect, but overall a pleasant experience. You can't beat the price and the food came out quickly. The server was also an owner I think. He's very nice, but doesn't seem to know much about waiter-type duties and was very slow at cleaning off used plates, refilling water, etc.. Hopefully, they will be able to hire someone to help in that area.
I'm not sure how well this concept will fit in the area however. He's a few doors down from a tattoo shop and an adult novelty store that advertises their goods on a banner wrapped around a car parked in the front lot. He's apparently also in dispute with the landlord about the air conditioner. It was definitely on the warm side in there, but there was enough of a fan breeze to be fairly comfortable.
Thanks for the review, Webra! I stopped in last week and was impressed with the Chef's ambitions. We tried two types of savory crepes, both were excellent texture (not too greasy), the Montagne (with ham, gruyere cheese, potato, and cream) was a tad on the dry side but the Forestiere (chicken, bechamel and button mushrooms) was just perfection. Also, I was digging that carrot cumin soup.
There was a waitress today, but she seemed very inexperienced.
At that location, it may be hard to survive because there's no office building or big shopping center nearby. There were only 3 parties, including us, at the peak lunch time. Of course, the chef/owner said he hasn't done any advertising.
I guess I had eaten here after kuidaore had earlier in the day.
What my wife and I shared were the following:
Lyon/Dallas sandwich - saucisson (salami) and butter
Soubise crepe - caramelized onions with béchamel and white wine with bucherolle cheese grilled on top (Excellent)
Montagne crepe - Smoked Ham, potatoes, gruyere and cream
Nutella Crepe - Nutella on a crepe
All crepes and sandwiches come with a lightly dressed field green salad with oil and balsamic. This is a great addition to your sandwich and also very light compared to the iceberg/tomato/carrot doused in ranch salads
My initial views of the place are (pros):
Just getting started but word is spreading - There was another couple and a 9 top when we dined. A couple came in later that had been there previously and the owner remembered them (a plus)!
Very good concepts - Love the idea that they source their food from France/Europe and not Sysco. The quality ingredients are evident in the preparations
Very good quality food - The food is well above average for a neighborhood kind of place. The prices are cheap and the menu isn't expansive since they are just starting out. Good choice to keep the menu small and focus on what you know really well
Everything is freshly prepared - Besides the pre-made dessert tarts (understandable) everything is cooked to order.
Great prices - Most expensive item on the menu is the French Raclette @ $15. Need an hour notice to heat up the cookery. We were stuffed and it cost $30 with tip and we got dessert!!
Relaxed feel to the place - Not the least bit worried about hurrying so someone can get your table
Enthusiastic owner and chef - Ideas are flowing in these guys and they have a great concept so far.
Get to sample the soups - I was impressed by the even handed seasoning of the soup noting was over spiced/seasoned.
The A/C was fixed and they solved the A/C dispute themselves and taking the LL to small claims....finally a tenant that read their lease!
And the Cons:
Poor neighborhood/shopping center -nice casual French restaurant next to tattoo, adult shop, and a tanning salon. Not so much these guys fault, if this place takes off landlord might need to reconsider the clientele or they will lose a gem.
Service was good but had its faults - had to ask for water, slow at clearing plates/dishes, no silverware, awkward service moments
Not sure how they will handle crowds - Chef likes to portray his vision to the customers and others might have service issues because of it.
Future plans might be too ambitious - chef cooking on the porch might not be a good idea quite yet, get the crowd and the base and then go for the presentation
Chef and owner need to quiz each other on the menu if they are going to make the two man team work for a while. Each needs to be aware what ingredients are in each dish and the prices...should be no questions.
I don't want to discourage anyone from going here because the food is excellent. The Soubise crepe was excellent and the béchamel sauce was one of the best I have ever had and my wife and I both loved the grilled boucherolle on top. The Montagne was good also but I would try the others out before getting it again. The soups were excellent from the samples that my wife and I had. I would go just for the soup and maybe a sandwich. The soups include a carrot cumin...lightly seasoned and not overpowering with cumin and doesn't tastes like carrot juice; zucchini bucherolle....great light soup and not too thick, bucherolle was light and not overpowering and you can actually taste zucchini and it doesn't get lost; potato curry...great for the winter time but light enough that a summertime cup would be hearty, not heavy on curry like most places would be (hard to get that right). Sandwich I would like the bread heated a bit not toasted and not cold. This would make the butter and Saucisson sing!
Most of the negatives are on service and location and there are no negatives on the food. This place is definitely worth a try and is a welcomed newcomer to the dining scene. Don't expect the French Room though, this is a new casual neighborhood French restaurant in N. Dallas (first of its kind really). The menu is small and simple and well executed. I give this place a few months and it should be hitting the usual boards quite a bit!
Thank you Analisas mom for your posting.. you beat me to it! I've been wanting to share my reviews of this place since the weekend.. I went on account of reading someone else rec here on chowhound.. i think it was a thread from the 'dallas desserts'... boy am I glad i went. I am so happy to find a place to satisfy my weekend crepe needs. I hope everyone will try out this place, it is right off of the George Bush, very spacious, indoor and outdoor seating. I will agree that service is not the normal sit down place, but the chef's view was to make it very french, were you can linger and eat for as long as you like and not feel like you are rushed to give up your table. Some items like the soups can be self service if you want, again to keep the cost, in the front of the house, down, explained by chef. But if you are a true foodie, then you will want to go here to experience the food, it is really on point for a delicious crepe. I also tried the 'french' salami, very nice. The chef shops locally to prepare his dishes and is very enthusiastic to share his ideas on french food and health. I wonder if he will still provide crepes at the state fair. We will definitely be regulars. Thanks!
Mine was actually a bit crusty around the edges. And I was trying to think a way to explain the texture of the crepes, and kuidaore nailed it.
Maybe the chef can cook it longer to get crispier if requested?
In my experience, the Japanese style crepes tend to be crispier. Maybe it's the rice flour. There was this place called Yes Cafe that made them that way. I'm still on the lookout for crepes like that again.
I thought the edges were a bit crusty, too, but David said they weren't!
This one looks crispy, but it wasn't like this.
Japanese (French-style) crepes are made of wheat flour, but they do look crispier. (the site of a franchise in Japan
I love the crispy texture of dosa (dhosai?), which is made of rice.