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Feb 12, 2009 10:44 AM

I Gotta Take a Crepe... from Palo Alto's Bistro Maxine

I ate here at 2:30 last Friday and was surprised that we were the only diners in the place. That's a good thing in a way at Bistro Maxine because the place is tiny. Like maybe four tables tiny. I wouldn't want to eat here when it's prime dining time. But then again, I walked by later in the evening at 6:30 and the place was empty except for a table for two.

It's nice to have a place in the Silicon Valley that serves crepes. Who doesn't love crepes? Especially underrated lemon and sugar ones? I'll have to try those on another visit. Unfortunately for me, the savory crepes on the menu all seem to have eggs, ham, or goat cheese, and I'm not a big fan of any of those ingredients.

I had a chicken and mushroom crepe with creme fraiche ($10) which came with a small simple unadvertised salad with yummy dressing. The crepe was good but I felt like the sauce was off. In other renditions of this crepe that I've ordered or made (yes, it's one of the few dishes I cook), instead of creme fraiche (which is runny and too thin), a thicker mushroom cream sauce worked better.

The servers were nice and spoke with French accents so it felt like the real deal. Buckwheat crepes are available on request.

Bistro Maxine
548 Ramona St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 323-1815

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  1. Where else do you like the crepes?

    Bistro Maxine
    548 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

    6 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Douce France in Town and Country Village makes great savory Crepes (Gallettes) always made with buckwheat flour.

      1. re: rworange

        My Bay Area crepe ranking is:
        1) Ti Couz, San Francisco (doesn't blow me away though)
        2) Bistro Maxine, Palo Alto
        3) Crepevine, Oakland
        4) Mes Amis Creperie, Emeryville
        5) Crepes a Go Go, Berkeley
        6) Le Creperie Du Monde, San Bruno (closed)
        7) Metro Crepe, San Francisco
        8) Schroeder's, San Francisco

        I miss the place in Downtown Oakland that served buckwheat crepes. My favorite place was one in San Diego that's now closed called Crepes De Paris.

        1. re: katya

          Do any on your list other than Ti Couz offer buckwheat crepes?

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Bistro Maxine does offer buckwheat crepes on request. I hope to try those next time.

            Of the ones that are still open, the only one that offers buckwheat crepes is Ti Couz.

            1. re: katya

              Thanks. Ti Couz is my longtime favorite, and one reason is their having the authentic buckwheat crepes for the savory. (The downtown Oakland place opened and closed while I lived in another state, but most people I know who tried it miss it.)

          2. re: katya

            With this thread in mind I went for the dessert crepes at Butler & the Chef yesterday.

            I know zilch about crepes. Too many bad crepes at breakfast buffets. Also, my intro to crepes was at the Magic Pan chain ... needless to say they were not impressive.

            However, I'm guessing the crepes at Butler are the best example based on the Croque I had there ... it was so far above any Croque I ever tried it was in a different class completely.

            Anyway the crepes are made from buckwheat flour and they are as thin as a sheet of paper ... amazing how they could get them that thin. Each crepe was folded into quarters and the two were fanned prettily on the plate and lightly dusted with powdered sugar. I had the Myrtilles which was some nice French wild blueberry preserves.

            They were lovely.

            Katya, would it be possible to drop me an email. My address is on my profile.

            Butler & the Chef Bistro
            155 S Park St, San Francisco, CA 94107

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. The original comment has been removed

              Not far south of Palo Alto, Crêpe Maker in downtown Los Altos the last few years has been a little storefront with brisk, experienced people turning out a small menu of crêpes to order. There are a few bar-type tables and stools, people also get them to go. (The family operates crêpe booths at the local street fairs and operates the tiny café the rest of the time.


              Crepe Maker
              280 Main St, Los Altos, CA 94022

              1. "It's nice to have a place in silicon valley that serves crepes" --- here's some more.

                Cuppa Cafe on emerson serves crepes, but their heart isn't in it. Eat the Argentinian specialties (arepas!) - still, it's open later than Maxine, and the crepes are pretty good.

                Crepes Cafe near Menlo Park Caltrain. Nice enough, still not as good as Maxine's.

                5 Replies
                1. re: bbulkow

                  If you mean Coupa Cafe, those would be Venezuelan arepas.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Could you say more on Coupa, and those arepas, Melanie?

                    Also that word has me curious. Italian crespia and French crespe (today usually written crêpe) are basically the same word; similarities in "arepa" stand out.

                    Coupa Cafe
                    538 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                    1. re: eatzalot

                      Coupa is a branch of a cafe and coffee company in Venezuela. I was originally pointed there by some Venezuelan friends. Venezuelan arepas are a bit different than the Colombian arepas that seem to be more widely known. Reports on Coupa, its coffee, chocolates, and food offerings are part of the Place record. Click on the blue Places link to find linked threads and others where it is mentioned.

                    2. re: Melanie Wong

                      Yes, yes, Venezuelan. A slip of the mind. Good south american wine offerings too - only problem with the place is the sea of laptops.

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        Coupa has another location on the Stanford campus, but haven't seen any reports yet.