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Restaurants & Bars 3

The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz (long)

Carb Lover | Dec 1, 200403:44 PM

Hubby and I were out doing errands last night and decided to treat ourselves to a casual dinner out around 7pm. Initially wanted to go to Tacos Morenos to compare it to our 2 experiences at Taqueria Vallarta (the rival in town), but alas, no one answered their phone when I checked in at around 5pm. Yes, Nathan P. mentioned they close early during this season. Love the fact that many proprietors in SC are not greedy, money-making beasts and have lives outside of their biz; however, this can frustrate a hungry hound just the same...

So, where to now? Drove to So. Seabright and wandered around, but nothing grabbed us. AHA--been wanting to try The Crepe Place just North (see link). Drove there in a jiffy and found out that they open til midnight on weekdays! Upon entering, the place had a casual pub-like feel w/ quirky antiques and a mish-mash of art and prints on nearly every inch of wall space. Hubby was drawn to the antique saxophone perched on the wall, while I admired the red filigreed ceiling. I don't care for clutter, but somehow here, everything came together in a soothing and embracing kind of way. We needed the hug after wandering in the cold night air...

Front room was dimly lit and better for smaller groups and couples, while larger back room had large family-style tables. Heard they have a nice outdoor patio in back for warmer days. Front room was at least half full (a good sign for Tues.). We were seated immediately and first ordered drinks (coffee and hot apple cider). Hubby's coffee was a smooth French roast--fresh but could have been a little stronger. My cider had a bold apple flavor--good but would have liked a bit more spice to balance the tartness.

Menu had a list of house combo crepes, as well as a create-it-yourself option. Prices are not up-to-date on website; current dinner prices for full meal (bread, soup or salad, crepe) average around $15. Also offered standard pub appetizers (eg, wings, nachos, jalapeno poppers) and about 7 beers on tap and some bottled. I'm not big on beer, but the "Humboldt Hemp" of my hometown county on tap ($4/pint) caught my eye.

I ordered the Spinach Supreme crepe (cheddar, swiss, ham, spinach, onions, egg) and hubby got the Smoked Salmon crepe (smoked salmon, tomatoes, mushrooms, a little cheese, scallions). Some combos looked like they had too much goin' on. Hubby ordered his a la carte ($11) while I got the full dinner ($14.50) so we could share bread and soup. Petite honey wheat loaf was served on a rustic wood board along w/ pats of Darigold butter. It was room temp., a bit dry, and not that unique--not good enough to have more than 1 or 2 slices. Chowder, however, was very good after a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Moderately creamy, clams were tasty, and potatoes had interesting texture (flat, flakey disks as opposed to cubes).

Crepes were warm and timed to come out at just right time. About 8-in. in diameter but w/ quite a bit of girth w/ all of the savory stuffing tucked inside. Crepe had some caramelization around the edges and surface, like the color of a wheat pancake; however, it was tender and not overcooked at all. Hubby's salmon crepe had a nice creamy dill sauce on the side that looked like a bernaise. Crepe was smoky, and although tomatoes weren't the best as they're out of season, their acidity cut through the rich fish nicely. My spinach/ham crepe had an adjacent mound of good-quality, full-fat sour cream to accompany. Spinach was bright green and perfectly wilted, cheeses were sinfully good; however, ham was a bit salty. Couldn't finish mine since everything was quite rich, so packed to go and had for lunch today.

Total for 1 full dinner, 1 a la carte crepe, and 2 hot drinks was $30 before tip. Not bad. Think the crepes were a little overpriced, but the ingredients were high-quality. Would probably just go w/ making my own combo next time. Service was pleasant and responsive. Will def. come back for weekend brunch, late-night snacks, and maybe even have a go at that Humboldt beer! Oh, and that Tunisian donut is calling my name!!


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