Cafe Crepe

IMG_4977 IMG_4978This is one of the more popular staples of Robson street. Who hasn’t once stopped here for a snack in between shopping stops?

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At this location of “Cafe Crepe” you can either enjoy your crepe to go or have it while dining in. If to go, you place your order as you stand on the sidewalk. Then either enjoy your crepe as a hand held while walking or stationary on the wooden benches out front. Though I prefer to go inside for the comforts of their warm and dry booths.

The room was set in dark chocolate colours, walls rich in deep red and earthy brown tones. A large contrasted to the 50′s style black and white checkered floor. Marble like columns and spinning ceiling fans added to the mishmash of decor pieces. If you looked closely the age of the place is apparent. With discoloured tiles and warn out table edges it was obvious things were well used. Though the smell of crepes hid everything behind the glamour of delicious buttery and sugary goodness.

Large noir posters scripted in French and hotel lobby-like jazz music set the tone. Though the music was barely audible past the mummer of guests engaged in deep conversations and knives and forks cutting through thin dough, cream, and fruit. Its smell tantalized you as you waited. With no actual designated waiting space, the line to be seated started beside the partition that separated the open kitchen from the foyer leading in. On busier nights patrons would be left standing with a view that gave them a glimpse at what it takes to make a crepe. Chefs in white coats working shoulder to shoulder on their own crepe griddle. Here they directly poured on their egg based batter. Then using a special tool, they evenly spread the would be crepe thinly over this heated surface. It is cooked until lightly golden, then filled accordingly with toppings and fillings of savoury or sweet.

Crepe options are separated between the savoury and sweet. With traditional breakfast toppings like eggs, bacon, Brie cheese, and jam. Hardy lunchables like spinach, tuna, chicken, smoked beef, tomato, mushroom and salmon. And dessert possibilities with fruits like apple, strawberry, banana, lemon, or coconut. And nuts like walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts.

The boozy options of grand Marnier and rum intrigued me the most. And the chocolate, caramel, ice cream, and honey felt familiar.

Despite their restaurant’s name, they offered a slew of options six menu pages long. If you are not interested in crepes try their regular breakfast platters served all day. With the likes of eggs, omelettes, hash and toast. Or go the cafe route and pair your specialty coffees and steamed milks with salads, soup, and grilled paninis. Still looking for something even more filling? Then enjoy a classic hamburger with fries or even chicken strips. A little bit of everything to satisfy the most pickiest of diners.

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Though if that summary isn’t enough they also serve alcohol in beers, by the bottles and on tap. Wine in all colours. Cocktails in all varieties and even weekly specials. Apparently this chain is known as a great place for cheap alcoholic beverages late at night.

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Lucky for us we visited at a slower time and on a slower night. As a result we were immediately greeted. Three different individuals took the time to ask about the size of our party and if we wanted to sit in. Yet all three walked away shortly after with no resolution. We eventually had to flag a staff member down to get our desired seating. The wait, despite the sight of many empty booths.

When at “Cafe Crepe” I go for what their name suggests, and for what they specialize in. After all, when in Rome? We chose sweeter crepes for a light mid day snack, and went fancier by ordering from their list of specialty crepes. Each came with three or more premium toppings. A move to break away from the typical, and our usual butter and sugar and banana and Nutella order. A move we would later regret.

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“Crepe du chef”. Apple sauce, banana, and cinnamon. This crepe was tasteless and in dire need of the complimenting flavour of real maple syrup. Though despite our mention the plain tasting dessert, we were informed the syrup would come of an additional cost.

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The “Exotique” crepe is filled with rum, toasted coconut, banana slices, and sugar. I immediately got a hint of the rum, it was sweeter then I anticipated, but retained its liquor kick. The toasted coconut I could have done without. It’s hard texture sprinkled throughout the soft folds of the crepe threw things off. And it’s dried nature diminished the freshness of everything else.

My guest regretted not ordering his usual Nutella and Banana crepe and I my usual plain sugar. In fact after two bites I was done. The increased number of ingredients did not make things better. I found they overwhelmed the usual delightfulness of the light crepe batter, best highlighted in a simple sugar crepe.

IMG_4976The staff were unmemorable. There was enough of them around, yet it took them a long time to fulfill requests and place orders. They spoke minimally and dropped off plates with no more than a nod.
The washroom was one of the worst I have had to endure. They were two single stalls. And both smelled just as bad.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Where else would you go to fulfill your crepe cravings? You can smell the butter and cooking dough from the street. A scent so delicious it beckons you to approach. Here you get a view of the crepe making process, like watching a performance behind glass. With all the varieties you are sure to find the crepe that suits you and your dining needs. My only advise is to stuck with what you like, in order to not be disappointed by what you try. Also, as the restaurant isn’t the cleanest or the most inviting, I would urge you to take your treat to go. Don’t deny your cravings.

CAFE CREPE
1032 Robson Street, Vancouver BC, V6Z 2V7
604-488-0045
cafecrepe.com
Cafe Crepe on Urbanspoon

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