Friday, January 16, 2009

Get Thee to a Creperie

At the (previously reviewed) Paris Creperie, the amply pillowed benches, low prices, and tiny space create an atmosphere that is at once cozy and hip. However, the limited amount of seating does tend to make a casual diner feel rushed, and the turnover rate is high.

Since moving to Somerville, I have twice frequented Mr. Crepe in Davis Square. The first time, I was unimpressed. The prices were higher, the staff less welcoming, and I felt lost in the dining area, vast in comparison to Paris Creperie's.

However, the siren song of the really thin pancakes prevailed, and I returned to Mr. Crepe with a reluctant dining partner.

Reluctant?! You gasp with astonishment. Or, I did. My middle sister Anna is a vegetarian with a love of the familiar. This is a polite way of calling her picky and sheltered, which she is. She's staying with me for the month, an opportunity I intend to exploit to its fullest. I vowed to expand her tastes, at least slightly, by the end of January. We're starting it off small.

To Anna, a savory crepe appeared to be the equivalent of a wrap, which she loathes. I don't blame her, as I've always preferred hearty bread to the soggy timidness of the tortilla's bastard cousin. Sure, the wrap holds fillings in very efficiently, but it performs this duty with very little flavor, and tends to burst after the first bite.

At any rate, I explained to the disinclined herbivore that a crepe is nothing like a wrap. And I pushed her through the door of Mr. Crepe. I was aided in this endeavor by the contrast between the frigid winter air outside, and the invitingly warm pancake scent emanating from within.

We bought three crepes: basil, tomato, spinach and feta cheese (tangy and very filling); brie, apple, grape, and spinach (slightly sweet but surprisingly dinner-like) and one dessert crepe, filled with belgian chocolate, strawberries, bananas, and served with two giant scoops of vanilla ice cream. As soon as we collected the dishes, we realized our mistake. While we consumed the savory crepes, the ice cream accompanying our dessert slowly melted. We eventually elected to switch back and forth!

Mr. Crepe has a large dining area, a paid wireless connection, and bathrooms. They also serve coffee, espresso, ice cream, and soup. Although the selection of crepes is small, there are many options for a vegetarian (which I am, most of the time) and they do allow some customization. The crepes are larger than others I've eaten, which makes the higher prices (from 5 to 9 dollars each) less irritating. Additionally, I revoke my comment about the staff: I spilled some water by the garbage as I was preparing to leave, and the employees graciously declined my offer to clean it up myself.

Yes, something like this happens every time I eat out. Yesterday I dumped a mocha latte all over myself in the hair care aisle of CVS. I had to walk all the way home with my white tights transformed into cow print.

Anyway, I heartily recommend Mr. Crepe!

51 Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
Phone: (617) 623-0661


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