The San Francisco airport is a great excuse to eat out on the other side of the bay. Catching a morning flight? Breakfast at Milbrae Pancake House. Picking up parents and wanting to show them around at mid day? Lunch at La Boheme in Burlingame. Arriving in a lazy afternoon after four hours confined in the airplane’s seat with a neck cramp and in the mood for something nice, light but hearty? A crepe at Cafe Grillades of San Bruno sounds just right.
It’s one of those homey places where you can nibble a panini while reading the chronicles, sit by the window and gaze at a quiet parking lot, or meet someone for a casual interview. It has the boureks and the Algerian couscous if you want to impress old friends with an interesting order, but it also serves classic ham and cheese on toast all day. It will satisfy both the burger hunger and the vegan healtheist. It has the West European facade, the Mediterranean sum up, the North Saharan novelty, the San Franciscan appeal. In plain view, Cafe Grillades has a pretty good all-inclusive menu.
But we came here for crepes, and get crepes we did. Somehow the herbivore in Mudpie and the carnivore in me switched place that day. Mudpie decidedly took on the Algiers Merguez, spicy lamb and beef sausage mingled with chunky potatoes, mushy tomatoes, and slabs of onions in crème fraiche (first picture). I, feeling betrayed by the chicken burrito on the plane, went down the defiant path with a ratatouille flat square hot pocket.
My reasoning was simple: I like meat, so if I like something sans meat then that vegan thing must be really good. And it was. In fact, it was better than the Merguez sausage crepe. Eggplant was one of those healthy veggies my mom had to funnel down my throat, but here it fit in so well with zucchini, bell pepper, and more onion. Feta cheese clumped a few tangy notes. The crepe innards were definitive of satisfaction.
Gratified, we charged onto dessert. A mango crepe brulee with brown sugar, creme fraiche, and caramelized top. This mix between a tart freshness and a fixating sweetness, some chewy underripe fruit and a thin malleable encasing, is, my friends, the best any sweet crepe can be.
+ Spicy Algiers (9.50)
+ Mango crepe brulee (7.95) = $28.84