Some crepes are better than others

    My cravings fluctuate from time to time, and it’s not always rational. One time I bought two kilos of prunes, ate some for a few days, now the rest are sitting patiently in my pantry. Then I used to have a crush on chocolate bars, the result is an almost complete collection of Endangered Species Chocolate wrappers, but a few bars have been on my desk for over six months. As of late, I’ve grown a crepe tooth. A matchbox kitchen fifteen-minute leisure walk from Sather Tower, called Crepes A-Go-Go, is to blame.

    A quick drop of sound sizzles when the spatula folds and presses the fluffy layer. The oversize pancake lies supine. The heat is low. The quiet, stout chef casually sprinkles some Swiss cheese and some pineapple; he seems bored, or maybe I’m just too excited. I like my crepe soft and thick. Heck, I even like my banh xeo soft and thick, no matter how many people tell me that a qualified Vietnamese sizzling crepe should be crispy and paper thin. I watch the cheese melt. The chef lets the doughy pancake rest a minute or two, then deftly folds it again into one sixth of a disc, sweeps and swings it into a clear plastic container. My five-buck-and-a-quarter dinner to go seems sluggish and content like a well-fed baby pig.

    And soon I am one happy hog myself. The cheese-turkey-pineapple crepe is a rich and chewy mess. The first bite is so good I ditch the plastic fork (which doesn’t do much at cutting anyway). Pineapple juice streams out at the tip as I scramble to bite sideway, and when the crepe reduces to a sizable conic chunk I use it to wipe clean the juice. The last mouthful is as rewarding and lingering as it can be, my fingers wet with butter and cheese. But my embarrassing story doesn’t just end here.

    I feel full, yet still want more, but I know better than letting the tongue fool the tummy. So I save the luke warm sweet crepe for later. And I forget about it. It sits in my fridge for over a day. The next morning, filled with guilt, I microwave my sweet crepe. Cut-up fruits don’t behave really well with refrigerating and microwaving, the banana turns overripe, the kiwi and the strawberry taste zealously sour. But the crepe still has its fleece-like texture, buttery, thick, and snuggly. The squirt of lemon juice gives a refreshing fragrant. I scrape off the fruit chunks, sink my teeth, and sheepishly smile.

    Seven years and counting:
    Crepes A-Go-Go near UC Berkeley campus
    2334 Telegraph Avenue (between Durant and Bancroft)
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    (510) 486-2310

    Borrowed from the receipt: Bon Appetit, Bon Journee

    Exchange rate:
    Cheese-turkey-pinapple crepe: $5.25;
    Strawberry-banana-kiwi crepe: $5.50

    Other tasty creperies in the Bay Area:
    Cafe Grillades in San Bruno
    Crêpes Café in Menlo Park

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    6 comments to Some crepes are better than others

    • I love a good crepe, too, whether it be sweet with Nutella or savory with cheese and ham. But I know what you mean about bad crepes. They are SOOO disappointing. My husband and I once had crepes at a place in Japantown. We each took a bite of our respective crepes, then said, “There’s something strange about this!” Then we figured it out — the crepes tasted like fortune cookies!! Can ya believe it? I dunno if it’s because they used a similar batter or what. But they did indeed taste like fortune cookies turned into crepes. Unfortunately, there was no fortune inside. 😉

    • Mai

      Hahaha, fortune cookie crepes?! That is hilarious! I’m going to Japan Town this weekend, which creperie is it?

    • I bet that you know that I choose the sweet ones even if it was defrosted after a day..I need visiting this place someday….



    • Mai

      After I read Pamelia’s post on your blog, I guess I should have frozen the sweet one instead of refrigerating it. 😛 But even after a day the crepe was still good, only the fruit part didn’t persevere.

    • i just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. i have added to my favourites. thank you.

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