During our Monkeypalooza celebration day, we strolled up Robson Street after a tasty ramen lunch. Our mission was to go check out the da Vinci exhibit and do a little shopping. “Monk” has a boot fetish and I have a clog addiction, so Robson Street is a great place for both of us to be sated. When we got up to Jervis Street, “Monk” suggested we grab a crepe at her favorite crepe shop and it would also give her a chance to perform a little “routine maintenance” on “Jazzy”. La Bretagne Creperie [795 Jervis St, Vancouver, (604) 688-5989] has been around since 2003 and “Monk” has been a fan for quite some time.
So what’s the deal with crepes? It’s a question I ask myself and the people around me on a weekly basis. It’s a long story, but if you ever want to have an in-depth conversation about crepes, come by Tapenade Bistro, we’ll open a bottle of wine and “Sales Mix” and I will debate this topic with you to your heart’s content. “Monk” loves crepes. If she’s not craving noodles, she’s craving crepes. She likes sweet crepes, savory crepes, crispy crepes and spongy crepes. She could quite possibly be, the “Bubba Gump” of crepes.
On this particular visit, since we just finished lunch, we only ordered an Americano and a couple of sweet crepes. Monk wanted a sugar and lemon crepe and I ordered the nutella filled crepe. In the past, I’ve sampled a few of their savory crepes and “Monk” has probably tried them all. I remember them being satisfactory, with the fillings being under-seasoned and underwhelming, but they were definitely much better than the crepes you get at Cafe Crepe. The truth is I’m kinda biased. I personally just don’t get the appeal of crepes. It’s just flour, egg, milk and butter. It’s griddled into a thin pancake, sometimes they’re crispy around the edges and sometimes they’re completely un-caramelized and consistently spongy all the way around. Sure, the texture and taste is fine, but what’s the big deal? Truth be known, I’m quite indifferent about crepes and I’d much rather have a sandwich on artisan baguette, than have ingredients folded/rolled into a crepe. Also, because “Monk” likes them so much and forces me to eat crepes with her so often, I subconsciously am determined to not like them very much. I would much rather be spending my dining opportunities, eating a thousand other things. Because “I’m such a great guy”, I always acquiesce to her crepe desires and allow her to talk me into having crepes, even when we’re living it up in Las Vegas or cruising about Quebec City.
After a few minutes, our crepes arrived. They looked kinda suzy-homemaker on floral plates with a couple of fruit sauces squeeze bottled around the rim of the plate. All we were missing was some chopped parsley on the rim and a sprig of curly parsley and I would have felt like I was back in the 80’s. OK, the lemon and sugar crepe was quite tasty. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy a crepe. “So simple, so delicious.” It’s a good balance of acidity and sweetness and you can taste and appreciate the texture and actual taste of the crepe. My only
complaint with this lemon crepe was that the edges were not their usual crispness and it’s one of the characteristics I enjoy most about Breton style crepes. The nutella crepe was tasty as well, but there was just way too much filling and it overwhelmed the delicate nature of the crepe. Again, the edges were not crispy, but “such is life”.
Issue and concerns; apart from my personal feelings towards crepes, I was a touch disappointed in the inconsistency of the crepes. Having had lemon and sugar crepes there many times in the past, I would have expected the crepe to have its characteristic crispy edges. My only other issue is the spotty hours this restaurant sometimes keep. In years past, we could never keep track of when they were open and tended to be closed whenever we went by trying to have a crepe. Since I’ve been dating/married to the “Crepe-Monster” for what seems like a lifetime, we’ve gone by on numerous occasions, only to be sent away “Crepeless in Vancouver.” Maybe this issue has been resolved and their schedule is more consistent these days; I don’t know. In all seriousness, if I could put aside my personal vendetta against thin pancakes for just a few minutes, I would recommend La Bretagne Creperie to all crepe aficionados. “Monk” swears by them, she considers them the best crepes in Vancouver hands down (apart from mine)and please don’t let my jaded opinion of crepes throw you off.
On my (because it’s my blog and not “Monk’s”) chef’s night out scale, La Bretagne Creperie receives 2.5/5 SOB (slices of bacon).