Crêpe Bar

Good eating in the Valley of the Sun
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Lunchbox
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I celebrated Bastille Day by making my way over to Crêpe Bar today. I've had Jeff's food a few times when he had the Truckin' Good Food truck so I was pretty excited. From the looks of their Facebook feed, it looks like opening the brick and mortar has been a learning experience for them. My experience was great. The service was friendly and fast. The restaurant was about 75% capacity so they were pretty busy during mid morning.

It was about 10:30 so I was in a breakfast mood. I had the breakfast "burrito" which was bacon, eggs, cheese, and avocado stuffed in a crêpe (as opposed to using a traditional tortilla). I thought it could use a little more bacon (go figure :D ) but the eggs were cooked perfectly. Not to mention the dish was beautiful to look at. The crêpe was tasty as well, in hindsight, I'd almost prefer it to a tortilla.

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I had to get a dessert crêpe as well so I had the "first timer" which was Nutella and banana... It was good but I wished the banana was cooked/brûléed a little more.

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The only weird thing I noticed was the lack of a bathroom. They probably had one somewhere but I sure didn't notice it. Maybe it's through the kitchen? I didn't need to go but I thought it a little odd.

Overall I thought it was a great meal for $12.

Crêpe Bar
https://www.facebook.com/TruckinGoodFood
7520 S Rural Rd
Tempe, AZ 85283

LBX
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andrewknoc
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I also went on Saturday, and I tried two of the specials. I tried the microwaved buckwheat cake (which you can see on FB here) and the duck confit creation (I hope this works). Both were far more innovative than anything I'd had from the truck, but not quite as exciting as the meals I've had when Jeff was in a real kitchen (god I miss Cycle). I hope he can keep doing specials on a regular basis. The regular menu looked pretty solid, too.

Side note: Jason Calhoon is doing single-origin coffee here, and he's doing it well. Check it out. 7a to 2p daily.
M_L
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Lunchbox wrote:The only weird thing I noticed was the lack of a bathroom. They probably had one somewhere but I sure didn't notice it. Maybe it's through the kitchen? I didn't need to go but I thought it a little odd.
There are some strange rules to that depending on size and seating etc, I cannot remember what they are anymore but perhaps they caught a loophole to cut some costs?
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andrewknoc
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It's pretty sparse inside. It's not really a full restaurant or a coffee shop, so it's possible they just squeaked around the requirement for a restroom.
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mjmartinez72
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[Copied over from the gathering thread. -Mod]

I just tried Crepe Bar yesterday after seeing pictures of specials and other goodies on Instagram. Unfortunately, by the time I could get away for lunch, the specials had sold out. By specials I mean things like porkbelly over crepe pasta, brussels and bacon over grilled bread. Jeff said he had just received some andouille from the Meat Shop, so I'm sure that will make its way into a special. If you let him know you are coming maybe he will hold a special for the group.

We ordered the Papa K, the Veggie Stack, and the Buffalo Mini Crepes. The Papa K was everything you want in a savory crepe: Meat Shop ham, veggies, cheese. Filling, but not too rich.
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The Veggie Stack is unbelievely light and airy. These are smaller crepes stacked with tomato, pesto, goat cheese, squash "confit" and although I don't see how it was "confit", it didn't matter, the textures, flavors, all were balanced and amazingly light but satisfying.
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The buffalo mini crepes were cute, and tasted fine, but not a stand out.
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They also gave us a sample of their house granola. It was salty and sweet and loaded with pistachios and dried fruit. They serve it with yogurt. Jeff also said he was between seasonal salads. Enjoy!

MM

Crepe Bar
7520 S. Rural Road
Tempe, AZ 85283
480-247-8012
Michelle Martinez
instagram: mixapix
twitter: @mjmartinez72
themis
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Reporting on our group outing last Friday, 091412 - there were seven of us there: M_L, Dom, Dom's Deuxdrop, BarbaraToombs, azhotdish, exit2lef, and I - and being as there were six adults and six savory crepes, we made the immediate determination to order everything on the menu. Hopefully Dom will post those to follow; I only took two pictures. One of my lovely latte and one of the 'extra' Jeff brought around to thank us for our patronage after we'd manfully finished THE ENTIRE MENU. I'll post that one picture if I can figure out the linkage:
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I won't post details of each crepe, as they came fast and furious once the kitchen had caught up with the lunch rush, but just touch on the impressions I had. For me, the far and away winner were both of the ham crepes - the Papa K and the ham & mushroom. Lovely, flavorful, substantial but not heavy. The buffalo chicken tacos had great flavor and the chicken was texturally perfect, but this one didn't wow me.

Barbara and I had both taken note of the existing Yelp reviews, more than one of which had complained of saltiness in the breakfast "burrito." People had been saying it was excessively salty, as if the shaker had spilled. We both noticed saltiness as well, but not throughout the wrap - only particular bites. I'd have to conclude Jeff is using a more granular salt, I'd guess grey salt over alaea, but when you crunch into it, you get a definite salty blast. I kind of like that, but then, eggs that are 1) cold 2) unseasoned or 3) overcooked are just about the three worst things I can think of eating. This is the largest option and the heartiest breakfast they do.

Our veggie crepe came out a little late and this one's definitely the tinkerbell on the menu. Light flavors, but not entirely bland - the goat cheese stands up to the fillings. I agree that the 'confit' description is reaching; our zucchini didn't show any indication of being braised in fat, its own or otherwise. This crepe and a dessert would make a nice light dinner. I had higher hopes for the garnish of pickled veggies - since the other crepes did have a little spicy punch, I thought the garnish would be more vibrant.

exit2lef did suss out the andouille "bread pudding" special and had that brought round. No complaints about the sausage, but I think the table would have preferred the crustier version of bread pudding for textural contrast. The pudding was creamy, almost like a polenta, which made me think at least some of the bread involved had been corn bread. No indication of the special in the store; you had to have been a Facebook fan of Jeff's or the restaurant to know about it.

Of the dessert crepes, my hands-down favorite was the custard, but it wasn't filled with what I'd recognize as custard. It was what I'd call a fluffy creme anglais. Two of the table skipped the nutella crepe, not being chocolate-lovers, but DeuxDrop made up for their lack of enthusiasm :) I tried that one, but I'm not a banana-lover, so you kind of have to love the classic hazelnut-cocoa-banana trifecta to prefer that one. One of the dessert crepes has just a sprinkle of turbinado over the top, and as a minimalist dessert, this one's a good choice. I would have liked that one bruleed a little more, I think, a bit of char or some warmed liqueur would have put it right over the top; but the crunch of the sugar with the perfect spring of the folded crepe was nice.

Service slowed halfway through our epic duel with the brief menu, and Jeff came out to tell us that he'd had to make another batch of crepe batter. This made me worry a bit, because on the rare occasion I do crepes, I do batter the night before, I find my crepes with aged batter to behave so much better than a young batter. No appreciable difference in pancake quality was observed, though, they were still light and toothsome.

If you go, do yourself a favor and order a latte. You'll get a smoky, creamy brew, with a delicate flourish on top. Just one of the many perfectionist touches you'll see here. I can't even talk about their complimentary granola because now I'm busy revamping my recipe by tripling the salt and doubling the butter.

Happy, Dom? Post pictures -!
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Skillet Doux
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themis wrote:Happy, Dom? Post pictures -!
Hooray! :-)

Heavy workload tonight, but if I can't get photos up tonight, tomorrow for sure.
Dominic Armato
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Skillet Doux
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A lovely lunch!

Some photos of previously unpictured dishes, plus my .02... though I think themis is dead on.

The two ham crepes that she references were, I believe, the same crepe, the Papa K... we cut it into a bunch of pieces, and I think you got two opposite ends in those two bites :-) But I agree, that was one of my favorites. Very straightforward, cheesy and delicious.
Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito
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It's the big'un, to be sure. It's tasty and I appreciate the wit, though I'm not sure I wouldn't just rather have a breakfast burrito :-)
Griddled Chicken
Griddled Chicken
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This was actually one of my other favorites of the savories. My piece was heavy on the pesto, and it was a really nice pesto
Smoked Turkey
Smoked Turkey
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The smoked turkey didn't do it for me at all. It just came off as... I don't want to say dry, but this one just felt like a couple of ingredients wrapped in a crepe rather than a cohesive whole. The tomatoes weren't very good, either. Some I liked better than others, but this was the only one I'd call a miss.
Andouille Bread Pudding
Andouille Bread Pudding
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Good stuff! I didn't mind the texture of the bread "pudding," actually. Another way to put it over the top, I think, would have been to add some kind of garnish with a little crunch or pop or something like that.
Frosted with Berries
Frosted with Berries
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Simple... lovely. Again, themis has it... a little more brulee would have rocked. Incidentally, for most of the dessert crepes, I got one of the add-ons... the berries, in this case.
Vanilla Bean Custard with Caramel
Vanilla Bean Custard with Caramel
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Agreed, the star of the desserts (the caramel was the add-on). But only because I like the more restrained approach. The next two were also quite good, but they felt less like I was having crepes for dessert.
First Time
First Time
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Which isn't to say they didn't work as great desserts. Nothing not delicious about this. Candied walnuts were the add-on.
"Strudel"
"Strudel"
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From this angle, you can't see the little dish of maple syrup on the far side. Again, nothing not to like here.

This is a really cute, casual little place. It's inexpensive, it's delicious... it's nice to see one of the more successful food trucks parlay that success into a brick and mortar establishment.

And that parfait was awesome. Get it on the menu.
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BarbaraToombs
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Nice write-up, Laural...and great photos and additional comments by Dom. Dang...wish I could have stayed for that parfait treat, but I was already stretching my time away from work!

For what it's worth, I liked the Papa K and the Griddled Chicken best as mains, and the Strudel and Vanilla Bean Custard best as desserts.

I never got a chance to try the food truck incarnation of this...but really liked this place (not to mention it's in my own backyard!).

Here's a pic of the Veggie Stack:
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M_L
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I actually went again today with a few friends and they had a great time as well.

I would agree that the Papa K is probably the best one. It is a great medley of flavors.
I really enjoy the breakfast burrito, the time before we went and then today I found it to be fine in the salt area. I actually mentioned the groups comment on the saltiness to Jeff that day and he said that it could partially be that he changed the cheese he is using to a different one and that one has shown to be saltier but that he would keep an eye on that item and try and see about the over-saltyness.

As far as the chicken one, it had blue cheese and that is not a great flavor for me so it was a miss.

The turkey and veggie were good but not wowing to me like the PK or BB.

I enjoyed the special, the sausage was tasty and I liked the texture and flavor of the bread stuff.

As for the desserts I am one of the weird non chocolate eaters so The Vanilla with Berries is my go to option, though I have tasted the others and they are all great even with the various chocolate parts. I especially like the Brule'd (sp) banana's on the Nutella crepe. And the candied walnuts are delicious.

The granola is great and I had a spin on that today where there is a bed of it on top of a parfait (maybe that was just the parfait on the menu I am not sure) but it was pretty awesome.

Additional to the Pop Rocks covered gem that Themis showed you (which again chocolate not my thing) was delicious, he had a clever little shot glass of milk with a thumbish size cookie on it, sorry I forgot to take a picture, and it was awesome. There is just enough space in the glass that you can put the cookie in and break it up and get bites of it and the milk.

We had a chefs special of sort as well today, it was arugula, squash, spinach, turkey (that may be the regular turkey I do not recall) with a parmesian crisp across the top, not quite as awesome as the PK but the crisp really made it stand out.

Also if you like coffee Jason is doing some awesome work over there. Additionally if you order an espresso you will get a little sphere suspension with it that is very clever and I found pretty tasty.

That is all that is coming to me of my several visits in the last few weeks. Good stuff and really reasonable prices .
M_L
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Not certain if many other people have managed to shoot over for this but they have been doing a dinner BYOB menu for a little while. I went during the soft opening a couple weeks ago maybe? and left pretty darn happy I completely spaced posting about it. There are a bunch of small plates where you can either go through the entire tasting menu or just mix and match as you desire.

Here is a recent menu from their Instagram page http://instagram.com/p/VKmi1dnMrZ/ The olives I recall being pretty great and I think are a standard item, a lot of the other stuff is rotating or has a rotating filling much like the tot of the day. Everything looked sharp and was well executed and pretty darn tasty.

As an FYI it is not Jeff doing this but he is part of conceptualizing the dishes. Not certain when it is on and when it is off I keep forgetting to ask the specifics but it was a pretty solid go for the second night they had done it. If it is on (check their twitter) and perhaps give it a go. I really enjoyed it but I am far from unbiased when it comes to this place.
Last edited by M_L 8 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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I didn't realize they were officially doing this until last Fri, when I saw a tweet right *after* we'd had dinner elsewhere really nearby. SO disappointed that I didn't think to check before. Anyway, after tweeting to them, the response was that they'll be doing these 'small plates' on Thurs & Fri nights. The menu looked fab, and I can't wait to try it out!
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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We went last night for dinner. I made a tactical error and didn't realize that the pork belly would only be available on Friday night. Despite that, we had a really lovely meal trying everything else on the menu except for the radicchio. And we brought our own beer, which is always so much fun.
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The olives were warm and really nicely flavored. The salad was a simple assembly of greens, bleu cheese and bacon and was very tasty.
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The pierogies (3 to an order) were delicious. We dove in before I remembered to take a photo.

The cheesecake dessert was creamy and delicious with a sprinkling of Crêpe Bar's granola and fruit on top and was the perfect end to the meal.
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But the chicken. Oh my goodness, the chicken! I think this photo does it justice. Can you see how perfectly brined, flavorful & juicy it is? Can you see how tasty the crispy skin is? Ok, so you probably can't see how it tastes, but take my word - this is a fantastic dish. Fresh veggies with chèvre and a beautiful sauce were perfect along side this tasty bird.
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I had a tiny taste of the pork belly once several weeks ago at lunchtime that really makes me want to go for dinner for the full sized portion. I'm seriously tempted to go over there again tonight just for the pork belly.... and more of that chicken.
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BarbaraToombs
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MyLifeOnVacatio wrote: And we brought our own beer, which is always so much fun.
So, dinner is BYOB then??

Nice write-up, Penny! Eager to try dinner now!
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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Yes, BYOB! I started having daydreams of mimosas with crepes....will need to see if oj is on the menu. 8-)
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Lunchbox
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MyLifeOnVacatio wrote:Yes, BYOB! I started having daydreams of mimosas with crepes....will need to see if oj is on the menu. 8-)
I *think* I saw OJ in the cooler the other day when I went for lunch... (which was delicious BTW). Jeff sent out some bread (banana?) with honey, cracked pepper, and (almond?) butter while we were waiting for our food to come out. It was a business lunch so I wasn't paying attention when the waitress described it but I did manage to snap a pic. The honey and the cracked pepper really set it off. Nicely done Crêpe Bar!
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ScottofStrand
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Interesting Latte Throw Down at Crepe Bar.
http://vimeo.com/60016882
M_L
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I had not been here in awhile and hit it up last weekend. We got there around noon and the place was slammed. Apparently that is pretty normal Fri - Sun.
Jeff has really tightened things up in a good way.
There is still great attention being paid to the details here and just the nice touches they do to make you feel welcome.
Started with some sweet potato chips that were brought out the were thin, light, crispy and delicious. Apparently they are planning on selling these.
We had the breakfast burrito crepe and the chicken pesto crepe.
The breakfast was a good as ever but the real revelation was the chicken one. I rarely get this because I remember it being mediocre but it may very well be the best savory option on the menu now. Seems like they have thrown some curry into the pesto and it has really elevated it to another level. This turned out really well.

We also had the vanilla custard crepe for some dessert. Perfect way to close it out.

*disclosure Jeff is a friend so take my feedback accordingly*
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Mike Z
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Finally made it the two miles over from work. Missed breakfast, so got the Lemon x 3|butter + gel + zest crepe. Was going to eat there, but waited about 10 minutes and had to boogie, so I had them wrap it up to go. They'd brought over a little dish of organic granola, so I sprinkled that over the top . . . totally the way to go, complemented it perfectly. Could have used more lemon, but I'll definitely be back for it again
Lemon x 3|butter + gel + zest crepe
Lemon x 3|butter + gel + zest crepe
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Lunchbox
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A couple of weeks ago my B.P. needed coffee for his rig at the office. He wanted something different than the Cartel he'd been buying so I suggested we head over to Crepe Bar to see what they had and also grab some grub. We were both pretty happy... He got his bulk coffee and they even ground half of it up for him and we both got breakfast.


Yogurt and granola. So good... It's so dramatic to get served the yogurt from the can. ;)


I got the Andouille crepe: pimento cheese, fingerling potatoes, egg up. Their plates are such art. This is a great dish. A perfectly cooked egg and the sausage that sets it off in a wonderfully salty direction without being too salty. Nice work C.B.
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