I love crepes. Maybe it’s the French side in me, but I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like them–so filling and oh so delicious and maybe not very nutritious but nobody really cares. They totally blow pancakes out of the water (sorry but it’s true, beloved USA and you know it). You can put pretty much anything you want in it or on top of it and it’s still considered a culinary masterpiece. You can only do that with very few foods. There are different ways to make them but they are relatively easy to make. I kind of want to try making them myself–after all Mardi Gras is right around the corner (sometime in February).
I had crepes over Christmas break (actually had them twice in one day unintentionally–not such a good idea). They (along with waffles and hot wine) are pretty standard at every French Christmas market fair but it seems like you can’t find them anywhere apart from major holidays. I was curious to see whether there were any good creperies in Madrid. So I did what any resourceful person does: I googled it.
There are two creperies around where I live and one is only about ten minutes walking distance. It is called “La Creperie Easycrep” (not the most original name) and it’s actually a restaurant chain here in Madrid. The first restaurant was founded in 1981 and then it sort of took off from there, so I’m guessing they get pretty good business. I tucked away the fact that we lived near a creperie for future reference and intended to bring it up the next time my roommates wanted to eat out somewhere.
Turns out I only had to wait a few days. Wednesday night my roommate Lindsey (the best cook in our apartment by far, so amazed by her culinary skills) mentioned she didn’t feel like cooking and maybe wanted to eat out. I got really excited and suggested we try the creperie. Nicole was up for it too so we google mapped the directions and walked on over.
It was a Wednesday night so obviously the place wasn’t exactly hopping. It was also around 10 PM when we got there (not very late by Spanish standards, most restaurants don’t open up for dinnertime before 8 or 9 PM so just be warned if you come visit me and want to eat out). I almost missed the place as we got close to it, it’s kind of tucked away from the street and not very easy to spot from the main sidewalk.
It wasn’t very big and the decor was very minimalist and simplistic with muted colors–black and brown mostly. You could sort of see the kitchen area from the tables so you knew when the chef was making the crepes, which was kind of exciting.
To start off with, I ordered the “breakfast” crepe which is what I usually order in a creperie-ham, cheese and an egg sunny side up (I think that’s what huevos a la plancha means). Nicole ordered the “ingles” aka English crepe which was bacon and cheese. Lindsey got the “suave” (soft) crepe which was bechamel sauce with ham and cheese. The crepes were served with these little potato chip/fry sticks that were pretty good. Anyways, when my crepe arrived, I attacked with gusto. The ingredients were folded into the crepe (some places just serve the ingredients on the crepe) so while it made it easier to eat, there was that much more food in every bite. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a bad crepe but these were pretty good, considering we were in Spain which is better known for paella and tortillas.
We were all satisfied by the first course but I definitely wasn’t full. Time to order the postre crepes! At this point the waiter actually gave us menus in English since he obviously heard us speaking English–this happens from time to time but I don’t mind too much. The waiters are just trying to be accommodating when they do this and I’ll be honest when I say I don’t understand everything on a Spanish menu. However with words like “chocolate” and “helado” and “azucar” the dessert menu is pretty easy to read!
Instead of going for something chocolaty, I opted for the “apelmus”: apple sauce with sugar and whipped cream. Now it was obviously heaven in a crepe–I haven’t had apple sauce since I’ve come to this country (I can’t find it in the supermarkets here, it is actually very frustrating) so that was pretty amazing. But OH MY GOD the whipped cream (called nata in Spanish)!!!!! This had to be home-made whipped cream, it was so creamy and gooey and tasted like what whipped cream is supposed to taste like! None of that fake Cool Whip crap. So frothy and so sweet and you get the picture. I totally fell in love with that crepe.
Nicole went the more traditional ice cream route: the “Beige crepe” which had melted chocolate sauce, vanilla chocolate and whipped cream as well. Hers was served differently–mine was folded up to preserve the apple sauce in it while Nicole’s was laid flat in a circle with all the accoutrements piled right on top (though I think the melted chocolate may have been inside the crepe, I forget). Lindsey got the “Jamaica crepe”: a slice of pineapple, lemon ice cream and Grand Marnier.
I think Lindsey’s dessert crepe was the most intense haha. She (and well all of us) didn’t realize how much liquor (the Grand Marnier) would be put on the crepe. I also should have remembered Grand Marnier was really strong because I’m pretty sure I’ve had it before. I took a few bites and WOW was that stuff strong–her crepe was literally taking a bath in it. The waiter actually lit her crepe on fire! The flame took fire on the Grand Marnier for a few minutes before burning out. I’m not too sure what the purpose of this was–warming up the crepe maybe? Anyways it looked really cool though it slightly terrified all of us since it was completely unexpected.
However Lindsey is a trooper and she managed to eat the whole thing. We were all pretty stuffed by the time we got up and left, but very satisfied and happy knowing we live near a creperie. Best part about the place is that it’s pretty cheap–each crepe costs between 5-8 euros so you easily pay between 10-15 euros for dinner. Score. Totally going back here.
And I know I haven’t really been to any restaurants serving traditional Spanish food… in my defense, those tend to be more expensive and if I want tapas, the tapas bars are always SO crowded and you usually have to eat your food standing. I’d rather have plenty of room at a table and enjoy my meal sitting, thank you very much.
Alright well back to the thesis proposal…
Amelie, la reine des crepes
PS. If you would like to check out the creperie I went to (however the site is only in Spanish): http://www.lacreperie-easycrep.es/#