The Pacific Northwest might be famous for its numerous coffee shops but recently there is a new trend making its presence known. Crêpes are showing up on menus everywhere, from small mom-and-pop shops to national chain restaurants. With sweet varieties, savory choices and everything in between, the versatile crêpe fits many types of cuisines. And the fact that crêpes go well with coffee probably doesn’t hurt their popularity around the South Sound.
But what exactly is a crêpe?
Essentially, a crêpe is a very thin pancake. Unlike our fluffier versions served at pancake houses across the country, crêpes are meant to be very thin and rolled up and used like a wrapper for any number of fillings. Made by spreading a very thin layer of batter into a hot skillet or flat hot plate, crêpes are fast and surprisingly easy to make.
The crêpe originates from Brittany, France, and was traditionally slightly sweet and served with sparkling apple cider. From there, the crêpe spread throughout France, with the orange-flavored flambéed crêpe Suzette probably the most well-known type. But sweet is not the only option. Some popular savory fillings include salmon, cheese, eggs, mushrooms and pork. Although created in France, versions of crêpes are found around the globe. There’s the Chinese Mandarin pancake, the tortilla from Mexico and the Russian blinchki, just to name a few.
There are all types of crêpes all over town. Find them at these fine establishments:
AmeRAWcan Bistro in Tacoma takes a new look at crêpes and serves two raw cashew crepes filled with sweet cashew cream and seasonal fruit.
East & West Café off Proctor in Tacoma makes a Banh Xeo-Saigon crêpe for an amazing Asian appetizer stuffed with chicken, prawns, yellow mung bean, onion, bean sprouts and Chinese mushrooms, all wrapped with lettuce leaves and served with a special dipping sauce.
In Olympia, drive through crêpes are all the rage and made to order at Crazy Horse Crêpes.
For a fast snack or meal try Yummy Crêpe in the Federal Way Commons serving up both sweet and savory varieties.
Seasonal Delights at Freighthouse Square in Tacoma produces both traditional and crazy varieties of crêpes all made from scratch. Don’t miss the savory Hawaiian crêpe with ham, pineapple, Swiss cheese and toasted coconut.
Coming soon to downtown Tacoma, Savor Crêperie is sure to be a big hit with locals with 25 different options of crepes on the menu.
Try the sweet cheese and pineapple crêpe with vanilla sauce at Paprika in Olympia.
Located in Capital Hill in Seattle, 611 Supreme has a menu dedicated to the classic French crêpe. From smoked salmon to chocolate mousse, this place serves the authentic fare and does it well.
Café Pirouette in Bellevue is a hit for crêpe lovers on the Eastside. Nutella and Banana and sautéed spinach and mushroom are big hits.
Redmond gets their crêpes a Crêperie de Paris. For a Italian twist, try the Pesto crêpe for a special treat.
For the crêpe crazy, try making crêpes at home.
It is quite simple actually. There are only five ingredients in fact: flour, eggs, milk, salt and oil. Ingredients most households keep on hand. Try
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with a light layer of oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting and turning the pan in a circle to completely coat the surface. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until lightly brown on the bottom, gently turn and cook 1-2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining batter only adding more oil if a crêpe sticks. Stack between layers of parchment paper on a wire rack. Fill with fruit, peanut butter, ragu, eggs, salad, etc. and fold up and serve.
Voila! That is all there is to it.
For an even easier option, there are many crêpe batter mixes on the market. But don’t forget about good old pancake mix. Many pancake mixes have a crepe option on the back. Usually thinning out a pancake recipe with more milk will make a thinner, crêpe-like batter. Crêpes are super-fast and perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner or dessert.
- Strain the batter through a fine sieve or metal strainer, to ensure there are no lumps.
- Be careful when flipping the crêpe to prevent tearing.
- Use canned pie filling for a quick dessert.
- Make a build your own crêpe bar for a fun family meal.
- Keep leftover crêpes in the freezer with a piece of wax paper or parchment sealed in a plastic bag for up to 2 months. Just heat and serve.