Ravenous Creperie

http://www.ravenouscrepes.com/

I’ve been going here once a week since my second weekend here.   Is the food really that good?  Well, yes and no.  Are the crepes as good as Flip Happy Crepes?  No, they’re not.  Then again, this place has air-conditioned seating, and it doesn’t take two hours or more to get your order.  The food is really quite good though, and sometimes it makes me think.  I really like food that engages my brain and my mouth at the same time.  The main problem with the crepe menu is… it’s crepes.  It’s just not an everyday food for me.  They also do make truly excellent pommes frites (though I have yet to try their mayonnaises) and a tasty minimalist mixed green salad.  And very good coffee.  Possibly the best in town (I’ll have to have a cup of theirs and the other contender back-to-back to make certain). 

They have both sweet and savory crepes, the savories served with either fries or a salad.  And while they often go for novelty/entertainment value with either their naming or presentation (Last Mango in Paris?) They don’t sacrifice  food quality to do it.  For example, the “Vive la France” is a sweet crepe folded into a rectangle and turned into un tricolore by topping with strawberries, whipped cream and blueberries — but the fruit is very good fruit, so the whole thing is delicious.  The two crepes referenced above were from their specials menu, a menu that changes somewhat irregularly, I assume depending on ingredient availablity.  So far, my favorite special has been “And the Beet Goes On.”  This is one of those that showed real creativity and culinary understanding.  It was a mix of healthy vegetables (beets, asparagus, and others that I don’t remember off of the top of my head) with maybe a teaspoon of diced pancetta and walnuts.  That little bit of fat and salt coated the veggies, giving the filling an unctuous, meaty quality that transformed it from “hippie” to “hearty.”  I have always gone at brunch, but at some point I’ll need to check out the regular menu, particularly the chicken/broccoli/bechamel crepe and Bretagne crepe. 

A bit of a divergence here.  Ravenous is a particularly good example of what I’ve noticed about this part of the country: good coffee and good fries.  Every place I’ve been here has at coffee that was at worst decent, and their deep fried potatoes have all been excellent.  Even the consistently crappy little diner near where I work has excellent fries and good coffee.  Ravenous has excellent fries, and very good coffee.  Probably equal to Counter Cafe back in Austin.

Actually, there are a number of similarities between Ravenous and the Counter Cafe.  While their decors differ, they both are very small.  They both have community tables, which are the only large tables in the place.  They both have counter seating allowing views of the cooking.  And perhaps because of that, they both seem to encourage interactions between the customers and the staff.  The proprietor and one of the waitresses knew me by name when I walked in on my second visit.  If coffee is not immediately brought to me, it must be someone I’ve never seen before. 

If I lived a life of leisure, with rooms in the Adelphi Hotel, I could easily see Ravenous becoming part of my daily routine.  Grabbing an order of pommes frites to snack on while I walked to the park, or having one of their fromage blanc and blueberry crepes with an afternoon coffee.  Until I start earning that extra few hundred thousand dollars a year, I’ll just have to keep Ravenous as my weekly indulgence.

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