Ravenous

http://www.ravenouscrepes.com/

Some things that make this my every Sunday lunch place:

-World class fries

-Best coffee in town.  They mix some of their espresso grind in with their drip coffee grind.  Makes for an excellent cup of coffee

-Variety in the crepes.  It is surprising how much variation you can get out of this basic form, and I don’t just mean different fillings.  The savory crepes that involve cooking eggs inside result in the crepe becoming fused to the filling, more like an outer crust than a separate ingredient.  I usually tend towards the crepes that are eggless or have the eggs cooked separately, like their Crepe Marrakesh, Crepe Cubano, and Croque Madam Crepe.   In these, the crepe acts as a separate taste/textural component, which goes well with the chunky, multi-ingredient fillings.  Even the sweet crepes have significant variety in them.  Two similar sounding ones, the Blueberry Zeppelin and the Blueberry Jamboree actually are quite different in execution and the final product.  The Blueberry Zeppelin wraps the crepe around a sweet cheese filling, resulting in a soft, pillowy confection topped with blueberries.  In the Blueberry Jamboree, the blueberries are placed inside the crepe, which is folded in half and then cooked until it obtains the browned, crisp-chewy texture of a pan-fried dumpling. 

-The staff.  I’ve come to realize that a top quality staff is probably the biggest factor in making me loyal to a particular restaurant.  At Ravenous, they not only talked to me the first time I went in, they greeted me by name the second time I went.  That impresses me.  There are places where I absolutely love the food (The Local and Beverly’s come to mind) but since I don’t have a connection to the people working there, I don’t make an effort to get there on a regular basis.  This is probably not just confined to me. When Mei Ling and I frequented Austin’s Counter Café, we became friendly with two of the cooks there, Robert and Patrick.  When they left the place, so did Mei Ling’s enthusiasm.   However, the rest of the staff there is also totally pro.  When I went back after four months here in Saratoga, not only did they remember me, they had a cup of coffee waiting for me at my place before I sat down.  Perhaps I am too demonstrative in my love for good coffee? 

While I’m raving about how good the staff is at Ravenous, and I’ve contrasted a couple of other restaurants, I should probably balance things out by mentioning a couple of places that also have good staff:  Triangle Diner and the Irish Times.

Ravenous:  they’ve been in this cutthroat business for 13 years, off Broadway, and I’ve been going there every weekend (save two) since June.  They’re good.  Try them.

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