Peering into the windows of Taste Crepes with my posse of bubbly girlfriends, I observed a joint that keeps the aesthetics simple. Only a few pictures attempt to liven up the stark red and white walls. In fact, the only effort that has been made to visually distance this unique venture from the Quiznos sub shop it used to be may be the signage. For many, the menu offerings of crepes, paninis, and pizzas may come an unanticipated surprise. But the buzz was good. As we approached, an excited couple urged us in, promising that we would not be disappointed. The sound of bistro music greeted us as we opened the doors and we gave in to the warm, light-hearted melodies. Upon ordering, we discovered that Taste is only one month old — that its founders are expats from the corporate world who decided to take a chance on their own vision. The menu sports classics such as the Crepe Suzette, quirkily dubbed “Suzie Q,” composed of citrus juices, butter, and caramelized sugar. Customers will also find unexpected choices such as the “Camp Fire” crepe, modeled after the American s’more, which includes the familiar ingredients of marshmallow and chocolate.
Our food arrived with exceptionally friendly service, and the savory crepes were moist, tender, and full of flavor. Guests can watch the crepes blossom into triangular shapes as they cook on the other side of a plexiglas window. We examined them carefully at our table under the guidance of a French friend to determine if these were the real deal. French girl dissected her selection with meticulous care, concluding that, though these crepes were authentic enough for her palette, they should be cooked a wee bit more to achieve optimal crispness and golden brown color. She also added that in France, a little butter on top of a crepe sets off the popular dish. Her order, “The Smurf,” was delectable indeed, filled with chicken, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. The appropriately dubbed “Popeye” crepe holds spinach, rich pesto, and juicy chicken. And for those of you yearning for dessert, your sweet tooth might just burst into a sappy ’80s love ballad when it enters the sweeter crepes, especially the “Oh Baby!” featuring Nutella and fresh fruit. Served with a little fresh cream on the side, these babies will take you on a joy ride.
I took a chance on the Panini Napolitano despite my attraction to the rather sizeable crepes my friends were enjoying. This grilled sandwich features bell peppers, prosciutto, capicola, and provolone. Flavor was up to par, with the bright peppers and saltier cheeses blending in the creamy, sweet tomato sauce. However, I would have preferred a bit more moisture to my panini through a healthy dose of olive oil, choicer bread, and perhaps also a better quality prosciutto. With most entrées under $10, and breakfasts under $5, my only other complaint is that this eatery isn’t on my side of town. I am certain that Taste’s cuisine will improve as they find their footing and interact with more guests. However, the owners should strive to create a more personal atmosphere so diners can feel more at home. Why look like a cold, cookie-cutter chain when you’re obviously not one?
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