It took Will Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby some time (and a bruised shoulder) to change his mind about crepes. And if you’re a Francophile you might have noticed a severe lack of them in our fair city. But when the mood strikes for one of these Parisian treats, don’t fret—there’s always market-favorite Crepelandia.
The booth isn’t much of a secret to market-goers who line up in droves for these Saturday morning staples. Owned by Marissa Schaeffer and husband Ted, Crepelandia began whipping up crepes at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market almost three years ago as a side project to Good Gluten Free Foods, the Schaeffers’ original business, which focuses on, well, gluten-free goodies that don’t taste like cardboard. The duo made their way to the Pearl Farmers Market a year later where the little crepe stand has blossomed into a two-booth operation, anchoring the southern end of the market next to The Twig Bookshop, a coffee booth, YAPA Empanadas and Ming’s Thing.
On a recent Saturday morning, the Schaeffers had just finished expanding the operation to include 21 circular crepe irons (a few extra backups were left behind in the truck). Crepe-makers man two to three irons each, cranking out two pliable crepes per minute. The Schaeffers carry several coolers filled with prepared produce, cheese and batter—about 25 pounds of spinach, 15 pounds of kale and so. much. cheese. They’ll also run through 270 eggs, with 150 extra used exclusively for the crepe batter. On a good day, the army of crepe makers (Marissa leads the way with the help of two of her children and a few Culinary Institute of American-San Antonio students) will make anywhere from 400 to 500 savory and sweet crepes.
The menu usually includes five sweet crepes, two vegan crepes, three breakfast crepes and two lunch crepes. The Sunrise (egg, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, three cheeses and spinach) is especially popular and has an entire station dedicated to its creation alone. There’s also something special about the plain Nutella crepe that’s heavy on the hazelnut crème. For the calorie-averse, Crepelandia carries a Veggie Supreme crepe which overflows with roasted mushrooms, kale, spinach, tomato and Daiya vegan cheese.
“People often ask for the vegan dosa (made with rice flour and lentils) with regular, non-vegan fillings because it’s crunchier than the regular crepe,” said Marissa.
Other offerings include rotating specials such as the Croque Monsieur with scrambled eggs, ham, Gruyere and a bit of strawberry jam, or La Huerfana, filled with roasted poblano and onion rajas, corn, cilantro, spinach and Oaxaca cheese. You can check the weekly market menu at crepelandia.com.
Although the summer is usually Crepelandia’s busy season, the booth saw an increase in fans this winter.
“We broke numbers again in February,” said Schaeffer, “which is funny because breakfast is such a neglected niche in this city.” My guess is the Schaeffers won’t have to strong arm San Antonio into loving these really thin pancakes.