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It's Just Crepes (Lunch Review)

Fast and tasty are the operative words at new downtown spot

By Heather Smith · October 8th, 2008 · The Dish

I don’t believe I’ve written a restaurant review while I was still eating, but it’s the perfect indicator of how fast our world moves. Going to It’s Just Crepes (39 E. Court St., 513-63-CREPE) downtown was a big reminder of that: This place really caters to our busyness.

The scene: Four people in a small space behind the counter, three making crepes at lightening speed and an owner who says, “We’re adding another griddle soon so we can speed things up.” While the line was long, I had two beautiful homemade crepes 10 minutes after walking through the door. Still, as I left, one of the owners apologized for my wait.

I imagine that the only way my wait would have gone any faster is if they had made me a virtual crepe, then emailed it to me. Not to mention the fact that it’s anything but boring to wait in line here. Peer over the counter and you’ll see the fascinating crepe-making process. The staff makes it look so easy that you’ll think you can do it at home with only a Bunsen burner.

Here’s how it works: The staff throws the crepe dough on to one of three cast-iron crepe plates (circular griddles), spreads it out with a special, T-shaped crepe scraper, throws in the ingredients and it’s ready in minutes. The good thing about It’s Just Crepes is that vegetables and other ingredients are not so prepped that they’re “pre-sautéed.” They’re being cooked in front of you so you know they’re fresh.

It’s also fun to watch a vat of chocolate, Nutella, and an embarrassing number of Reese’s Cup chunks being poured on to the Peanut Butter Cup Crepe ($4.99) while you wait for it. It only adds to the anticipation.

Both crepes I ordered were delicious. While the Vegetarian Crepe ($5.09) with cheddar, tomato, green pepper, mushroom and onion was a hearty lunch, it could have used more vegetables and less cheese. But then again, cheese is the glue that holds a crepe together, so you’re not going to find low-fat fare here.

But you do have several options to choose from in your crepe quest, including both savory and sweet choices. In fact, it seems anything can be turned into a crepe. Take, for instance, the Pizza ($5.49) with mozzarella, pepperoni, mushroom and pizza sauce and the Three Cheese ($5.49) with cheddar, feta and mozzarella. Sweet options range from the Elvis ($3.79) with peanut butter and banana to the S’mores ($4.99) with Nutella, graham crackers and It’s Just Crepes marshmallow cream — treats that are sure to make you feel like a kid again, even if you’re in the midst of one of those office politics, so-adult-it-hurts corporate days.

It’s Just Crepes also offers breakfast (hours are 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday), including an Omelet ($5.99) with cheddar, ham and eggs, as well as other tasty options.

CONTACT HEATHER SMITH: hsmith@citybeat.com



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