Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CrepeVine - surprisingly tasty strip mall lunch

Tallahassee's exposure to French cuisine seems a little light, particularly on the Pensacola drag not far from the FSU campus. And now that there's the CrepeVine nestled in between the Gold's Gym and Hungry Howie's, well, the connection's still pretty light.

That said, the CrepeVine is an attractive little lunch spot - trendy and clean - with admirably creative wraps, and solid execution across all fronts. The menu is small and split into savory and sweet. The savory side is made up of half a dozen pre-configured crepes - generally a few meats (roast beef, chicken, ham), a couple of veggies, gooey mozarella, and a sauce - and some options for build-your-own. The sweet side is basically the same deal, with nutella and various sweet creamy things as fillings. Good? Yes, surprisingly good, if a bit greasy. French? Nope. Think of this things as smack in the middle between a gyro and a burrito and you've pretty much got the picture. The crepes are thick (for a crepe), substantial, and slightly sweet, and served gyro style with the bottom wrapped in parchment paper to hold the drippy sauce. Eating is a hold and chew operation - this is not a forkable crepe.

There are maybe 4 or 5 tables, mostly with low stools instead of actual chairs. The music is loud but not to the MoMo's in-your-face standard. There are two big LCD TVs playing nothing in particular, but it adds to the chic look of the place. One minor but welcome perk: they have Fiji water - almost every ther spot I've been to here is Dasani or the tap.

All told, I had a pre-config crepe (The Wobbles) and a bottle and spent a sliver more than 8 bucks. Good deal. This one gets onto the regular list.

As a side note: I may have had a significantly more enthused reaction had a not recently been introduced to one of the most phenomenal lunch joints I've ever encountered - the similarly themed, much lower budget, and much better FlipHappy on South Lamar in Austin.

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