Frankophiles for three nights: Street Eats: Crêpe

As our European road trip continues, we had a three night layover in France, and we had to try all the classics, starting from the ground up. 

We only had three nights in Paris. It was just long enough to find our nearest foie gras purveyor, boulangerie/patisserie, and cheese monger, high five at the Eiffel Tower, and wish that we had more time (and money) to enjoy the City of Lights. That said, those three nights couldn’t have been more French. As an homage to fitting lots of Parisian flavor into one compact post, we’ve decided to highlight France’s greatest contribution to the late night street snacking: the crêpe.

Our local haunt. Small, busy, and buckets of Nutella on the shelve. Just the way we like it.

Our local haunt. Small, busy, and buckets of Nutella on the shelve. Just the way we like it.

The crêpe has deep roots in France. Originally from Brittany, the crêpe was a food mainly consumed by the poor, often used in place of bread. The adding of toppings and fillings is a relatively new addition to the crêpe.

The crêpe is France’s age old answer to eating on the go and ranks up there on the most delicious portable snacks in the world. The French crêpe experience is often imitated but not often replicated. There are thousands of crêperies throughout Paris and most offer pretty similar menus. In the world of crêpes this isn’t a bad thing. In my mind, a crepe menu really only needs one savory and one sweet: ham & cheese and Nutella & (more) Nutella.

Step 1: Pour delicious batter on a hot frying pan and spread evenly.

Step 1: Pour delicious batter on a hot frying pan and spread evenly.

Paris is home to some gourmet crêperies, but to us the true and most enjoying experience happens street-side. To locate your neighborhood’s most desirable crêperie, the golden rule of street eats applies: just look for the line.

Nothing is more enjoyable than watching the thin liquid batter sizzle on the hot frying pan, japing and jabbering with the crêpeir in your best French, staring transfixed at the precise layers of filling melt down into a perfect ooze, and finally enjoying your crêpe on the nearest city bench.

As the French say: Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.

Natalie and parents enjoying some freshly made crêpes.

Natalie and parents enjoying some freshly made crêpes.