Awhile ago, I got a note from an FSU reader, who recommended I try out a whole bunch of places on the "campus" side of town. My eye was immediately drawn to one name on the list - The Crepe Vine. My love of crepes began on my honeymoon to Tahiti, where hubby and I visited La Roulettes - roaming carts of cuisine that set up shop after dark in the middle of town, offering local fare straight from the back of their trucks. We were told it was the best way to sample true Tahitian food. After each meal, we would inevitably end up at a crepe truck ordering dessert - chocolate and banana was our poison. They were absolutely TO DIE FOR. So when I saw that there was a creperie in town, it definitely piqued my interest. However, hubby and I never seemed to be able to make it over there.
Then one day, I was driving down Monroe St. after picking up some dry cleaning, and a wonderful young girl knocked on my window with a 25% off coupon to what else - but The Crepe Vine's newest location! I was thrilled. This spot was much closer to our house, and what with the moving and all - it was going to be much easier for us to test it out. So, that Sunday, I woke hubs up early to get our crepe on.
As we walked in the door, I was immediately taken aback by the modern-ness of the space. Pale yellow walls exist in stark contrast to black tables, chairs, couches and bar stools. One whole wall is dedicated to what I'm going to call "crepe space" - where the cooks work their magic. I'm not sure why, but I expected to be waited on. However, that was not the case. You step up to a cash register where a staff member hands you a large menu. What with hubby's poor decision making abilities I was afraid we were never going to order! They've got breakfast crepes filled with things like eggs, bacon, ham and sausage, and they've also got savory crepes (that are pretty much like sandwich wraps) filled with meats, cheeses and veggies. Not to mention salads, parfaits and yogurt bowls. But my eyes went directly to the sweet crepes, because seriously people - is there anything else that should really be in a crepe, but ooey, gooey, sugary deliciousness? I think not.
I quickly ordered up the Oober Goober which was filled with banana, whipped cream, peanut butter and topped with Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread). Then I looked over at hubby who was still sweating over his decision. It was then that I noticed the T-zers on the menu. They were billed as a smaller portion, so I thought that would give hubby the chance to try a few different things. He jumped at it. And after a few more agonizing moments, he selected the English T-zer (filled with bacon, eggs, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, spinach and cajun remoulade sauce) and the Mackavelli T-zer (filled with fresh strawberries, Nutella and topped with white chocolate syrup). When it came to drinks, I asked if they had milk or juice and was told that they only had Powerade, bottled water and soft drinks. I thought it a bit strange that a place who relied so heavily on breakfast service would not offer milk or juice to drink. I frowned and ordered a water while hubby grabbed a Powerade. (**Side note - we did go back a week later, and they did have orange and apple juice offerings. I guess enough people asked for it, so they figured they'd better get some. Still no milk though. I mean, come on. Anything with peanut butter, chocolate and bananas better come with some dang milk!**)
Now, the only complaint I had heard about the Crepe Vine was the long wait to get your food. I mean, they're just crepes, right? Throw all the stuff on the flat little pancake and wrap it up, right? How long could it take? So, I pulled out the cell phone and started the timer. We sat down at 9:06am. They do have a few large screen TVs in the restaurant that you can peruse, however, the sound is turned off and none of them have subtitles, so that was a little strange. So we waited. And waited. And waited. There were 3 people back in the "crepe space" all working on something - but apparently not OUR order. And then at 9:26am, our crepes were served. All in all, it was a 20 min wait for our food. It did seem a bit much.
So once our crepes got to the table, I was sufficiently salivating. I took one look at my Oober Goober and said "woooah, ha, ha!" (evil villain laugh) and then dug in! That sucker literally melted in my mouth. The bananas and whipped cream were so light and mushy and the peanut butter and Nutella offered the perfect nutty compliment. I couldn't get enough. Until I ate about 3/4 of it too fast and felt sick. Then I had to slow down. The one thing I will say about their crepes is that they're almost more flaky than they should be. I like my crepes to have a nice, soft, pancake-like texture, but these are a bit more stiff. Other than that, it was absolute heaven.
Now, let's take a minute to talk about hubby's T-zers. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but these things weren't any smaller than their regular crepes! And if they are, the difference is so miniscule that it can't be seen by the naked eye. So we joked that they should call them Same-zers cause they're the exact same size as the other ones. Honestly, I didn't care for his breakfast crepe. For some reason, I've got this idea stuck in my head that crepes should be sweet and the saltiness of the eggs and bacon didn't really work for me. I also didn't particularly enjoy the cajun remoulade sauce, which was more smokey than it was spicy. But hubby didn't seem to mind, and he gobbled it right up. When he moved on to his sweet crepe - I don't know if he was full, or if he had just been poisoned by his taste of the goodness that is the Oober Goober - but he didn't particularly like the Mackavelli. We couldn't quite figure it out, but there was something in that crepe that tasted of coconut - even though that wasn't in any of the ingredients used. Whatever the reason, it just didn't work for him. So he started his "stealth" tactic of stealing bites off of my plate (which isn't so stealthy, by the way). And between the two of us, we tackled what was left of the Goob.
And then I took a nap. A nice, long hibernation-type nap. At the pool. With the Goob rolling around in my belly. It was a good day.
Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - A (sweet crepes), B (breakfast crepes)
Presentation - A
Service - C (food comes out real slooooow)
Price - $
The Crepe Vine
1304 North Monroe St
Tallahassee FL 32303
Posted by Tally Foodie Monday, August 2, 2010