The great taste is folded in
Call it the Carnival of crepes. With far-flung fillings sure to make a French foodie shudder (Oreo cookies, anyone?), Eats & Treats Créperie in Allston is serving up crepes with a Brazilian flare. Yes, Brazilian.
But in this case, that means international. The ingredients tucked into the 47 savory and 21 sweet pancakes at this tiny storefront are drawn from across the globe -- just like the goodies in the crepes served in Rio are.
Have a thing for potato sticks? You can enjoy their crunch in a thin crepe folded around Brazil's famous sweet-salty chicken salad salpicão ($6.25) made with raisins and olives. Or you can country-hop from a barbecue chicken crepe ($5.75) to the Baja Mexican crepe ($5.25) and on to the Red Square ($9), a borscht-belt tribute with dollops of sour cream and beads of red caviar.
It's not exactly the menu Paula Botelho was planning on. After managing the nearby Brazilian buffet Café Belo for six years, Botelho figured she was ready to open her own. But on a trip to her former home near Rio, she and her Ukrainian-born husband, Aleksey Levitskiy, stumbled upon a new inspiration.
"We went for my cousin's wedding, and they were serving crepes at it, and they were so good," said Botelho. "So we decided to open a Brazilian-style creperie instead."
Crepes, you see, are a big hit in Brazil, where sunbathers head out for après-beach crepes and coffee, and the late-night crowd flirts over thin pancakes stuffed with local, spit-roasted meats or foreign flavors like pesto.
"They are very popular in the big cities in Brazil," said Botelho. "But the crepes are folded a different way. They are square."
The dough is also denser than the light, frilly crepes you find in France, so Francophiles need to adjust their expectations here. Rather, you might consider Eats & Treats' version an interesting alternative to a wrap or burrito.
It's also more fun. After ordering at the counter, we took spots in the 10-seat space, which still has the fast-food feel of the Beantown Dogs that was last here. Then we watched the cook spread our crepe batter across round griddles with the care of a Zen monk raking a sand garden.
Soon we were slicing into neatly folded crepes served on fancy square plates. Mozzarella and garlicky pesto put a tasty Mediterranean spin on the veggie crepe ($5.50). Monterey Turkey ($6.50) topped a summery dice of cool tomato and avocado with turkey, ham, and warm Jack cheese. Meanwhile, the mango curry ($6.50) mixed juicy bursts of fruit with a mild chicken curry and baby greens.
Nothing was exceptional, but all of it was satisfying and fresh. With modest portions and just under half an egg per crepe in the batter, the dinner crepes also seemed light. Dessert, however, was another, whipped-cream-dominated matter.
We took Levitskiy's advice and added fresh strawberries ($1.25) to the Nutella crepe ($4.25), which was lavishly smeared with the addictive chocolate-hazelnut spread. Refined it wasn't, but gratifying? Yes, it was.
The Romeo & Juliet ($42.5) begged for a sharper cheese than mozzarella to cut its sweet guava paste. But the Brazilian-style dulce de leche special ($5.50) was well worth the sugar crash we knew its sweet caramel sprinkled with coconuts and dates would induce. The Oreo ($5.75) was a treat pulled straight from childhood with vanilla ice cream, cookie crumbles, and hot fudge.
Basic salads, coffee drinks, and refreshing Latin-style fruit smoothies ($2.75) round things out. And more Paris-be-damned tastes are on the way. Botelho plans to add traditional buckwheat crepes soon, but flavored doughs, like coffee crepes, are coming too. "If it tastes good, we'll serve it," she said.