A good crepe isn't as much an alchemical combination of ingredients as it is a vehicle to let the flavors of its stuffing shine. It depends on quality ingredients: A good spinach and cheese crepe tastes like good spinach and cheese with a light, somewhat neutral-flavored wrap.
The Creperie, a new brick and mortar incarnation of Boise's popular crepe cart at the Capitol City Public Market that opened in December 2010, succeeds in that respect. The selection of sweet and savory crepes are packed with tender meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables and house-made sauces.
The Creperie's most popular item is the De Poulet--chicken, bacon, cheddar, mixed greens, tomato and balsamic honey-mustard sauce ($7)--which co-owner Will Loverde says is likely popular because of its familiarity.
"A lot of people coming in have had crepes in the past, but they've mainly been breakfast or dessert crepes like at IHOP," said Loverde. "They're looking for something familiar. Chicken, bacon and cheddar are things they're accustomed to."
There wasn't a single slightly wilted leaf or inconsistently flavorful piece of chicken in the De Poulet. The tang of the balsamic honey-mustard sauce was a perfect compliment to the mildly herbed chicken and the smoky flavor of the bacon and cheddar. It even brought out the subtle flavors of the pancake itself. It was just what a crepe should be.
Whether The Creperie is what a creperie should be is another matter. The location at the Edwards 22 cineplex is neither a charming street cart nor a dimly lit, funky cafe serving red wine late into the night. The interior is decorated to evoke the latter, with fake exposed bricks on the wall and faux cafe tables. But the quaint cafe illusion doesn't carry past the plastic forks and ambient buzz of FM radio commercials. The illusion is also unlikely to sustain the weekend crowds rushing to make the 7:40 p.m. blockbuster. This makes it hard to think of The Creperie as a destination worth suffering the Overland/I-84 junction for.
But it is a good place to grab dessert before you hit up the IMAX and stare into George Clooney's dreamy 8-foot-tall eyes. The Creperie even offers a movie deal: two crepes, two drinks and two movie tickets for $29.95. Soon, Edwards will also allow patrons to bring their crepes into the theater. According to Loverde, the Edwards location was chosen to accommodate the concessionaire's desire for foot traffic.
"Storefronts are good. But it's hard to get people out of their cars. Here we don't have to."