Simply Crêpes gets Complicated

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Alex and I are living in a hotel while we are looking for a more permanent residence which has given me ample opportunity to dine out and sample the culinary creations that Rochester has to offer.  Last weekend, we ate brunch in Canandaigua before spending the day at the lake.  We were hoping to hit up Patty’s Place, the classic breakfast joint, but it closes at noon and we were not early risers that day.  With two dogs in tow, the ideal locale would have outdoor seating.  The ideal locale appeared a block away: Simply Crêpes.

Simply Crepes has two locations, Pittsford and Canandaigua.  I am no stranger to their Pittsford location and had even considered it to be the destination for our post-wedding brunch.  However, it was my first time at the Canandaigua location and I was pleasantly surprised when our host led us to an outdoor patio in the back where the dogs could dine with us.  I can’t attest to the interior decor, but on a sunny weekend morning at the lake, the outdoor patio is delightful.

Our server flattered us immediately by complementing our attire, but soon his familiarity with us became a little insulting and seemed to test the relationship between diner and server.  He finally crossed the line when one of our friends brought in an outside beverage and he not so nicely told him to get rid of it.  Additionally, the food took forever.  We waited an hour for it to arrive, which is simply too long when it’s the first meal of the day. We were wondering if these crepes were actually more complicated than the restaurant’s name led on.  However, we were brought complimentary snacks while waiting and a forgotten dish was given to us on the house.

I like Simply Crêpes menu because items are clearly labeled gluten-free.  They make a traditional French buckwheat crepe called a “galette de sarrasin” in place of their regular ones to accomodate their gluten-free diners.  Because of this, you have a lot of options for entrees.  Appetizers, however, are slim pickings.  We chose the “Crêpes-adillas” for our appetizer because it could be made gluten-free, but something was lost in translation and we ended up with the non-GF version.  I ordered the scrambled egg and grilled vegetable crêpe while others ordered lunch-style crêpes.  I appreciated that there was no time limit for ordering breakfast.  Like I said earlier, it took an hour for our main courses to arrive.  In that meantime, while we did receive a complimentary snack, it wasn’t gluten-free, which was inconsiderate because I made my dietary restrictions clear.  When my food finally arrived it was lukewarm and the plate was hot, indicating it had been reheated.  It wasn’t well seasoned, and the two sauces: pesto and roasted-red pepper provided the only flavor on the plate.  The crepe had good texture and was sturdy enough to hold the immense amount of vegetables inside.

The food was certainly edible and I ate a significant amount because of my hunger.  Others were pleased with their dishes, but the verdict was generally disappointment by the time we left because of the server’s odd behavior and the wait time.  I won’t give up on Simply Crêpes because it is a great gluten-free dining option, but I might stick to the Pittsford location.

 

Gluten-Free Crêpes for Mardi Gras

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As a French Minor and an Aixois for five months, the day before Ash Wednesday will always be Mardi Gras, and will always mean crêpes.  When I lived in France, my host mother prepared sweet crêpes for dinner on Mardi Gras.  They were filled with 1) butter, granulated sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2) homemade preserves.  I ate way past being full because the French don’t really have an expression that conveys the same idea of physically unable to eat anymore and I didn’t want to be rude.

To celebrate Mardi Gras à la français, here are some gluten-free crêpe recipes.  And if you don’t feel like cooking, but still want to partake in the celebration, head over to Bar Breton, where they serve galettes, or buckwheat crêpes, from the Bretagne region of France.

 

 

Crêpes with Rabbit Ragu from Jenn Cuisine

Buckwheat Crêpes (Galettes) from Jenn Cuisine

Cornmeal Crêpes from Book of Yum

White Rice Flour Crêpes from Book of Yum

Quinoa-Chestnut Crêpes from La Tartine Gourmande

Easy Crêpes from Gluten-Free Gobsmacked