Some chefs treat crepes like tortillas, using them as roll-up sandwich wrappers. Others serve crepes as open-face affairs. I’ve even seen a chef turn a tower of crepes into a cake (called a mille crepe cake). At Savor Tacoma Creperie, which opened in downtown Tacoma yesterday, crepes were served as folded-over envelopes, warm pockets spilling thinly sliced meats, melted cheeses, saucy drizzles and fresh herbs. The crepes were exactly what I’d hoped for.
Savor is a cafe everyone should put on their must-visit list, if not because of fair pricing, then because the crepes were well tended - even on a busy opening day with a line out the door. The crepes tasted tender with a gentle bite, came with thoughtfully composed flavors and fresh herbs peppered every plate. Savory crepes were around $8-$9, with a side of dressed greens. Sweet crepes were even better deals in the $7-$8 range (see the menu below).
The cafe is casually themed with a fast-service setup - diners order at the counter and find a table in the small dining room sporting fewer than a dozen tables (read: it might be standing room only opening week). Servers shuttle crepes to the table. The decor looked smart. Artwork (for sale) featuring Tacoma landmarks wrapped around mint-green walls that coordinated with the formal attire worn by the staff - white dress shirts with green ties. Cooks were dressed in formal chef’s whites, complete with tall toques.
Owner Tom Vigue - a newcomer to Tacoma, but not to restaurants - has designed a menu of more than two dozen crepes - about a dozen each of savory and sweet. A chalkboard above the ordering counter lists the crepes. Look for paper menus at the counter, too. Also listed were crepes scrambles. The menu also listed liege waffles, for which I'll definitely return. Those style of Belgian waffles are made from an elastic yeasted dough, not a traditional liquid waffle batter. When made correctly, they’re sublime. For gluten-free eaters, crepes can be made from a rice flour batter rather than wheat-based.
Of crepes sampled during yesterday's first-bite visit, the ham and gruyere ($9.50) proved a table favorite. Thinly sliced deli ham was layered with a smear of dijon creme fraiche, melted gruyere and snappy asparagus. Pears and aged gouda ($8.50) seesawed between sweet and savory, a scattering of fresh thyme turned the dish earthy. For dessert, a mixed berry crepe ($8.50) spilled raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries that had been macerated in an assertive ginger syrup. I didn’t even care that the berries were way off season - that crepe was remarkable.
This is Vigue’s first creperie - he got the idea after touring Europe in 2011 - but not his first restaurant. He previously operated a catering company in Richmond, Va., and also worked as a corporate chef in hotels and senior communities. The restaurant will serve lunch and early dinner Monday-Saturday, plus breakfast on Saturdays.
Savor Tacoma CreperieWhere: 1916 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253-365-5534Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays
Sue Kidd dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals. Reach her at 253-597-8270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.