TNT Diner

Crepe and espresso cafe now open on Tacoma waterfront

A chicken-and-bacon crepe from Jewel Box Cafe.
A chicken-and-bacon crepe from Jewel Box Cafe.

Jewel Box Cafe is the latest restaurant to open at Point Ruston, the development on the edge of Tacoma. The cafe featuring a breakfast, sandwich and crepe menu opened two weeks ago.

That brings the total Point Ruston restaurant count to seven, including the opening of Stack 571 Nov. 10 and the early November debut of Farrelli’s mobile pizza truck, which will be replaced with a brick-and-mortar restaurant early next year.

Here’s a first-bite look. It’s this paper’s policy to withhold criticism of a restaurant’s food and service during its first month.

Dining room: A two-story dining room, painted deep red and golden yellow, with lots of funky seating. I spotted an oversized wood-and-metal bench with swing-out seats. A seating area held Louis-style chairs upholstered in bold burgundy with ornate wood accents. A second-story dining area floated above a staircase ringed with ornate metalwork. Shabby chic chandeliers twinkled all over the dining room. Definitely a ladies who lunch contender.

Theme: No table service, order at the counter. The theme here is fast-casual cafe fare, espresso and bubble tea.

Crepes: I spotted a crepe menu and immediately was interested. The selection of savory crepes is modest in comparison to Savor Creperie’s in downtown Tacoma, but the menu lists five versions ($9.95-$11.95).

Crepe construction: Savory crepes were built with standard ingredients of mozzarella, fresh spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms with different protein add-ins and sauces. The crepe wrapper was eggy and substantial.

I tried: Chicken and bacon ($11.95) with grilled chicken, bacon, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, tomato and pesto sauce, with the crepe folded into a square pocket. The tofu was stuffed with lemongrass-marinated tofu ($9.95). Smoked salmon was the same as the chicken and bacon, but with flaky bits of smoked salmon ($11.95). A spicy sausage ($9.95) and ham ($9.95) crepe also are on the menu. All crepes served a la carte, no sides included.

Crepe tips: Savor Creperie offers a dozen savory crepes priced $8.95-$9.95, with a side salad or fruit. Craft 19 in Sumner offers excellent crepe deals with five savory crepes priced $5.50-$9.50.

Sweet crepes at Jewel Box: Seven sweet versions priced $6.95-$7.95 with fillings such as banana Nutella, mixed berries or spiced apples.

Breakfast: Eight items. Panini and breakfast sandwiches ($4.95-$7.95); a breakfast crepe ($8.95); French toast ($9.95); breakfast wraps ($6.95); and a fruit cup ($3.95).

Sandwiches/salads: Four salads ($7.95-$10.95): pasta, grilled chicken spinach, Cobb and a house salad. Sandwiches include four each of panini ($9.95-$10.95) and melts ($7.49-$10.95) and five deli sandwiches ($8.95-$10.95). Sandwiches are served with chips, pasta salad, tossed salad or soup.

Drinks: Full espresso menu, bubble teas ($4.50), smoothies ($4.95) and flavored iced teas ($4.25).

Jewel Box Cafe

Where: 5107 Grand Loop, Tacoma; 253-752-4863.