Cheap Eats: So Crepe
While studying abroad in Paris last fall, I got so used to buying and eating crepes that I experienced a reverse culture shock when I came back to Philly and could only find crepes in classy and expensive French restaurants. Thankfully, So Crepe opened about two months ago to fill both the void in my stomach as well as in the market for good, cheap crepes in Philly.
The BYOB’s savory and sweet menus have a mix that runs the gamut from classic French tastes to unabashedly American tropes in the crepe versions of apple pie, PB&J, and hot dogs (yes, you can get a hot dog in a crepe—with Dijon mustard, bien sûr). The more “mature” French fare includes the openfaced “So Riveria” crepe, which was more like a deconstructed wrap topped with shrimp, walnuts, shaved Parmesan and spinach, and the “So Soft,” featuring scoops of cream cheese and tuna fish mixed with onions, Tabasco sauce and chives that managed to offer an unexpectedly elegant twist on the classic tuna fish sandwich.
Of course, I had to get the aptly titled “So French” crepe with two fried eggs, melted Swiss cheese and thick cubes of ham rolled up in a paper-thin crepe that closely resembled the Frenchified breakfast sandwiches I used to order in Paris. If you don’t want the ham, you can get the “So Classic,” which is just an egg and cheese crepe. And as someone who thinks a little goes a long way when it comes to ketchup and breakfast, I was digging for treasure trying to get every last bit of the surprising side of whipped ketchup, which was light and sweet and nowhere near as as gross as I thought it would be.
When my table mentioned we were thinking about getting a sweet crepe for dessert, the owner even brought out the bottles of homemade salted caramel and chocolate and squirted dollops of the homemade sauces on our spoons to help with the decision-making process. Obviously, we ended up getting both–adding bananas to the “So Caramel” crepe and strawberries to the “So Chocolate” crepe at the wise suggestion of the owner. “It’s a little menu but we can do a lot with it,” he told us. “I can do whatever I want. That’s why I opened my own place!”
The double whammy of eating a sweet crepe after a savory crepe was neither repetitive or too starchy, and I wasn’t surprised when the owners said we weren’t the first group to have crepes for dinner and dessert. Plus, there wasn’t a suffocating feeling of carb-overload that could have caused a deadly food coma.
With the most expensive menu item coming in at $9, I ended up paying less than what I usually paid for crepes in France with the conversion rate (about 4.50 to 7 euros). And because the owners are from Lyon, France, So Crepe captures the French idea of an affordable crepe served fast in ways that Philly’s more hoity-toity restaurants do not—especially when you can bring your own bottle of wine, which we definitely plan on doing next time.
Throughout dinner and dessert, we caught ourselves using “so” to describe our meals without even trying to replicate the “so…” restaurant name and menu style: “That was so good!” “That was so luscious!” “I’m so full right now!” And then, once we got the bill: “Wow, that was so cheap!”
So Crepe [Official]