While all y’all overachievers are at the gym in the spirit of “new year, new me,” you can catch me around the city taking on the challenge that I prefer: “new year, new me-al.” So, to bring readers a truly new meal, I’ve decided to focus on an underrepresented sector: brunch.
Call me basic, but I am a brunch girl. Getting all the benefits of both breakfast and lunch together, and not having to wake up early to do so, is a joy.
This week’s brunch features crepes — provided by Simply Crepes. Simply Crepes has a cute and inviting interior. It’s super cozy with warm tones, wood tables, high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and mini chandeliers that add a touch of class. I’ll decree it country-glam.
To start off, let’s chat about the butternut squash cannelloni. These rolled-up crepes were loaded with a sweet, creamy butternut squash filling, topped with a tangy cheese sauce, and finished with a touch of sautéed spinach. I myself make crepes all of the time, and I consider myself something of an aficionado. So I can confidently say that this dish was crepe perfection. The balance of flavors was spot on with elements of sweetness, tanginess, and bitterness mixing together in perfect harmony.
Next, let’s bring the breakfast crepes into the mix: fried egg and cheddar scallion to start, and then “the breakfast crepe.” The first was filled with cheddar cheese and topped off with a fried egg, bacon bits, and sriracha (a first-time experience for me). I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the sriracha. It was used in just the right quantity. Other elements, however, were not quite up to that restaurant-quality standard. I found the fried egg to be overdone, a huge pet peeve of mine, and the cheddar inside of the crepe was pretty sparse.
The breakfast crepe left a similar impression on me. The breakfast potato side was lovely, but the crepe itself didn’t wow me. While the scrambled eggs on the inside were nice enough, they took over the crepe and left me searching for a bit more meat and cheese that was supposed to be in there too. So fine, but pretty one-note.
Taking a break from the crepes, next up is the intriguing oatmeal crème brûlée. It was a literal 50-50 mashup of oatmeal and crème brûlée: oatmeal on the bottom, topped with vanilla custard and brûléed sugar. The texture of this dish was divine. The layer where the oatmeal met the custard had the exact gooey, creamy feel of rice pudding. Some liquid caramel from the torched sugar on top dripped down into the oatmeal below, spreading love and joy all throughout.
Transitioning back to the savory side of things, I also tested the winter flatbread, featuring a unique twist where the flatbread part was actually a crisped-up crepe. Toppings here included goat cheese, caramelized onions, nuts, and spinach. I enjoyed the combination of flavors and textures on this one, I just wished there was a bit more goat cheese to offset the onions’ sweetness. But, then again, I am an aggressive goat cheese lover, so there’s a very minute, tiny-little-slight-baby chance I’m just a tad bit biased here.
And now, the victorious ending to any brunch: dessert. In this case, a dessert crepe. There were so many great options, but I had to go for the chocolate banana split crepe. The key here was the quality of ingredients. The vanilla bean ice cream was so thick, rich, and flavorful, bringing so much extra life to the dish, and the use of homemade whipped cream was another elevating touch. And there was definitely enough fresh fruit inside so I didn’t feel too guilty about my life choices.
As fine and dandy as crepes may be, the crown jewel of Simply Crepes was our waiter, Lucas. This brunch was held alongside my mom and her mom. Ms. Blanche Meth is not your average grandmother. At under five feet, though she be but little, she is fierce. Blanche got quite buddy-buddy with our waiter that day, as usual, but he was a good sport about it, even posing for some adorable pictures with his new 81-year-old bestie.
Lucas, if you’re out there, thank you for being the sweetheart that America doesn’t deserve, but needs right now. And to Simply Crepes, your waiter needs a raise after his stellar performance with Hurricane Blanche. He can come my way for a letter of recommendation.
Overall, I would recommend Simply Crepes, even if there were some adjustments to be made. The best way I can describe the food here is like you have a parent that’s a really good cook, and they go all-out making you a cool breakfast one Sunday morning. Not the most technically advanced or upscale, but comfy homestyle cooking. The menu has tons of really exciting, unique dishes including non-crepe options, in case your brunch party has an evil crepe-hater. But why would you even be friends with someone so despicable, honestly? Crepes for the win. Y’all can fight me if you disagree. I’m not scared.