Crepes Taste Better With Hot Sauce

…Especially when you’ve braved a torrential downpour to get to them. Class ended at 11.40am today and despite the fact that I had a team assignment to work on, an interview call at 2pm, a two hour Spanish class to attend, three cases to read and a date with the gym pending, I decided to follow my two favourite girls across the bridge in search of crepes. It had been raining buckets all night and the wind was howling louder than ever, but nothing could shake our steely will (and resolute stomachs). We snubbed the dining hall suggestions of our well-intentioned class mates and, raising our (two) umbrellas high, stepped outside.

The Daily Menu @ Arrow Street Creperie

Where the magic happens

By the time we got to the Creperie, we were soaked to the skin and absolutely freezing. But oh what a feeling it was to walk into that charming, old-fashioned cafe and be greeted by the warm smell of sizzling butter and sweet sweet sugar. The Arrow Street Creperie is tiny and adorable with a few small tables and wrought iron chairs. We found a larger spot with a bench and stepped up to the counter to order. On the advice of my friends, I decided to try the St Martin Justin’s Delight – a savory crepe on the daily specials menu stuffed with walnut pesto, pungent gruyere, sauteed mushrooms and other goodies. Absolutely divine. The crepe itself was thin and crisp, the filling gooey and flavorful. The combination worked well, with the ingredients retaining their integrity in a complementary but un-confusing way. The friendly crepe man behind the counter laughed knowingly when I asked for tabasco and instead poured a smidgen of home-made hot sauce into a ramekin and handed it to me. My friends at the table were enthusiastically tucking into the Standard (smoked ham, baby spinach, two eggs, mozzarella) and the Biarritz (fresh asparagus, smoked ham, swiss and roquefort) but the menu near the counter listed a number of more traditional crepes as well.

Thai Chicken Salad

Strawberry, Banana, Nutella - a classic

The Californian - pesto, juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, walnuts and smoked ham (because I dont like turkey)

In fact, the Creperie offers a good mix of fun, creative fillings, traditional sweet crepes as well as hot drinks and smoothies. Definitely a great option for breakfast through dessert. At $8.99, my crepe was probably expensive for what it was, but I personally thought it was the perfect lunch. We inhaled our food in sync and, at 12.45pm, picked ourselves up, donned our rain gear and stepped back out into the storm.

Two Speedy Brunches and One Magical Neighbourhood

After a week of brochette de marisco, chuleta de pescado, gallo pinto and, of course, tostones (thanks Timur) I returned to New York on Friday hungry for brunch. So on the first sunny Saturday morning of 2010, the bf and I met three friends at La Crepe Parisienne on Spring and Mulberry. I don’t know how I’d missed this place but one nutella-banane crepe later, I knew I was in love. The crepes are large, messy and utterly lovable. The place is tiny but bright and airy with cute, grunge-free tables. Perfect for a quick stop-and-go brunch despite what you may hear from Yelp’s whiny reviewers. Besides, when the weather’s as nice as it was yesterday, skipping the two hour brunch is a great call.

In the spirit of speedy brunches, we decided today to try Parisi Bakery, also on Spring. Having recently discovered several vintage boutiques on Mott, I am increasingly convinced that the square mile between Houston, Kenmare, Lafayette and the Bowery is the most precious little neighbourhood in downtown NYC. Poo-poohing gelato stores and pancake-seeking hipsters lined up on Prince, we ordered Parisi’s only brunch sandwiches (spicy, please) and some rainbow cakes. Our food arrived in less than 10 minutes and was lipsmackingly delicious. Light eggs, spicy potatoes, juicy red peppers and young provolone have never been so happily ensconced in soft white bread. By the time Niraj’s cappuccino arrived, I had housed my sandwich, washing it down with Dr Brown’s diet cream soda. Yum!

Nicaragua was absolutely amazing (thank you America for inventing Spring Break) but my taste buds are certainly enjoying getting back to brunch basics.