Raleigh, N.C. — I have been driving by Simply Crepes for awhile now, always flirting with the idea of stopping in and trying one of their sweet items.
Recently, my aunt showed me a brochure for a "new" restaurant she wanted to try. I have no idea where she got the brochure from, but it definitely peeked her interest. So, we grabbed a few more family members and headed there for lunch.
The location: Inside of Lafayette Village shopping center off of Falls of Neuse Road in north Raleigh. There is ample parking and lots of great shops to swing by. On a pretty day, outside dining is also great perk there.
The food: Simply Crepes was started by the Heroux family, who have a French Canadian background. There are also two locations in New York. The recipes here have been handed down for generations. They serve traditional fruit-filled crepes and ones containing combinations of savory ingredients. And if you don't want a crepe, they have soup and salad.
The environment is also great! You can watch the chefs create the crepes just a few feet from you or you can take a stroll to the coffee bar for a drink.
The meal: We started with the baked cinnamon crepe chips, which were dusted with cinnamon and sugar and topped with caramel sauce. The sauce cost an extra 50 cents but was totally worth it. A sweet, but light vanilla cream was served on the side. This was a great starter! Easily one of the highlights of going there for me. You won't be able to stop eating them!
We also tried their fried pickles. Being from New Orleans, my family has eaten a lot of fried pickles. We found these to be good, but forgettable. Nothing special, just good fried pickles.
Simply Strawberry Crepe - We got a double order of these crepes topped with hand-cut strawberries, whipped cream, brown sugar and pure maple syrup and strawberry sauce. These weren't nearly as decadent as we expected. They were sweet, but light and filling! (The double order was $9.49)
Crepe Epinards - These crepes were off of the breakfast menu, which is served all day. They are filled with baby spinach, Roma tomatoes, scrambled eggs and feta cheese. This crepe was good, but didn't have the punch that we expected it to have. And there wasn't much feta cheese on it. It came off a little bland. ($8.99)
Seafood Crepe - This was our hands-down favorite crepe on the savory side. It was served with three jumbo shrimp and filled with imitation crabmeat, mushrooms and red and yellow bell peppers in a homemade basil cream. It was garnished with a roasted red pepper sauce. I was worried it would be too heavy to really enjoy a lot of it, but we found the sauces to be light. It was a great comb of seafood as well. And not overly fishy. ($13.99)
We were so stuffed after trying these crepes that we almost didn't order dessert. Then, we realized that we had to order it. We were in a crepe restaurant, we had to get the dessert crepe!
So we chose the chocolate peanut butter cream crepe, which was stuffed with homemade peanut butter cream, chocolate fudge, bananas and vanilla ice cream and topped with their homemade double chocolate sauce and whipped cream. We really liked this, but found ourselves taking a bite and wondering where the other ingredients were. At times all we tasted the banana and only the banana, other times we had the ice cream. Guess we just wanted more of it throughout the dessert. Maybe it was just layered a way we weren't expecting.
Service: The service was excellent. We took my infant son with us and they couldn't have been more helpful in getting a sling for his car-seat and making sure we were taken care of. The server was prompt and explained things on the menu when asked. It was a great friendly, warm environment.
Verdict: It is a little expensive if you have an entire family dining, but for a special treat it is definitely worth checking out, especially for brunch. We will be back!