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Friday, September 11, 2009

Crêperie Saint Germain, The French Truck You Won't Read About in the Wall Street Journal

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge The gypsy-ish cart stays open till 3 a.m. on weekends. - M. BRODY
  • M. Brody
  • The gypsy-ish cart stays open till 3 a.m. on weekends.
In France, the folded crêpe is almost as popular a street food as hot dogs in N.Y. They're cooked to order in front of you and served piping hot, topped with anything from the simplest sprinkling of sugar or scattering of cheese to more substantial stuffings of ham, egg, whatever.

A cheerfully blue, gypsy-ish crêpe cart has recently roosted in an unlikely, somewhat out-of-the-way spot, at the corner of a parking lot on Howard in SOMA. Crêperie Saint Germain offers a full line of more than a dozen savory crepes and over 18 dessert versions, plus four waffles, even tomato soup in a bread bowl.

click to enlarge The Mediterranean crepe's popular. - M. BRODY
  • M. Brody
  • The Mediterranean crepe's popular.
The crêpes are made with organic buckwheat flour, which has a distinctive yeasty flavor and is rich in magnesium and dietary fiber, according to Ahmet Cagin and Zeynep Aynaci, the owners (they're Turkish). This - along with fresh, seasonal, organic-when-possible ingredients used in the fillings - makes the crêpes what Saint Germain's Web site calls "healthlicious."

click to enlarge A parked car's hood serves as a table. - M. BRODY
  • M. Brody
  • A parked car's hood serves as a table.
A salty and filling ham, cheese, and egg crepe ($6.50) was more stolid than healthlicious, though it was satisfying (we made two meals out of it). The popular Mediterranean crêpe (feta, olives, avocado, green onions, and a forest of spinach, $6.95) was crunchy and light. A simple butter-and-sugar crêpe ($3.75) allowed the subtle buckwheat flavor to shine. Faced with a lack of tables, we set our red-and-white boxes of foiled-wrapped crêpes on the hood of a nearby parked car.

On weekend nights the crêperie stays open until 3, allowing patrons staggering out of nearby clubs to stop for a solid hand-held snack with the power to healthliciously balance quite a bit of alcohol, we'd imagine.

Crêperie Saint Germain 546 Howard (at Second St.), 948-7348. Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m.-3 a.m.

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Meredith Brody

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