Over the last few years, crepes have infiltrated Seattle's culinary landscape. Creperies have popped up all over Seattle, in the form of farmers-market stand-turned-sit-down restaurant, walk-up window, and tiny cafe. Though the crepe may seem fancy and formal in its quintessential Frenchiness, a great crepe is really not so different from a street-food treat like the taco: fast, fresh, cheap. This week Versus investigates crepes at two decidedly different spots: La Cote Creperie, Madison Valley's haven of Francophilia, and Joe Bar, a Capitol Hill coffee shop that's been quietly serving up crepes for years.
La Cote's Crepe Complete
At Joe Bar (810 E Roy St, 324-0407), they don't bother with the traditional distinctions of making savory crepes with buckwheat flour, opting instead to make everything from the same wheat batter. Joe Bar's crepes definitely lack the texture and subtle flavor that buckwheat brings, but they're moist and rich, with a nice eggy chew. An egg, Gruyere, and arugula crepe ($7) is so well-assembled -- layers of soft scrambled egg, salty cheese, and peppery greens -- that the flavors meld together seamlessly, and you get just the right amount of each in every bite. (You may even find yourself peeking into the crepe and separating layers to better understand just how these bites are built.)
Verdict: Joe Bar's attention to detail makes their crepe a success, but it falls short of the flavor and crispy texture of La Cote's buckwheat crepes. And, as with most things, the addition of a runny fried egg makes the crepe infinitely better. La Cote for the win.