Like Baked Alaska, Steak Diane, and Lobster Thermidor, the crepe has had its fifteen minutes of fame. Most recently peaking in the early aughts, crepes suffer from a common complaint: order one and odds are if you have an average appetite you won't be satisfied. Order two and you're likely to exit a restaurant feeling bloated in the belly and light in the wallet.
The savory crepes at the Ridgeback Café are an exception to typical limp varieties smeared with cheese or sprinkled with arugula. Operated by the owner of Georgetown's Hangar Café, the Ridgeback's dining room is larger and easier to navigate than its sibling but features the same hearty comfort food. Situated near a smattering of businesses on a strip of 65th Street at the base of Phinney Ridge, the Ridgeback is a kid friendly neighborhood spot. The interior is reminiscent of a well-curated thrift shop, with salvaged lights, mismatched salt and pepper shakers, Fiestaware plates, and oversized wooden spoons and forks mounted on the wall.Perfectly crisp on the outside, "The Phinney" is loaded with several strips of crumbled apple smoked bacon, ripe red peppers and tomatoes, egg, mozzarella, and about a pound of fresh spinach. Ridiculously large, the crepe is drizzled with a slightly spicy, creamy sauce made with poblano chilis and crème fraiche. Arriving with a scoop of better than average red potatoes, order one and you've got breakfast and lunch covered.
Besides crepes, the Ridgeback prepares waffles topped with lemon panna cotta or brie, basil and bacon. There are also sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner crowds.
Ridgeback serves coffee from Stumptown, tea from Zoka, and the typical assortment of juices. There's also beer and wine, with $5 beers all day Friday. The "Extra Fancy" mimosa can be mixed with apples and ginger or blackberries.
The kid's menu includes waffles and raspberry jam crepes for four bucks. Expect friendly servers to chat up young diners. There's also a mildly sad but nonetheless time-consuming basket of toys near the door for kids to dig through.