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Rue Des Crepes « Westchester Breakfast Club
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Rue Des Crepes

11 Aug

:a_Top:

 

 

 

 

261 Halstead Avenue 
Harrison, NY 10528 (Map)
(914) 315-1631
www.ruedescrepes.com
 

Oooh la la and sacre bleu, it’s time for the WBC to take a trip to France! Or…have some crepes at Rue Des Crepes in Harrison. Same difference, right?…Right?

 

Attendees: :jump_to_Sylvia:, :jump_to_Shelley:, :jump_to_Tracey and Gabriel:, :jump_to_Jeff:

 

:a_Sylvia:

Oh Rue de Crepes…you were intriguing enough for me to return (armed with a reservation…although your website says nothing about reservations and required me to dig around Yelp to find a phone number) after a less than pleasant first attempt (showing up with no reservation?  How dare we!).

However, I cannot decide if you were worth it.  Your dining area, albeit windowless, was cutely adorned to mimic a street in Paris.  Even though your music selection was decidedly not French-like at all.

I split an order of Avocado fries, which were delicious, with a crispy well fried exterior and a warm smooth avocado interior.  Then I chose the Turkey Fontina (with spinach and mushrooms) Crepe Quiche off the brunch menu.  With it, I had a L’Orange (OJ and seltzer), and a cup of coffee (two beverages…because I had to).

The crepe quiche looked really cute, and was served with a not so impressive looking side salad.  While the quiche part itself was really good, with a load of spinach at the bottom, my biggest complaint is what happens to crepes when baked.  They get tough and hard to cut with a knife and chewy.  That is what the part of the crepe that was exposed during the baking process tasted like.

We also split two dessert crepes to top off our Parisian adventure.  The Natalie was wonderful.  A fresh crepe layered with butter, sugar and lemon, and the perfect amounts of each.  The Banana Nutella was also very good and a wonderful way to end the meal.

The czar says:  If you are looking for a place to have a special meal without getting too fancy, this is the place for you.  If you are craving a little Paris, this  is the place for you.  If you want a good crepe at a reasonable price and can do without the ambiance and fancy brunch prix fixe menu, go to Auray’s in Larchmont.  If you come here during brunch, you are basically restricted to the offerings of the brunch menu.  If you come here during brunch and order take away, you get a la carte prices (much cheaper than $17.50) and there are more selections of savory crepes available.  It’s cute and the dessert crepes were delicious enough that I would consider coming back if in the area, for dessert with a friend.

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:a_Shelley:

I was excited about coming to Rue Des Crepes. We’d attempted to dine here last spring, but were told on the Sunday morning when we originally went that without a reservation there wouldn’t be a table availble for us until 4pm. It was only about 11:30 at the time. We left feeling that the place was popular and that the hostess who had told us this was a bit rude.

So, we went back this steamy Saturday morning, reservation in hand…or written down in a book somewhere. The point is, we had a reservation. And the point is, on a Saturday morning we really didn’t need one. When we entered at about 11am we were only the third table in the open back dining area to be filled. It wasn’t exactly bustling this particular morning.

Getting back to my original statement, I was excited about trying something different for breakfast. Gone were the usual scrambled eggs and French toast and in its place were an assortment of savory and sweet crepes.

And here’s where my beef begins.

Now, we each received a rather elaborate menu. Elaborate because it was a solid leather bound tri-fold menu. Jeff was really impressed:

There were some appetizers, some salads; in the middle was the prix fixe brunch menu–for $17.50 you can choose one of the savory crepes or the concoction known as a “crepe quiche”; and rounding things out was the dessert page, including numerous delectable sweet crepes. My first instinct was, I don’t want to pay $17.50 for a brunch. When our waitress came ’round I asked if the savory crepes that I saw listed on the prix fixe menu could be ordered a la carte. The answer: a disappointing “no.” Tracey, good friend that she is, saw me hemming and hawing and offered to split a crepe from the prix fixe menu with me. That actually sounded like a good solution, since we all agreed (or I declared) that we would be getting a couple of sweet crepes for dessert, so I wanted to save room in my tummy. Tracey and I decided to split a basic ham and cheese crepe; Tracey got the drink portion of the prix fixe brunch.

But, still, it’s a big point of contention with me (indeed, with all of us): if they offer their sweet crepes a la carte, why can’t the savory ones be offered that way also? Why do you have to be locked into $17.50 if you want to enjoy a savory crepe? Especially when you realize that if you go to Rue Des Crepes and order at the front counter you can order any crepe you want, sweet or savory, without being locked into the constraints of a prix fixe situation.

Ok. So the food arrived and Tracey and I were pleased that Rue Des Crepes split the crepe for us already, serving it to us on our own plates with our own portion of fruit salad on the side. A nice touch. (Until the bill came. More on that later.) The crepe was good, a suitable balance between ham and cheese and very flavorful. The fruit salad contained a good variety of fruit (even if I don’t eat most of them—but fortunately the others at the table enjoyed the mangoes, kiwis, blackberries, and raspberries that I had to dispose of from my plate).

And soon it was dessert time. I wanted a “Natalie” crepe, which is a basic lemon, butter, and sugar crepe. Lemon, butter, sugar, crepe: what’s not to like? Nothing is the answer. There’s nothing to not like about the Natalie crepe. We also got a banana nutella crepe; I didn’t try any, but my table mates seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

Ok, so the food was good, but then came the bill. Rue Des Crepes, it turns out, is a fan of the sharing cost. However, this fact is not advertised anywhere on the menu nor did our servers inform us that sharing would incur an extra charge. Not only were Tracey and I charged for sharing our ham and cheese crepe, we were also charged for sharing two dessert crepes between the 6 of us. Does that really seem right? I think not. We should have just not announced that we were sharing, we should have just said, well, Shelley will have the Natalie crepe and, oh, I don’t know, Jeffrey will have the banana nutella crepe. It truly seems absurd to me to charge a party extra for sharing a couple of desserts. Absurd. And greedy, frankly, at a place where the prix fixe cost is already absurdly high. I mean, yes, my ham and cheese crepe was good. And it came with a beverage and fruit salad. But is a ham and cheese crepe with some fruit and a drink worth $17.50? No, it’s not.

It’s not that I’m a penny pincher. I just get really upset when I feel that establishments are leveraging ridiculous additional charges in an attempt to scrape another couple of dollars out of its patrons.

Yes, Rue Des Crepes makes good crepes. But because of the prices and unreasonable plate sharing charges, I can’t see myself returning here anytime soon for the prix fixe brunch. Ordering an a la carte crepe at the front counter seems a much more economical option; same quality of food, but better prices.

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:a_Tracey and Gabriel:

When: A very hot Saturday

Price: $26 for brunch

When you enter Rue Des Crepes, you immediately see the authentic-looking crepe cook top and a minimalistic pastry case. A funny little “alley” featuring cats on trashcans led you from there into the main dining area, complete with an authentic-looking “Metro” sign. Right away after being seated in the whimsical trompe l’oeil walled dining room, I whipped out my notepad (courtesy of WBC VIP Shelley) and wrote “‘A’ for Ambience!” as I enjoyed the almost Epcot-like surrounding of faux patisserie and boulangerie store fronts complete with actual curtains and hardware. Cafe tables decoupaged with vintage ephemera francaise surrounded us and there was even a sliding window that served as a pass-through from kitchen to waitstaff. I was a little sad that the sweet painted signs offereing “pain chocolat” were indeed faux, as there was no pain chocolat (a classic parisian breakfast staple) to be served.

The auditory part of the ambience was somewhat less charming than the visual as what sounded like the Amelie sountrack (appropriate, lovely—albeit a bit loud) was static and followed by intermittent musical stylings from Johnny Cash and random 90s mix tape stuff from somebody’s iPod on shuffle.

Service was friendly and little kids were very welcome. Gabriel (age 2 1/2) had his eye on a petite blonde about his age at the next table as well as the mini croissants which were a surprising $2 each given their size.

The price was, well, a little pricey for the prix fixe. $17.50 I believe. We thought it was a little odd that the non-dessert crepes did not come a la carte. The prix fixe meal came with a drink and coffee or tea but for some reason I was only permitted one iced tea. However, they very kindly allowed Shelley and I to share a ham and cheese savory crepe with nice fresh fruit off the brunch menu and even divided it onto two plates for us.

I’m generally not a crepe fan but it was savory and tasty! I was perhaps a bigger fan of the pot o’ frites served in a small terra cotta pot with a variety of dipping sauces. Gabriel also enjoyed the frites and preferred the traditional ketchup as opposed to the tomato basil, avocado, and dijonaise varieties. A tasty addition to the traditional frites were avocado fries, which resembled mozzarella sticks but were filled with creamy avocado goodness.

I noticed there was cheese fondue and mini cheeseburger fondue on the menu, both of which sounded like a lot of fun.

And then came dessert. Sweet lemon sugar crepes, sweet banana nutella crepes…all shared by the table and prompted talk of hitting other Westchester creperies for a crepe crawl. Gabriel adored the decadence and complemented his crepe sampling with a plate of small cookies (around 50¢ each) from the above-mentioned minimalistic pastry case (which did feature some other enticing-looking treats for another time). The chocolate chip cookies were fine but there was another innocent-looking cookie that was “insanely awful.” Well, that’s what I said when I bit into it, don’t know if it was a mistake, a spice, but it was incredibly bitter.

The offending cookie is somewhere on this plate.

Overall, Rue Des Crepes was fun, whimsical, and tasty, and Gabriel and I recommend it! One tip: park in the lot off of Harrison Avenue in the back—free and ample parking. There’s a tiny lot when you first turn in but keep going, there are more spots available.

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:a_Jeff:

Let’s start a few months ago…

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know if it was a few month ago or weeks, but it was somewhat recent. (Editor’s Note: It was months. Jeffrey’s sense of time is shockingly distorted. He even started his review by saying “a few months ago.” We don’t really know what’s wrong with him.)  The WBC decides to go to Rue des Crepes on a whim.  We arrive and find out that reservations are required.  How do we find out?  You’d expect someone on staff to politely let us know that reservations are recommended.  Instead, we got a scoff.  “You really need reservations.” Then, a complete dismissal.  Well, I’m sorry your website doesn’t have any indication for a need for reservatioin.  Whatever, we don’t need you.  We’ll go somewhere else.

But, the WBC isn’t petty. We’ll give them a second chance.  So we came this weekend.  Rue Des Crepes!  Reservations set!  People invited!  Ready to go!

The experience is almost like you’re going to France!  The walls are painted with the facade of a French street complete with street lights.  The food is also pretty good. I had the French Toast crepes.  Nothing to write home about, but I suppose it was good.

But here’s what really bothered me:

The music was really weird.  It seemed like someone plugged in their iPod and blindly pressed play without picking a playlist.  The music range was so so large!  iIhad no idea how to feel.  Yeah, it’s not the best reason to not go somewhere, but then comes the  bill!  The food is pretty pricey. I guess that goes with being French.  But then, why charge extra dollars as a sharing fee!?!?  Does that make sense?  Did everyone share entrees?  Yeah, two people shared one entree, but that’s it for the entrees!  Then we split some dessert crepes.  Is it neccessary to charge the sharing fee if people shared the dessert crepe?!?!  It’s not like we all didn’t have entrees!  Ridiculous!

To sum up: unpleasant initial visit + abuse of the sharing fee that we discovered on this second visit and strange choice of music = rather redonkeylous.  Trust me guys, the food isn’t worth this headache.

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