The Crepes of Wrath: Cupz N' Crepes vs. Sandwich Club
Sometimes the best cure for a rough week (or the dreaded Monday blahs) is an international escape. When you can't literally hop a plane, the next best thing is to indulge in a foreign treat. My personal favorite are crepes, the wafer-thin stuffed pancakes that originated in Northern France. They're rare in Phoenix, but not impossible to find if you know where to look.
For this week's Battle of the Dishes, we headed to two small, casual cafes known for their customer service and their savory crepes.
In One Corner: Cupz N' Crepes
4232 E. Chandler Blvd in Phoenix/Ahwatukee
|This crepe's like a good summer beer: Light in body, full in taste.|
Located in the Southeast Phoenix strip mall that also houses Secreto, Cupz N' Crepes was named one of the best local breakfast joints by Ahwatukee Foothills News when they opened back in 2008.
DON'T order here.
Cupz N' Crepes offers a decent selection of savory and sweet crepes, plus a handful of salads and a good-sized coffee & tea menu. Hope you like chicken, because it seems to be everywhere except in the coffee! The Nat with hot wing sauce and bleu cheese was tempting, but I opted for the more European sounding Chicken Supreme with mozzarella, baby spinach, tomatoes and pesto.
My crepe arrived in record time -- ripe red roma tomatoes and fresh baby spinach overflowing out of a small triangle of light, fluffy pancake.
The Shirley dessert crepe.
Roma tomatoes were juicy and ripe, with a gentle acidity and a sweet undertone. The spinach was cooked well, just enough to steam some of the crispness out of it without the leafy green getting soggy or limp. The diced chicken breast was high quality and still somewhat juicy, though it wasn't marinated or spiced. Mozzarella was definitely the less flavorful out-of-the-bag variety, but made a nice glue to bind the other ingredients together. My dining companion especially appreciated the basil pesto.
"I love how delicate the pesto is," he said, biting into my leftovers. "It tastes farmers' market fresh, and it's not hitting me over the head with H-E-R-B."
"Delicate" was an excellent way to sum up the Chicken Supreme crepe. It was a smaller portion than I've seen at other local crepe joints (Note: with smaller prices to match). And it was extremely light, the kind of meal that doesn't anchor in your stomach later. I felt so refreshed and energized by my meal -- even including a delicious dessert crepe with Nutella, strawberries and cream cheese -- that I definitely plan on going back for more.
In the Other Corner: Sandwich Club
4020 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale
|Sandwich Club has French fare in decidedly American-size portions.|