The Bottom Line
- Make-your-own selection
- Quaint atmosphere
- Limited parking
- Small dining area and kitchen
- Somewhat expensive
- what crepe? is a quaint cafe-type restaurant that takes great pains to offer really good, unique food.
- It is located in a storefront in downtown Royal Oak.
- The restaurant has some nice touches that give it character.
Guide Review - Review of what crepe? in Royal Oak
If a restaurant’s character is defined by its space and décor, than what crepe? definitely screams mom's kitchen. The storefront itself is long and narrow, but the dining area is divided in the middle by the kitchen and drink station. Both sections of the dining room have deep-red walls, plank floors and an eclectic mix of wall hangings and chairs, from wingbacks to wooden kitchen. A ceiling fan keeps the air flowing in the summer, as does a screen door at the back of the dining room that overlooks the restaurant’s garden.
The small restaurant consists of a mix of about 10 tables, most of which are two-tops. They’re covered with table clothes and the restaurant uses cloth, black napkins.
The menu is a spiral binder made from old French record sleeves and filled with about 50 crepe descriptions. While the menu is a creative way to help along the illusion of French cafe, some of the menus "pages" were pretty ragged and falling out of the binder, which is either charming or a glaring oversight.
The crepes at what crepe? are perfectly cooked in that they are served warm with a touch of crispy edge. They are also thoughtfully prepared, served piping hot, and liberally filled with fresh, organic ingredients. There are several different crepes available as part of an established dish or you can make your own. In either case, the restaurant offers a large variety of high-quality ingredients. In fact, there are several ingredients under each broach category. For instance, proteins include chicken, turkey, ham and even tofu. Vegetables include caramelized onion, avocado, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. There are also 13 different sauces from which to choose, including Truffle Zip.
The Monte Cristo crepe was liberally stuffed with thick slices of turkey and ham, so much so, that the sheer bulk of the griddle-grilled meat overshadowed the Swiss Cheese and Spinach. That being said, utilizing a crepe rather than deep-fried French Toast allows the Monte Cristo's filling to really shine. Best of all, the crepe was liberally drizzled with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar for taste rather than for show.
The dessert crepe was a make-your-own concoction with Nutella, caramelized bananas and caramel sauce. It was enormous, easily filling the plate, but the Nutella and caramel were a little too soupy together without adding some other ingredients -- the crepe was pretty soggy in the middle.
Coffee was a real treat at what crepe? because it was served in a French Press. The coffee looked a little thicker as a result and has a deeper flavor.
One waitress seemed to be responsible for all the tables in the restaurant and was simply spread too thin at lunchtime. As a result, she lost track of how long each table was waiting and water glasses stayed empty. She did, however, seem invested in the restaurant’s success.
The check, when it came, was handwritten and hard to decipher.