The Crepemaker~for A Delectable Taste Of France Right Here In Miami !

Friday, June 09, 2006

While I was getting ready for my recent mini vacation I realized I needed a bathing suit cover-up for the beach so I quickly ran over to my nearest TJ.MAX located right across the street from the Falls Shopping Center - All the stores in the Falls are fairly expensive and I didn't want to spend too much money on an item that I will just throw on the beach chair or sand while I go in the water or sit in the sun - After I found the perfect top I needed I realized I was hungry and was about to go my favorite place to eat in the Falls, Cafe Miami located in Bloomingdales's but a special craving hit me, I just had to have a crepe! I love crepes, fill them with just about anything and I will be happy - In Paris one of the first things we do on our arrival is to take a walk and usually find ourselves near Blvd. St Michel and St. Germain where there is a crepe stand as you enter the Rue De la Huchette, our favorite eating street -. This stand has been there as long as I can remember and always has a line, but it isn't usually a long wait and before long I have a Framboise crepe in my little hand. As the raspberry filling drips on my hands I am in heaven. So a few years ago when the Original CrepeMaker was established by the owners upon returning from a vacation in France, I just knew this was going to be a favorite place of mine. They hatched the idea when they sampled crepes sold on the street carts in Paris and, who knows, maybe even the one we've always gone to. They wanted to see Crepe Carts on the Palm Tree lined streets of South Florida but instead of just the simple crepes filled with jams, sugar and Nutella, a sinful chocolaty spread, they imagined more of an innovative crepe, one that could be eaten as a meal, filling them with super fresh, healthy food combinations that would satisfy the biggest appetites and the sweetest cravings like mine. The first appearance of these Crepe Carts was on the busy streets of downtown Miami, where I first sampled one, sneaking out of our restaurant one day when we were very busy serving our lunch crowd. Soon they opened their first tiny cafe in the Village of Pinecrest in the Southwest area, not too far from my home. A friend and I enjoyed going there even if there wasn't much ambiance. She enjoyed the idea of crepes so much she had them cater a party at her house one year. What a success that was! They bought a crepe stand, decorated with French flags and even a huge Eiffel Tower. Everyone at the party thought it was a fantastic idea and ate their hearts out with the great variety of crepes offered. They even made me a Framboise crepe even though it wasn't on their party menu at the time. For some reason they had some raspberry topping on hand for the ice cream crepes they were making for dessert. That's how accommodating they were. I've been told that their catering business is a huge success and you have to make plans far in advance if you want the CrepeMaker to come to your party. It wasn't long before you would see the CrepeMaker stands at all the art shows, fairs and street events that take place all over South Florida. Soon they opened a small open-air crepe stand in the Falls Shopping Center, which was a huge success, but since this is an outdoors mall, it could get very hot eating there in the summer. Just recently they opened a great little cafe near the Movie theater in the mall with indoor and outdoor seating and it was there that I just had my little crepe fix when that craving hit me last weekend - I went straight to the dessert menu for the Raspberry Delight, which has expanded to include bananas on top of the filled crepe Framboise. There are 6 dessert crepes altogether - The Nutella Solo; thick rich Nutella chocolate spread on the delicate crepe, is their most popular, the Raspberry, the Frankie; a concoction of Nutella, bananas, melted Reese's Pieces, whipped creme and cinnamon, the Gabriel's choice; Nutella, Dulce de Leche Raspberry jam and bananas, The Madeline; Nutella, bananas, and mini marshmallows, and last but not least, the Bad Girl; sliced strawberries, Dulce de Leche, powdered sugar, cinnamon and Grand Marnier. Each one of these sells for $4.25-$4.95...They also offer Crepes a La Mode, 5 varieties of Ice Cream Crepes each one made up of various flavors and toppings all tucked inside and on top of those delectable light fluffy crepes But what if you happen to be very hungry for a meal. You can also find quite a selection of meals in a crepe as well as salads and even salads in a crepe, there are 12 varieties of salads, everything from a Sun Dried Tomato Salad to a Caesar, a Greek, a Spinach salad, one called the "When Pigs Fly To Blue Heaven, this one has Blue Cheese and Baked Ham, the classic Chef Salad and in keeping with the French tradition, the Salad Nicoise, my husbands favorite - for more varieties there's also the Normandy, the Leaning Salad of Pisa, the Monte Carlo, a Mushroom Madness, the Rio Grande, and the Lone Star. Each one made with your finest crispy fresh green vegetables and original toppings. These are in the price range of $6.95 to $8.00 for the Nicoise, which by the way tastes like you are in the South of France instead of South Florida. As I mentioned they will fill a crepe with any of the above concoctions for the same price. Now on the Entree Crepe. I can't possibly list them all, but if you are truly hungry one of these babies will fill any ones belly, from Caesar Chicken and Steak to a Very Philly Chicken or Steak, a Honey Mustard, with I've had and really enjoyed with it's marinated chicken breast, melted cheddar, ripe tomatoes, lettuce and honey mustard dressing. Then the Cordon Bleu, the Raspberry Chicken another favorite of mine, the BLT, and one called the Opulence. In the mood for something in the Southwestern style? Well, the Tex Mex, the Mexi Crepe, or the Southwest will fill that bill. There is even the Havana Chicken, the Pizza Crepe, the California - so many, 24 in all, and each one totally unique with original fillings in one of those delicious pancake style food delicacies. These are all in the $5.00 to $8.00 price range so you can see it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to eat there. I have found that at this location, decorated in a French motif, with Eiffel Towers on the walls and counters, that though it's not big inside there isn't usually too long a wait since there are 4 crepe machines going at all times. But there are some hours when you might have a longer wait than at other times. You can sit indoors at the counter or one of the few tables inside or outside where there is more seating. All in all, I really do enjoy the CrepeMaker Cafes, when I have to have my French Fix every so often or when I'm at a festival and I see one of their stands it's usually my first choice of eating as I walk down the street ogling art work or whatever is going on around me. I'm very happy that even if I'm not in France a little taste of Paris has come to me. Bon Appitit

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