Flatiron Lunch: Am I the Only One Disappointed By the New Crepes Truck?
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
I really like crepes. On my honeymoon, my wife and I spent a week in Paris staying upstairs from a crepe joint on a particularly festive nightlife strip. At least once a day, whether for breakfast or a snack at the end of a night of eating and drinking, we’d hit the crepe stand and get those delicious buttery pancakes filled with ham, cheese, eggs, chocolate or some combination thereof. It was amazing and somehow seemed vaguely healthier than the nearby shawarma stand (which we actually went to whenever we weren’t eating crepes.)
There aren’t nearly enough crepes stands around New York so the first time I saw The Crepes Truck parked on 5th Ave at 23rd Street, I was pretty psyched. Enough so that I almost ordered something up right then even though I had just eaten. My tune changed once I finally did try it. See the whole sad story after the jump.
Savory crepes cost from $4-7, while dessert ones are $3-$6. That’s a bit much, but, I’d give it a chance. The guy in the truck is friendly, if unusually hipstery for the neighborhood – he tells me their other usual spot is in Williamsburg, and remembered me on my second visit and asked how I liked it. Here’s the problem. I didn’t.
On my first visit, I had the New Yorker. I was put off by the unidentifiable bitter flavor that could have been coming from the chicken, seasoned with a little too much thyme and something that left it colored a curry green. Or, it could have been coming from the buckwheat pancakes that it was all wrapped in. The caramelized onions should have been a high point, but there were either too many of them or they weren’t quite cooked enough, because instead of being soft and sweet, they were strong and sort of got in the way. What definitely didn’t help was the chicken bone that I found inside it. On the plus side, it’s an indication that they use whole chicken parts and not tasteless cutlets.
The second time, I figured I’d try a more classic option in the hopes that it would yield a better result. Ham and cheese is pretty straightforward, what could go wrong? The buckwheat batter, that’s what. The second time around, I was quite sure that I didn’t like it. I want it to be buttery, a little sweet to complement the savory flavors inside.This wasn’t that.
Thankfully, Bian Dang was in the neighborhood that day – I ended up tossing the crepe half way through and getting a pork chop.
I’ve put off posting about the Crepes Truck because I really want it to be good. It’s possible that the sweet crepes which use a different batter, could be their saving grace. Maybe all you need to do is put some ham and cheese in one of those and it’ll be perfect. But honestly, I haven’t been willing to give them another try after two pretty bad attempts.
If any of you guys have tried out the dessert crepes or if you’ve like any of the other kinds – which include a Norwegian version with smoked salmon, let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear that it was just me.
The Crepes Truck, 5th Ave at 22nd Street. (@TheCrepesTruck on Twitter)