Crepe is a very thin pancake that is a traditional French dessert that originated in the northwest region of France. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a little bit of salt. Crepes are usually made either sweet or salty. Savory fillings of crepe include egg, various meat and vegetables. The sweet crepes usually contain powder sugar, Nutella, and fruits. Ever since taking French in middle/high school, I have fell in love with this dessert. Once I got to college, I had to hunt down several places that sell this delicious treat. Two places that I frequently visit are Cafe Zola and Rendez Vous Cafe.
Cafe Zola, not one of the most typical student visit cafe’s in Ann Arbor. It is located on Washington St, past Main st. downtown. For the winter, it is definitely quite a hike. It is a very popular breakfast and lunchplace in Ann Arbor. The little cafe is very cozy on the inside. Not a very large place, you often will find a heavy line out the door on the weekends. I especially enjoy coming down and taking a seat outside of the cafe to enjoy the good weather days. Inside, the cafe is dimly lit and gives people a soothing and enjoyable time to dine.
Rendez Vous is conveniently located on South University St. near the diag. The cafe offers a variety of signature sandwiches and Mediterranean dishes. A smaller place than Zola, Rendez Vous gives a small homely feeling. There is enough seating in the cafe for 15 – 20 people.
Cafe Zola is proud of their crepe as they consider it a fine work of art. They use two kinds of flour: freshly ground buckwheat flour, which is used for the savory crepes and pastry flour for the dessert crepes. These crepes are also offered throughout the day. In terms of the sweet crepes you can choose from a list of 6 specialty crepes. Amongst that I have tried the Normandie, which includes sautéed apples, walnuts and cranberries, drizzled with honey and crème chantilly, the strawberry banana, which includes, fresh sliced strawberries and banana slices, served with Michigan maple syrup and crème chantilly, and nutella banana, which includes chocolate-hazelnut spread, ice cream, banana slices, toasted almonds, crème chantilly and raspberry sauce. The crepes are a bit pricey, ranging from 8 – 12 dollars. The portions are huge, guaranteed to fill you up.
Rendez Vous is also known for their large savory and sweet crepe selection. You can choose from a list of 8 sweet crepes. Usually the crepes are made right in front of you, so you can see the entire process. Some of my favorites include Nutella split, a combination of Nutella spread and bananas topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, Crepes sucre, which is a crepe topped with a sprinkle of sugar, and Specialty fruit, which is a blend of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas, drizzled with raspberry sauce and topped with ice cream, whipped cream and powdered sugar. The price at Rendez Vous is definitely more student friendly, ranging from $3.5 – 6.
I had the pleasure of getting the strawberry banana at Cafe Zola recently. The crepe is nice and soft. It is fluffy and thin. The powder sugar gives the crepe just the right amount of sweetness. Inside, the bananas and strawberries are fresh and sweet. If you want an extra hint of sweetness, you can drizzle some maple syrup that is prepared for you, but I usually just prefer eating it without the extra glaze just so I can better appreciate the natural taste from the crepe.
One of my favorites to get at Rendez Vous is the Nutella banana. There’s nothing that is better than the combination of hazelnut-chocolate spread and crepe. It is the classic combination. The crepe at Rendez Vous is thin and soft. The banana covered crepe with Nutella inside the crepe can always satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Sometimes this dish can be a little over powering in the Nutella, which makes the crepe extra sweet.
WHO REIGNS SUPREME?
Cafe Zola is a bit more expensive than Rendezvous, however in terms texture of the crepe, over balance of taste, there is no doubt that Cafe Zola wins over. Also the atmosphere for Cafe Zola is more relaxing. A good place to venture down one a nice sunny day!