A Japanese crepe and boba tea shop? Now that was a food combination that piqued my interest as a self-proclaimed crepe expert – my only real credentials being my French heritage.
So, as any real crepe fan would, I decided to venture out all the way to Folsom to give T-Crepes (1870 Prairie City Rd., No. 300) a try.
However, I was definitely not expecting to see grilled chicken and roast beef as options right beside rainbow sprinkles and mini marshmallows.
T-Crepes offers not only dessert but a collection of savory crepes, as well as a typical side order of fries or a not-so-typical side of fried calamari.
The small store opened on Dec. 2, yet they are already considering opening a second venue in downtown Sacramento.
Co-creators Joyce Lin and Elizabeth Lam established the restaurant to create a fairly unusual experience. I had never heard of Japanese crepes before, so it seems their business plan had its intended effect.
The store is in a plaza that seems quite popular with ethnic cuisine, including quite a few Indian and Thai restaurants.
The clean white-and-blue color scheme of the shop is very pleasing to the eye.
I ordered a crepe with grilled chicken (priced somewhat expensively at $7.50 for a small serving) and watched the cooks make my crepe right in front of me.
While waiting, I noticed a little rack of board games in the corner. It would be awkward to play the games during lunch, but they would be fun to play while eating a quick dessert or snack.
Not planning to stay for very long, I didn’t pull one out, but it seemed this might be an incentive for a group of friends to come to the venue together.
I was surprised once again when I saw how my food was presented.
Instead of being folded in half on a plate like a traditional French crepe, it came in a paper cone wrapping.
The crepe stuck out of the wrapping, and was organized like a bouquet of flowers with the sauce drizzled on top. It looked very appealing, but wasn’t the most convenient presentation when it came to actually eating it.
The wrapping was made to be easily ripped, so that one can eat the crepe with their hands and avoid having the ingredients fall out the bottom.
However, because my parents and I didn’t know that, we struggled as we pulled the crepe slowly out of the wrapping, biting it piece by piece.
Eventually, I just asked for a plate and ate it with a fork and knife.
But once I realized how the crepe was supposed to be eaten, it was much easier when I tried out their sweet options later.
The sesame sauce that accompanies every crepe complemented the food well, and the vegetables were fresh.
Unfortunately, the meat and fish were not. The protein in both the chicken and tuna crepe seemed a bit fake or possibly frozen.
My mother opted for a vegetarian version of their ham-and-cheese crepe, ordering basically just a cheese crepe.
The chefs seemed absolutely fine with the request, but when the crepe arrived, there was no cheese in it at all.
All that was left in the crepe was shredded vegetable and sesame sauce, which my mother quickly gave up on eating.
With only six options for their savory crepes, there is much less choice for lunch than for dessert.
Seeing many other customers purchase their sweet crepes, I was definitely looking forward to being able to try them out.
Choosing among three ($4.95), four ($6.95) or five toppings ($7.95), I opted for their smallest crepe.
Like the savory crepe, the cooks made it in front of me and handed it to me in a cardboard cone.
The strawberries and bananas in my crepe were extremely fresh, and it really seemed they had bought the fruits that very day.
The nutella worked well with the fruit, and they were very careful not to overpower the crepe with its strong taste.
The sweet crepes are entirely customizable, giving you the choice to pick from a vast array of toppings. You can pick from a selection of fruits such as strawberries, bananas and mangos.
You could also add whipped cream, chocolate, mini marshmallows and other little candies.
Both crepes were made with the same sweet batter, which worked much better with the sweet crepe than with the savory.
While we were eating, a few people went in and out, mainly ordering just the sweet crepes.
Given my and the other customers’ preference for the sweet crepes, I think that’s probably where the shop shines most.
But there’s another part of the name T-Crepes: the tea. The restaurant offers a wide array of different teas, boba tea being the most notable.
You can pick from a selection of three tea bases: black, green and oolong. Then you can add a certain flavor and a topping of boba pearls or fruit jellies. The sweetness of the tea can also be customized.
The sweeter boba tea works in conjunction with the sweet crepes, emphasizing the shop’s dessert experience.
As we drove home, my parents and I discussed the food. My father thought that his tuna crepe was good, but he said he wouldn’t go back for a savory crepe.
This is because the sweet crepes are really where the small business excels.
Their Japanese crepes are slightly thicker than traditional French ones, yet still much lighter than American pancakes. And the thicker, crispier shell emphasizes the shop’s grab-and-go wrapping.
This thickness gives the sweet crepes more sustenance than a French crepe, but still allows for a wider selection of toppings to work well with the taste.
The shop is aimed more towards small groups of friends looking for a snack than towards people searching for a meal, due to their two- or four-person tables.
If you’re looking for a nice dessert in the area, the crepes are a great option. But another restaurant would probably be a better pick for lunch.
—By Mehdi Lacombe