Tuesday, October 24, 2006

J'Aime les Crêpes and Sweet Batter

I first wrote about J'Aime les Crêpes one year ago. At that time, the owner, Paul, was planning to open a second branch in the building being completed at Bjune and Madison in Winslow (downtown Bainbridge Island, for my non-local readers). However, he and his wife had another baby, so they decided to slow down their expansion plans and concentrate on the one restaurant. Wonderful for them, but those of us on Bainbridge Island who enjoy their crêpes must continue to make the drive to Kingston.

In the meantime, as I mentioned recently, a crêpe café opened next to the drycleaners on High School Road on Bainbridge Island. I've now been a few times, and I still think the crêpes at J'Aime les Crêpes are better. David's crêpes are a little dry and heavy. Maybe cooks them too long, or doesn't have enough liquid in the batter, I don't know. Opinions on buckwheat crêpe (actually galette) batters differ: some people add oil, some butter, some just milk and water. They're not awful or anything, and I'll probably keep going because it's five minutes from my house. This week we drove out to Kingston, and confirmed that not only do we like Paul's crêpes a lot better, but David's prices about 50% higher.

We found out that Paul had read last year's post, including a comment answering a question where I noted that he only had one batter for both sweet and savory crepes, which spurred him to develop a different batter for sweet crêpes. Dessert crêpes are usually made either with a "regular" (white flour) crêpe batter, or with a dessert batter that has a bit of sugar added. Paul hadn't made a separate dessert batter previously because his restaurant's space is so tiny and he didn't think he had room, but figured it was the right thing to do, since the buckwheat tends to overwhelm sweet ingredients. I am pleased to report that his sweet crêpes are excellent as well.

The view from J'Aime les Crêpes out to the water is still lovely, due to the vacant lot where the Kingston Inn was until it burned down last year. There's a sign up advertising condos to be built on the lot. $1.2million for a 1900sf condo in Kingston? Yow!