Adventures in Eating & Cooking
On my quest to withdraw cash at 7-Eleven, I strategically stopped by Hagerty Library to glimpse at the food trucks, not expecting much. But alas, I found a jewel among carts of commonality. I found a creperie truck, La Dominique.
Everything on the menu was $5 or under, except for the $7 Smoked Salmon Crepe. I was in the mood for salmon, so I paid the extra $2. I asked the old man running the cart to hold the onions, which he double-checked with me right before making my crepe. He seemed very dedicated to his work and very well-mannered to his customers. I watched as he spread my crepe on the pan, cut fresh vegetables and lox onto the crepe, and seasoned it with pepper via a pepper grinder.
The end verdict: Magnifique for for Dominique, probably the best thing I’ve eaten in this neighborhood so far! The rumors I’ve heard about the crepes truck’s fresh ingredients were absolutely right. The tomatoes were as crisp and sweet as summer sunshine. There wasn’t a bit of sogginess here. The green peppers and red bell peppers were also crunchy and full of gardeny vegetable flavor. And oh the delicious salmon in its salty sea glory smoked to such a degree that all the flavors were brought out. It melted in my mouth almost like toro (grade-A salmon sushi). Everything was slathered with rich creamy whipped cream cheese, that definitely was not just store-bought. It had a wonderful taste and texture, on the richer side, but not the least bit fatty or heavy-tasting. The black pepper and salty little capers seasoned the crepe even more, making this savory crepe truly savory!
The best part however, was still the crepe itself. So soft and fluffy was this thin sheet of French pancake. It wasn’t exactly cakey like the American pancake, with a texture and thickness that was more like an omelette’s, except sweeter and doughier. What a delightful base for a dessert! (Which reminds me that I must try a sweet crepe next time.)
Compared to the crepes I had tried at Reading Terminal‘s Profi’s Creperie in Center City, La Dominique’s was far superior. At first, I was attracted to Profi’s by the humongous line gathered at the stand since I figured that something THAT popular just had to be THAT good.
That day I was in the mood for something sweet but light, so I decided on a fruity crepe. Specifically, a Strawberry-Peach crepe for $6.50. Given the choice of caramel or honey topping, I obviously went for the caramel. After ordering, I watched the Profi workers make my crepe, assembly-line style. Profi’s certainly has an efficient system, with guys starting up crepes on one pan, adding the filling on another, and heating everything up on a third.
I wasn’t too big on Profi’s crepe as I thought it was a bit too thick and hard, definitely not as fluffy and delicious as La Dominique’s. Furthermore, the fruits should have been sliced more thinly. The peach and strawberry chunks did not blend in as harmoniously as I had expected due to the size of the pieces. The biggest disappointment for me was that the caramel sauce was too thin and runny, barely tasting like caramel, which ought to be more viscous, sticky, and sweet. I probably should have gotten one of the crepes with Nutella instead…
In the end, I wasn’t sure why Profi’s had such a long line. It was neither a particularly impressive nor authentic creperie. Perhaps I had gotten the wrong crepe, but even the Crepes & Tearia by my house in Forest Hills makes better crepes. Here in Philly, I’d rather stay close to campus and get a better crepe fpr a better price at La Dominique’s.