Crêpes Bonaparte Launch
The French-slinging fixture at the Downtown Anaheim farmers' market, Crêpes Bonaparte, has gone mobile, as Edwin reported last week. I headed up to the market, which is half crafts, half produce, to check it out. The truck, which is named Gaston, was parked on Lemon St. just north of the announcer. Gaston is not lavishly decorated, but all the important information is there.
The crêpes are made directly in the front window, a brilliant move on their part. One of the most common complaints about food trucks is that it's hard to see what's going on in there. When the crêpe is being made behind a glass window six inches from your nose, that complaint becomes less valid.
I ordered four crêpes: an "In Da Club", with bacon, mozzarella, avocado and tomato; a "Like A Pizza Pie", with marinara sauce, feta, olives and chicken; a strawberry and Nutella crêpe; and a banana and Nutella crêpe.
The "In Da Club" ($4.99) was quite good, though the avocado needed seasoning (it was mashed like guacamole) and there really should be chicken or turkey in there to make it a "club crêpe". The "Like A Pizza Pie" (also $4.99) was messy to eat and was missing something (sausage? pepperoni?). The chicken cut into bite-sized pieces was a nice touch and made eating the crêpe slightly easier than with slices.
The sweet crêpes ($3.99) were much better, with just the right amount of hazelnut spread. When possible, Crêpes Bonaparte uses strawberries from the farmers' market. The difference between the strawberries in my crêpe and the Driscoll Dreary grocery store standard cardboard berries was huge. Just ask them to skip the whipped cream: it melts too quickly in the hot crêpe, causing seepage, and leaves you with a slightly chocolate-rimmed milk moustache.
Finally, while I haven't yet had this from the truck, I imagine their lemon and sugar crêpe is still the stunning wonder it always has been. If you've been seduced by the larger stuffed crêpes, try this one for dessert next time: it's truly a model of simplicity and it is très, très Français. Just say je voudrais une crêpe au citron et sucre, s'il vous plaît.
Crêpes Bonaparte serves white flour or whole-wheat flour crêpes and, for an upcharge, gluten-free flour crêpes. Assuming no celiac issues, go for the whole-wheat crêpes. The taste difference is negligible in a loaded crêpe, and you might as well get the nominal health benefit of the whole grain.
It's definitely worth a stop if it's in your area. Currently Gaston haunts the north OC area--Anaheim, Fullerton, Brea, Yorba Linda--but I imagine that given sufficient demand he could work his way further down. But not too far south--l'enfer, c'est Aliso Viejo, non?
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.