Paris CrepesLocated along Woodward, within a stone’s throw of the Detroit Institute of Arts is a thriving little bakery.  The menu revolves around a single dish — crepes — but the taste and feel is anything but predictable.  Find out more about this local gem below…

Jason MickLast week I took the opportunity to check out Paris Crepes.  For the last few weeks I’d been tempted by the chic new bakery that had popped up on Woodward.  After a tough week of tests at WSU I decided it was time to treat myself — and share my impressions here on Detroit Chic.

Paris Crepes...down the street

Paris Crepes is just down the street from the DIA.

Paris Crepes Exterior

Just outside Paris Crepes… the building’s beautiful facade tempts you inside.

Settling into line I was first impressed by just how busy the tiny shop was.  The place was packed — and according to customers it’s always this busy (that’s a good sign!).

Reaching the counter I ordered a “Helen Joy”, one of dozens of signature sweet crepes.  Customers can pick between sweet (dessert) crepes and savory designs.  There’s a wide selection of vegetarian, lean meat, and not-so-lean meat crepes, so there’s truly something for everyone.  Unique designs will impress you that this joint is anything but fast food in a traditional sense.

Settling in I waited for my crepe to arive.  The one downside of the place is its shear popularity.  While the crepes don’t take overly long to make — expect up to a 30 minute wait during lunchtime hours due to the shear magnitude of orders.  Still, the wait is not an unpleasant one as your eyes will wander around the walls of the shop covered in colorful antique French movie posters.

Staff
The staff of Paris Crepes races to keep up with lunchtime demand.

Interior

A peek inside the busy eatery.

I managed to find an employee from the other Paris Crepes from downtown and found out more about the history of the place.  The first Paris Crepes was launched in July 2008 by a former French teacher named Victoria.  Located on Woodward and John R., her bakery has since been among Detroit’s hottest and its crepes are sold at the Eastern Market (on Russell Street) on Saturday’s until around 4 p.m.  If you stop in there, be sure to say hi to Britney, who provided all this helpful information.

According to Britney, the location by the DIA — off Woodward and Warren — has been open for only two months.  Another location is likely coming within the next year in Grosse Pointe, but shhh!  that might be a secret!

Finally getting my crepe, I found it to be worth the wait.  Tender coconut, crisp almonds and just a right amount of chocolate — not overpowering, but not too little to taste — pleased my taste buds.  The crepe itself was chewy and moist.  For those who haven’t eaten a crepe, and might be a bit afraid of it, don’t be scared — it’s akin to Mexico’s tortilla, only not made with corn and slightly more moist.  The ingredients are laid on top of the round crepe and then sandwiched when it is folded in half.  You are presented with the folded crepe, cut in half.

The prices are great.  For anywhere from $5.50 to $7 you get a gourmet crepe that’s filling and unique.  Compare that with a Jimmy John’s sandwich for $4.50+ and you start to see what a bargain this gem of a bakery is.  Drinks — fair trade coffee and San Pellegrino Aranciata (orange soda) — can also be had for fair prices.

And the place is brimming with atmosphere, so you’re sure to meet some cool locals and make new friends.  In short, Paris Crepes is the kind of hip, cultured, yet affordable eatery that is symbolic of a city that’s truly turning around and becoming a fun place to be.  And its especially fun for fans of French culture or food.

So what’s the final verdict on Paris Crepes?

Atmosphere: 10/10
Food:  9/10
Staff:   8/10
Price:  10/10

A full menu is available from the eatery’s website, located here .

Paris Crepes is having a special event on November 14 (Sat.) from 2-5:00 p.m.  Hosted at the Park Shelton (15 E. Kirby at Woodward Avenue) the event costs $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.  Author Gail Perry-Mason will be hosting the event.  For reservations call 313-869-8141.