Crêperie Josselin in Paris
Le crêpe: One of the great French creations. These thin, crispy-edged, buttery pancakes are filled with everything from ham and eggs to caramel and apples, and can be bought from both colorful street stands and snug sit-down cafés. You can order a galette, (a savory crêpe made with buckwheat flour) or a crêpe, (a sweet crêpe made with wheat flour). They might be flambéed, à la glace, doubled layered, single layered, folded in squares, or folded in triangles, but they are always delicious. And of the crêpes I’ve had in Paris, two stand out as my favorites:
Crêperie Bretonne Fleurie
67, rue de Charonne
A galette at Crêperie Bretonne Fleurie
The full name of this café is La Crêperie Bretonne Fleurie de l’épouse du Marin, which translates as “flower-filled Breton crêperie run by a sailor’s wife,” so it certainly wins as the best-named crêperie. Leaving the noisy Place de la Bastille behind, you head down the narrow rue de Charonne until you reach the bright blue storefront and worn wooden booths of Crêperie Bretonne Fleurie. While you wait for your order, you can pass the time by photographing the white and red porcelain coffee cups on the table, because then you’ll have your camera ready for when these crêpes arrive. Folded in squares, these photogenic crêpes have a little opening in the center from which the inner ingredients peek out. I ordered a ham and egg galette and a caramel beurre salé crêpe and all was right in the world.
Crêperie de Josselin
67, rue du Montparnasse
A galette at Crêperie de Josselin
This café is tucked away on rue du Montparnasse, a narrow street crowded on each side with bustling crêperies. Small café tables line the sidewalk and brightly colored napkins flutter in the wind as you make your way through the wafting scent of butter to Crêperie de Josselin. You must complete a feat of gymnastics to squeeze into your seat, but as your crêpe is placed on the table in front of you, all is forgotten. Crêperie de Josselin is famous for its crispy, double layered pancakes, which make the galette just a bit thicker than the competition. I ordered a ham, egg, cheese, and onion galette as well as a homemade toffee-filled crêpe with vanilla ice cream. Très bien!