Review: It’s Just Crepes

I actually had someone angry with me once because I said that It’s Just Crepes wasn’t my favorite.  It’s okay– we’re good now– but the reason I wasn’t big into it is because when I think of crepes, I think of delicate crepes filled with simple ingredients: lavender, lemon, sugar or nutella, for example; or if we’re going for savory, just simple ham and cheese.  It’s something you can stroll down the street while eating and not worry about making a mess.  It’s Just Crepes isn’t street food (as crepes are in France), since they’re so overstuffed. You have to sit down and eat it (and maybe even use a fork).  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  But, I’m always happy to try places again– so I did.

Benedict

It’s Just Crepes isn’t simple.  Most of their crepes are more like wraps– instead of a tortilla, they use a crepe–with all sorts of creative filling combinations.  It’s pretty unique to the area, and a fun concept. They’ve been expanding– there are now two downtown locations and a Northern Kentucky location.  We popped into the Court Street location on a Saturday for breakfast.  Well. One of us got breakfast.  I went for something more lunch-y.

Southwest

The menu is broken down into Sweet and Savory, and there are a few price variations under each.  The Better Half picked the Benedict crepe, one of the more breakfast-y crepes, filled with swiss cheese, ham, sliced tomatoes, spinach and hollandaise sauce.  I went with the Southwestern, filled with Pepper Jack, chicken, onions, red peppers and chipotle mayo.

The crepes were overstuffed and very filling– I couldn’t begin to finish mine.  I liked the southwestern combination: it was fresh and flavorful and just a bit spicy.  I’ll definitely order it again, however, I’ll ask for less chipotle mayo next time.  It provided some  nice spiciness, for sure, but it was a little too sloppy.

As for the Benedict, I think this would have been better if they hadn’t used hollandaise from a mix.  I know- hollandaise is hard to keep around for something that could be an occasional order (though they have two crepes that feature it), but the odd, congealed consistency of from-a-mix hollandaise makes me wonder why they don’t just use a lemon mayonnaise that might be easier to keep on hand but still approximate the Benedict flavor.

We didn’t want to ignore the sweet side of the menu, so on the way out we grabbed a nutella-filled crepe.  Perfect– a little messy (but it’s chocolate, so who cares?), but not so messy that you couldn’t walk down the street while eating it.  Simple.

I think that when I go back and I’m looking for a quick lunch to take away as I walk, I’ll stick with the simpler crepes– ham and cheese, nutella– and leave the more overstuffed varieties for when I have time to sit down.  For the price ($5-7 for a good sized portion of food), it’s not bad for a downtown lunch.

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  • Jonni Lynch

    I think it’s strange someone got “mad” at you. I have put off trying It’s Just Crepes because I’ve been by other folks “It’s really great–they’re more like wraps!” , and now you have said something similar. And I trust you. And, I’m no fan of wraps. For a variety of reasons. And, thus, crepes are to me, should be what you described–light, airy, with fillings that are delicate–can be sweet, can be savory. A favorite crepe of mine has a little sweet Italian sausage served with thinly sliced tomatoes. A little sausage. Thinly sliced tomatoes.
    But, given the option of crepes or blintzes, I go blintzes everytime :)

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      It wasn’t all-out war or anything, just a disagreement.

      I’m in your camp– I think they’re something that should be able to be eaten while walking, and the savories I had didn’t fit that bill. I’m definitely okay with wraps (I usually end up taking off half of the tortilla, but that’s just me) so I just had to kick the crepe paradigm to the curb to wrap my head around these.

  • http://mixitupcincinnati.blogspot.com Lindsay

    I like their apple crepe when I’m in the mood for something just a bit sweeter. I haven’t gotten around to trying any of their savory crepes. It’s not bad…not my usual choice if I want breakfast or lunch, but good when I decide I really just want something smaller and more snack-y and I happen to walk past.

  • http://smarkas.wordpress.com Sarah

    I’ve tried several of their crepes and have enjoyed them all (including the Southwest), but one of my favorites is the simple turkey, pesto, and smoked gouda. It’s much more traditional and could be eaten on the street. I like their sweet crepes for much the same reason — many of them are a simple pleasure.

    Let’s just say it’s good for my wallet that I don’t work downtown anymore. I left right before they opened the 4th street location that would have been closer to my office than Court Street! Too much temptation for me…

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      I tried that one on Saturday and liked the combination.

  • http://beachbakeaholic.blogspot.com Bakeaholic

    I’m a Salt Lake City foodie moving to Dayton, Ohio shortly. I’ll be in Centerville. But when I visit Cincinnati, I’ll have to browse your blog first so I can hit all the good restaurants!

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Welcome to Dayton! :D Visit Cincinnati often, but you really need to head to downtown Dayton– oregon district, south park, and others as they’re fun and up-and-coming too!

  • Lesley

    I agree too. When I went there I got the ham and cheese, it was the only one that was “authentic”. The French do such a great job with their crepes adn offer such a variety of fillings, I was looking for something more along those lines.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      I went back on Sunday for a Pesto Turkey, and it was better– much less overstuffed– but the crepe was crispy.

  • Hungrywolf

    If “It’s Just Crepes” is reading this –DON”T CHANGE A THING”.
    For people that say it is not like the french crepes, no it is not…it has more variety and something different. And for those who say it is overstuffed…no way…this is our meal. Most french crepes are just dessert/sweets. This crepe is replacing a sandwich so it should be bigger. Most wraps are stuffed with “filler’ like rice or lettuce–the crepes are filled with all things yummy!! Keep up the good work, It’s Just Crepes!!!

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Well, actually, French crepes have quite a variety of fillings as well– everything from ham and cheese, to eggs, to sausages, to asparagus– filling, and a meal, for sure, but not overflowing. Look up Breton crepes– they go far beyond just sweet.

  • http://www.thaddandmilan.com/ thadd f.

    I wonder who it was that disagreed with your initial assessment of It’s Just Crepes?
    That guy sounds like a jerk. :P LOL.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      The important thing is that this person and I have settled our differences and now can laugh about it, right? :D