No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.”
— Henry Ward Beecher
Crepe Town Café
I first heard about this place a couple of weeks ago when I was at a wine and food event. Two days later I received a call from Alma Zildzo, who with her husband, Edi, opened this new restaurant a few weeks ago. So, I drove to Burke Junction in Cameron Park, which is located at 3300 Coach Lane, to visit the restaurant. It is between Que Viva and Kobe Sushi.
I immediately found out it is a real family restaurant. The day I was there Alma’s lovely daughter Mirha was serving and on weekends a lot more of the family shows up to help.
The Zildzo family came to the United States from Croatia, by way of Germany. “We left everything when the fighting started,” said Alma. “I have a college degree, but I couldn’t find a suitable job in Germany, so I went to work in a café. Six years later we came to American and for a while had a small café in Mountain View.
“We decided to move to the Sacramento area to be near one daughter and her family. We saw Cameron Park and fell in love with it. We decided this was the place to open a small café for my daughter and grandkids. We wanted something unique, something European and this is it. We serve crepes, coffee, soups, salads, paninis and ice cream, but specialize in the crepes.
“It is European to take your time and enjoy your food. If you want to come in and have something to eat and read a book while you are sipping your coffee, that is fine with us. We decided on a simple menu and nice coffee so that people could relax and have a good time enjoying our delicious food and the pleasant surroundings. We don’t rush you,” Alma said.
Traditional crepes are delicately thin, European style pancakes cooked quickly then stuffed with delicious sweet or savory fillings and folded. Crepe Town Café’s are made the traditional way from scratch and prepared to order using the chef’s recipes, inspired by some of the world’s most celebrated dishes.
The chef is Steven Yates, a talented and experienced graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Ariz. “He understands what we are looking for and has come up with great recipes,” said Alma. From what I tried, I have to agree.
The menu, which may change a bit as they get to know their customers better, starts with crepes and eggs: six choices of wonderful combinations of eggs, cheese, ham and vegetables. Those are followed by eight savory crepes that vary from The California — sun dried tomato, avocado, spinach, red onion, artichokes, pesto, Swiss cheese and creme fraîche to the beef and Burgundy with short ribs, mushrooms and onions in a red wine sauce.
I sampled two and really liked the clean taste of The California, but my favorite was The Greek, with red onion, tomato, Kalamata olives, artichokes, pesto and feta cheese. It has a wonderful mix of tastes and textures with a delicious tang. Both the chef and Alma told me they could tell I liked it by the expression on my face while eating. The two samples came with the Crepe Town house salad, a combination of mixed greens, carrots, red onions, tomato, duck confit, candied walnuts, Parmesan and a roasted shallot vinegarette.
I also sampled two of the dozen sweet crepes they make: Nutella and Berry (Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread), with a mixed berry compote and whip cream, and the grannies apple, an apple cinnamon filling with caramel sauce, pie crumbs and streusel. The were both very nice, but I am not sure I could eat a whole one by myself. That is a lot of dessert. I should note here that Alma said that people can and do split crepe orders.
The menu also includes a Caesar salad, a “from scratch soup of the day” and two paninis: pastrami and Swiss and chicken and pesto.
In addition to the sweet crepes there are other desserts on the menu, a banana split, an ice cream sundae with fresh berry compote, cannolis, cakes and pastries.
The list of coffee and coffee drinks, hot chocolate and chai is quite lengthy and supplemented by other drinks such as orange juice, lemonade, sodas and bottled water. The café serves Vaneli coffee. “I like strong coffee,” said Alma, “and theirs is strong.”
The clean restaurant is decorated in an eclectic manner. “People told me it would be cheaper to use plastic, but I like real things,” said Alma. Each table has a different set of salt and pepper shakers and a vase with flowers. I buy things from second hand stores because they were once loved by someone and that love comes with them. I also use cloth on the tables and decorate with happy signs and pictures.”
Crepe Town Café is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is closed on Monday.
For more information call 530-677-5993 or visit www.crepetowncafe.com.