Today I had arranged to meet my pal, Alicia, for lunch at Anita’s Crepes Cafe and Bistro in Ballard. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan well and when I showed up, I found out it was closed on Tuesdays. Anita herself was in the restaurant doing inventory when I came up and tried to open the door (because the lack of lights and people in the restaurant weren’t enough of a tip-off for me that they were closed). When she found out that I was meeting a friend for lunch, she invited me to come in while I waited. She introduced herself and offered me tea. I accepted. She made tea and we chatted. It turns out she has a young son and so we talked kids and schools. You know, parent stuff.
While we were chatting, I asked her about her gluten-free crepes–which I had the chance to taste a couple of weeks ago (and found to be quite yummy!). She said that they did make gluten-free crepes, but she went on to explain that they don’t really adhere to super-strict gluten-free preparation practices (they mix the gf batter in a kitchen where the gluten crepes are made, and they make the gf crepes on the same griddle where they make the gluten crepes). I really appreciated the fact that she was aware of the issues around cross-contamination when it comes to gluten-free eating. I asked her if, the next time I come in, I could order a crepe that was made with less gluten cross-contamination issues–and she enthusiastically said yes. Even though I didn’t have any reaction the first time I ate there, next time I will ask the folks in the kitchen (which is right in front of the seating area) to take care in mixing the batter and to carefully wipe off the griddle for my crepe.
Anyway, after this conversation, my friend arrived and we left to find another spot to have lunch. But, I have to say that I was so impressed with Anita’s easy friendliness and our convivial conversation. Which made me all the more sad that we couldn’t eat there for lunch.
When I got home, I did a little research on Anita. It turns out that she has an impressive resume. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. And she’s done an internship at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry restaurant in Napa, CA, with pastry chef Sebastian Rouxel.
If you have a hankering for crepes, sweet or savory, (and it’s not Tuesday), I recommend the food and the conviviality at Anita’s Crepes Cafe and Bistro. You can find it at 4350 Leary Way NW, Seattle, 98107 between Ballard and Fremont, 206.838.9997.