Crepe It Up (5071/2 Church, at Wellesley, 416-916-3558; other location 95 Front E, at Jarvis, 416-558-2661) Open Sunday to Wednesday 8 am to midnight, Thursday to Saturday 8 am to 3 am; St. Lawrence open Tuesday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm, Friday 8 am to 7 pm, Saturday 7 am to 5 pm; closed Sunday and Monday. Unlicensed. Access: slight bump at door, small washroom on same floor (Church); barrier-free (St. Lawrence). Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The buzz on the street says Church has gone from edgy to mainstream. Witness the spread of corporate roadhouses like O'Grady's and the closing of Bar 501, the Looking Glass and Le Petit Liban. But there's life in the old queen yet, as the launch of Slack's, Ginger 3 and now Crepe It Up, an offshoot of the year-old St. Lawrence Market takeaway of the same name that's just opened north of Wellesley, attests.
First off, forget everything you know about French flapjacks. As Burrito Boyz are to authentic Mexican so Crepe It Up is to Parisian pancakes: not related in the slightest. Instead, think of these as all-purpose wraps stuffed with a combination of health-conscious fixin's.
Crepe's Monster crepe ($6.95) could almost be a deli sandwich, so substantial are its thinly sliced ham, shredded cheddar and lotsa mozzarella, with a runny egg stirred in at the last minute. Hold the Monster's ham 'n' eggs and get the Vegetable version ($4.95) complete with gently cooked onion, mushroom and sweet bell pepper.
The humble Tuna Melt ($6.95) comes deconstructed, a delicious mess of albacore, caramelized onion, crunchy celery and deliquescent cheese.
CIU's Nutty Fruit Salad ($6.95) is an open-faced crepe heaped with an unusual tangle of raw spinach leaves, 'shrooms, and shredded cheese tossed with a trail mix of pineapple chunks, sliced strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, almonds, peanuts and pine nuts, all doused with a honeyed citrus vinaigrette.
More than a dozen non-savoury crepes are available, including our favourite, the Paris ($3.95). Presumably not named for that Hilton ditz, this delicious finish finds the eggy paper-thin house crepe layered with chocolate syrup, hazelnuts and banana before being given a last-minute dusting of confectioner's sugar.
First-time restaurateur Christopher Lee has succeeded where most others fail. He's created a unique product, priced it competitively and delivers it in stylish digs. Who says Church Street is dead?