Have it your way at the recently opened Crepe Cafe Sisters, where sweet and savory crepes are made fresh right in front of you in mesmerizing fashion.
The fast cooking process starts with a ladleful of batter poured in the center of a large, circular, flat-topped burner. Next, the cook smooths the liquid pool out to cover the burner's full circumference using a specialized wooden tool called a crepe spreader. The ultrathin pancakes cook fast, and after a well-practiced flip with another wooden tool resembling a wide ruler, any desired fillings are added. Crepes served with toppings are left plain at this stage, but both versions are folded into a layered triangle shape — first in half, then in thirds — before coming off the burner.
Owners Ashley Sadaoui and Jessica Moon are the sisters behind Crepe Cafe Sisters. The duo realized their dream of finally opening a permanent storefront in May, six years after purchasing the business in 2015 from a family acquaintance.
"We had zero restaurant experience," at the time of the takeover, Sadaoui says, though she and Moon had long envisioned owning a business together.
"Honestly, the restaurant fell into our laps, but the reason why we stayed in it and love it so much is the people we get to interact with every day," she continues. "It's a joy to serve them and create an atmosphere where people can congregate and get to know each other."
Until this spring, the crepe cafe had operated solely as a pop-up vendor at area farmers markets and events. The sisters are continuing this mobile extension of the business — they upgraded from a tent setup to a food trailer last year — and can be found weekly this season at farmers markets in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Kendall Yards.
"We added the trailer in January 2020, which was tough because it was right before the pandemic, but it was also a blessing because it allowed us to have daily locations to be open and operating," Sadaoui says.
At the stationary Crepe Cafe Sisters location on Kendall Yards' west end, the sisters expanded their offerings of sweet and savory crepes beyond what's available from the trailer (menus for each location are posted on the cafe's website). Gluten-free and vegan crepes also became possible with the larger new kitchen.
One of the most popular new crepes added to the Kendall Yards menu so far is the Kickin' Chicken ($12), filled with shredded chicken breast, cheddar and cream cheese, and topped with hot honey and gochujang barbecue sauce.
On the sweet side, Sadaoui says both employees and customers are loving the Honey Bee ($7). That crepe is simple, with a peanut butter and honey drizzle, but fruit or other toppings can be added.
Crepe creations that became popular while the cafe was exclusively mobile, and which continue to be top sellers, include A Bebe ($7), topped with fresh blueberries and house-made lemon curd, and the Oinker ($9), filled with shredded hickory-smoked ham and melted cheddar.
"We named [A Bebe] after the previous owners' son, who couldn't say blueberry and called them 'bebes,'" Sadaoui says.
Crepe Cafe Sisters' batter is simple: milk, canola oil, salt, flour and eggs.
"A big thing that draws people to our crepes is the batter, and this is coming from years of customer feedback," Sadaoui says. "We don't put any sugar in our batter, which surprises people, but you can literally have one of our crepes with nothing on it and it tastes amazing."
Since opening in mid-May, Crepe Cafe Sisters has been much busier than expected.
"The weekends are honestly crazy busy — we never expected to be that busy on the weekends," Sadaoui says. "People always ask 'What are your slow times on the weekends?' but honestly there isn't a slow time. We have people filtering in and out all day Saturday and Sunday."
Even with an exponential rise in traffic at the new cafe, the sisters say operating both it and their food trailer has been a smoother transition than anticipated.
"This makes it so much more conducive because we can prep all the ingredients at the storefront and don't have to share a kitchen anymore," Sadaoui says. "That's been a lifesaver."
Additional employees are still needed to ensure the cafe and trailer can meet a higher volume, and so that Crepe Cafe Sisters can expand its catering service, a frequent request from customers.
Inside the new space, large communal tables and a long bartop, plus a corner booth, make for a cozy, country kitchen feel. Plexiglass barriers along the counter offer an unobstructed view of crepes being made fresh to order.
"Crepes are an experience for us just as much for customers," Sadaoui says. "We want you to see how we create it. People really like seeing their food made right in front of them."
A spacious patio wrapping around the building offers extra seating in warm weather, and Olmsted Green park across the street is a popular spot for customers to take their crepes to-go when the cafe is busy.
"That is a huge perk for our location," Sadaoui says. "Even if we are packed inside or on the patio, there is the park, and it's still an enjoyable place to eat your crepes."♦
Crepe Cafe Sisters • 441 N. Nettleton St. • Open Tue-Sun 8 am-4 pm • crepecafesisters.com • 509-991-7532