Chez Jeannine Creperie, Paris France: Savoury Buckwheat crepes and Flambe Banana dessert crepes
8 avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier 93150 Le Blanc Mesnil, Paris, France
Tucked away in a small residential district in Le Blanc Mesnil, Paris, France is a charming little creperie. Le Blanc Mesnil got its name from all the little white houses in the suburb and Chez Jeannine is no exception. In a little white building with red awnings, the creperie is hard to miss.
The interior of Chez Jeannine is just as charming as the exterior with white walls and ceilings, exposed wooden beams lined the ceilings and the small number of tables and chairs were set up close to each other.
We ordered their famous apple cider or “apple wine,” straight away. It came in a green bottle and was labeled, Bolee De’Armorique. Like I mentioned before, we became very addicted to apple cider on this trip both in England and France. Something about the sharp sweetness and tangy apple flavours had us hooked.
True to what our cousins told us, all the traditional savoury French crepes were served in crispy buckwheat crepe shells. These stiff crepes were tissue paper thin, the crepes were brown but see through, featuring large holes throughout and an extremely delicate, brittle texture. We ordered a whole variety of savoury crepes, some filled with egg, and others open faced with ham, eggs and vegetables piled on top. I didn’t really see the point of open faced crepes, since it was really like eating a plateful of ingredients piled on top of a very thin crepe that cracked when you bent it.
My cousin and I shared our crepes, I picked a chicken and mayonnaise crepe. The steaming hot crepe smelled incredible when it came to the table. The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender and flavourful, absorbing the salty creaminess of the brie cheese. The filling oozed out of the holes in the crepe. The neutral flavours of the crepe did not challenge the rich filling at all and the stiff texture kept the crepe from getting soggy until the very last bite.
The other savoury crepe that we tried was the ham, cheese, potato and bechamel sauce crepe. I suppose we didn’t have to add the potatoes, the filling was already rich enough without them. Again, I am amazed at how much cheese and cream tastes different in France. The bechamel sauce was so smooth, rich and dreamlike, spilling out of the thin crepe in a thick wave of buttery goodness.
We also ordered some dessert crepes which were served with fluffy, flour crepes. I picked a nougat filled crepe, but was surprised to find out that the nougat and chocolate was actually served on top of the folded crepe in a sticky glob in the center. It didn’t look the prettiest (it looked like accidental abstract art) but it was fairly tasty. The chocolate was dark and bittersweet but the melted nougat was sticky, very sweet and nutty.
The banana sugar flambe dessert crepe was the most impressive. They flambeed the crepe right in front of us at the table and the sliced bananas were lit in a flash of purple and blue flame. I don’t know if you can see the faint outline of blue flame in my picture below.
We also ordered a plain butter and sugar crepe. These dessert crepes were definitely light and fluffy. I still prefer them over the stiff buckwheat crepes.
Nothing beats crepes in Paris. I will definitely need to revisit, if only for the crepes alone.