By Juliana Appenrodt
“Bonjour, what can I get for you?” the black beret-wearing woman asked through the truck’s window as I approached. The reason for the French-themed greeting and attire: she was selling crepes. Serving up both savory and sweet creations, the Crepes Bonaparte truck is an extension of the catering service of the same name. The truck, however, has an identity of its own, known to customers as Gaston.
After watching the pseudo-French woman—who also donned a black vest, white collared shirt and a small black scarf tied around her neck—spread the thin, runny crepe mix on the cooking counter behind the window, I couldn’t help but follow the advice scrawled across the side of the truck: “Gaston says eat French crepes.” So eat French crepes is exactly what I did.
Though I’m a sucker for any crepe involving bananas and chocolate, I decided against the HazelBerryAna—a presumably delightful mix of strawberries, bananas and nutella found under the dessert crepes portion of the menu—and instead went for both a savory crepe and one of their traditional crepes. Given playful names like Baby Bleu and Baconator, each and every one of the savory crepes sounded appealing, but I opted for the blend of bacon, mozzarella, avocado and tomato known as In Da Club. Although I don’t quite see the connection between the name and the ingredients wrapped inside the perfectly golden French pancake, I suppose it did make my tastebuds want to get up and dance.
I followed the In Da Club with a cinnamon and sugar crepe, a very simple, yet classically delicious creation topped with powdered sugar. Although it’s hard to go wrong with a crepe this simple, Gaston—or rather, the woman in the black beret—seemed to get it especially right, so much so that the tip jar in front of the window labeled “Merci” looked rather tempting.
“Here you go, bon appétit,” the same woman said as she handed me my crepes in two separate containers. And while I thought the little French touches would end there, with the “bon appétit,” I was entirely mistaken. When I sat down at a table just a few feet away from the truck on Hoover Street to dig in, I instantly noticed that on top of each of the foam containers was the same smiley face that is found on so many restaurants’ to-go containers—above the words “Have a Nice Day”—but this time with a curled mustache drawn above the smile in Sharpie. It was one final reminder that Gaston is the most authentic of Frenchmen and simply wants us to enjoy his crepes.