Caravan Beats France in the Crepe Olympics

The TruckCaravan Crepes; Locations can be found on their website.

The Fare: Savory and sweet crepes.

The Stop: Crepes served out of a truck or an outdoor stand are not new to the Seattle food scene.

Anita’s Crepes debuted at the Fremont Sunday market back in 2004 and the two fresh-faced dudes of Crisp Creperie are also making the rounds in our Sonics-loving town.

But Seattle native Brooke Sumner’s new truck is differentiating itself from the rest by creating anything but your run-of-the-mill French crepe. After spending four years in Hawaii’s North Shore, the spirited crepe master is here to shake things up.

Using local ingredients to create concoctions that pay homage to cuisine across the globe, it is hard to choose between the 10 crepes available on the menu.

The Crescent, with French lentils, mozzarella and pesto, catches my eye until I land on the Shorty’s. The combination of charmoula chicken, sweet corn, spinach and manchego transports me somewhere between Spain and Morocco. With a couple squirts of sriracha sauce, you have got yourself a multi-national meal.

All savory crepes come with a side of mixed greens dressed in light vinaigrette that makes it a balanced meal even your mom would approve.

Another crowd pleaser is the Wedge, which straddles the balance beam (Boom, another Olympics reference!) between sweet and savory: Brie cheese and Zoe’s bacon meet a healthy dose of local peaches and onion chutney.

If you think peaches and bacon is an odd combo, you win the other half of my BFF necklace. “Seriously, enough with the bacon” I wanted to tattoo on my middle finger. But after devouring the whole crepe, I am forced to admit Sumner knows her shiz.

Once your sweet tooth kicks in, head for the Maui cane sugar that comes equipped with a refreshing lime zing. Chocolate lovers, report directly to the counter and order the Banana, chocolate, and almond crepe.

If gluten is your nemesis, do not despair. Ms. Sumner has got your back. All crepes can be made with a teff-based batter which even gluten gluttons may actually prefer over the regular wheat-based flour.

Shorty's charmoula chicken crepe w/ teff batter (pictured on the left) and The Wedge (pictured on the right)

With a signature toasted brown color, this staple grain of Ethiopia not only produces a heartier and crispier shell, but is loaded with protein, iron and calcium. The Gluten-free girl states “one cup of cooked teff contains as much iron as the USDA recommends for adults in one day.”

Who needs a trip to Paris when you have got the Caravan hooking you up with worldly crepes?

Sneak preview:
• Sumner is experimenting with soups and salads and will soon be adding them to her repertoire.

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First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on August 31st, 2012

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