Every day is the Day of the Crepes at a southeast Portland food stand, serving sweet and savory crepes from its Perierra Crêperie where we ended our Portland tour, last week. We couldn’t help but take notice of this stand with its sound system blasting alternative rock tunes, large open windows, hanging fruit baskets, and a constant stream of loyal customers, stopping by for a snack and conversation. A midst the pizza, fries, burritos, and pies surrounding the food court, this very traditional-looking stand at the Cartopia food pod on SE 12th and Hawthorne in Portland offers some traditional and a few unusual crepes like ham and Gruyère, Nutella and raspberry, peanut butter and banana or salmon and asparagus, as well as vegan and gluten free options. Surprisingly, you can even add a fried egg to any crepe.
Owner Dustin Knox, a general contractor by trade, built the food cart himself to satisfy his own craving to own a restaurant. Without any formal training or background in food service, Dustin took a gamble with his Perierra Crêperie, but it’s paid off in spades. The now extremely popular cart has expanded to two others, as well as a brick and mortar speakeasy.
It’s certainly no secret that we love crepes here. We’ve reviewed crepes in Los Angeles and San Francisco, then featured a crepe recipe from Philadelphia, courtesy of our good friends at Food Network’s Eat St. In fact, a crêperie made it to our Top 10 Watch List for 2012. No matter how often I have the opportunity to enjoy a crepe, it always brings a feeling of nostalgia – it’s definitely a form of comfort food, yet can be incredibly healthy.
We ordered a sweet crepe as the finale to our meals from Pyro Pizza and Bubba Bernie’s, earlier, and couldn’t have made a better decision. The very friendly guy in the stand seemed to know everyone who passed, and wasn’t stingy when it came to passing smiles around. The crepe plates are set in the large window, so we were able to watch every step of our plantain, dulce de leche and rum crepe come together in a perfectly choreographed performance. The pancake was hearty, soft, perfectly chewy in the center and slightly crisp at the edges, then filled generously with fresh, moist plantains and the rum dulce de leche (which wasn’t overly sweet, by the way).
Hands down, Perierra Crêperie was the pièce de résistance, finishing a very enjoyable experience at the Cartopia food pod in Portland. There is no question that we’ll visit again when we return to Portland – maybe one of the other locations, or that little speakeasy I’ve heard so much about.
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