Saturday, March 17, 2012
Café de Paris
Columbia, MD 21045
I'll preface this by saying that we did not technically eat at Café de Paris but in the adjacent space called Crêpe Café which seems to be Café de Paris' brunch/lunch offering. We went here after one of my niece's lacrosse games and my parents and I were craving some good brunch fare. The only items available to you for brunch here was off of their crepe cafe menu. We chose to try the Norwegian Crêpe smoked salmon, sour cream & capers) so a play off of bagel & lox, the classic Crêpe Suzette served Café style, and a banana, apple and strawberry crêpe.
While waiting for our order which seemed to take an inordinate amount of time, you notice that the place seems run down and wasn't reminiscent of a french café in any shape or fashion. There were a few pieces of decor that looked french but for the most part, it just seemed like a musty, old restaurant. The other thing you notice is that the kitchen doesn't cook your meal but rather the servers make the crêpes on the crêpe hot plate and then they assemble them. While they seemed perfectly adept at making the crêpes, this just struck me as odd.
The crêpes seemed too heavy and though we were told that the batter for the savory crêpes and the dessert crêpes were different, it was difficult to pick up on the difference. The Norwegian crêpe did resemble a bagel with lox but the crêpe itself did not add anything to the dish. The banana, apple & strawberry crêpe is a pretty easy combination but again the crêpe itself seemed lost in the tartness of the apple filling while the banana & strawberry were just sliced and put onto the plate and didn't really incorporate well into the dish. The crêpe Suzette was probably the worst of the three. The orange liqueur was quite evident but probably should have been burned off a bit more so that the orange flavor could be emphasized.
To be fair, I've never tried the dinner service and they may not pay attention to their brunch as much they do for their dinner at Café de Paris but if this was any evidence of the quality of food at dinner then it doesn't make me curious enough to ever go back.