One usually does not equate crepes to Japanese culture, but if you stroll the streets of Tokyo’s Harajuku fashion and shopping district, you’ll see crepe stands everywhere. Kiyo and Sharon decided to create something special and bring a bit of Japanese culture to El Paso in a hip, yet family friendly place. Japanese Crepe House is located on the westside at 910 E. Redd Rd. near Resler. They offer both savory and sweet crepes, sushi, ice cream, boba tea, Calpico, and coffee.
Back in March, owners Kiyo and Sharon, invited me to a press party to sample their menu offerings. I love that they took the time and effort to engage with the local media and bloggers. They also have a strong presence on Facebook and Yelp, so make sure to like them and review them. I was more then thrilled and honored to be invited to this event, and was able to attend during my lunch hour (I work nearby).
Upon arriving, Kiyo and Sharon greeted me and immediately made me feel welcome and at ease (believe it or not, I was nervous). Japanese Crepe House has very clean and modern decor, and a children’s play area in the back with really cool toys.
The press party began with a sampling of boba tea and Calpico. Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, is a sweet and milky tea beverage with tapioca pearls that originated in Taiwan during the ’80s. I’ve never tried boba tea before because I’ve always been scared the tapioca pearls would gross me out. I actually enjoyed it, even though I don’t like sweetened drinks and the tapioca pearls were soft and chewy in a good way. They also offer almond, coconut, and vanilla flavored boba teas. Calpico is a Japanese soft drink that is milky and seems slightly carbonated, although it is not carbonated. I’ve bought concentrated Calpico before, and I must not have mixed it correctly because it reminded me of watered down Mylanta. Kiyo and Sharon obviously know how to make it, as it tasted much better.
Japanese Crepe House offers five savory crepes which include Ham & Cheese, Tuna, Reuben, Teriyaki Chicken, and Zen Garden (vegetarian). The Zen Garden has spring mix greens, mandarin oranges, blueberries, strawberries, and Asian sauce. While all the flavors went well together, it was a little too much on the sweet side for me, but I typically don’t like fruit in savory dishes. I think it could have used less fruit and more substance, like avocado or tofu.
During lunch, vegetarian sushi with avocado and cucumber is sold in a convenient to go box, complete with wasabi and soy sauce. It’s fresh and light, and I like that it’s an inside out roll. They’re so much easier to eat that way, and I love the sesame seeds on the outside.
In honesty, I’m not a complete fan of crepes because they taste eggy to me and I hate eggs. I don’t mind sweet crepes because the combination of fillings seem to mask the egg taste. Japanese Crepe House has five different sweet crepes with various fillings of nutella, cream, berries, and ice cream. The Tokyo Banana was my favorite with its combination of banana, whipped cream, and nutella creating the perfect balance of sweet, creamy richness.
Everything was delicious, but my favorite sampling was the azuki (red bean) ice cream. It was so good and had a familiar taste that I couldn’t pinpoint. I’m not sure what to compare it to. It’s one of those foods you have to try and decide for yourself.
Japanese Crepe House is definitely worth the trek for eastsiders or anyone else not in the immediate area, with its casual environment and affordable prices (crepes cost $4-$5.75). You’ll want to visit during one of their fun, unique events. The grand opening featured a cosplay party and photo booth. They also recently had a bilingual storytime, where The Very Hungry Caterpillar was read in Japanese!
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