Let’s go cozy

Chadd Carter puts the finishing touches on some crepes at Crème.

Chadd Carter puts the finishing touches on some crepes at Crème.

Photo By amy beck

Crème is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.cremecafereno.com.

My current kick is inviting out-of-town friends to help me with my babies and then dragging them out for food reviews. Thus with high hopes did I take my Seattleite visitor Abra out to Crème, a new breakfast and lunch café amusingly located just west of Virginia down a block-and-a-half from the Wild Orchid Gentlemen’s Club and next to Aces Tattoo. I’ve lived in Reno long enough to see nothing amiss in a business zone being shared by the respective vendors of Grandma Arnegard’s coffee cake ($2.99) and “Naughty College Coeds.”

I love giving quasi-artsy little places like this a shot, and, as it turns out, the food and service at Crème beautifully match its quaint décor: cute, cool and comforting. The small, tidy interior is equipped with just a half a dozen or so tables, an ordering counter, and a few stools with window seating. One big bonus is Crème’s customer-only parking lot.

They had me the moment the delicious house coffee was served in a private French press brought to our table. Classy little touches like that can really make a place. We sipped coffee over chick chat after ordering at the counter, then awaited our meals. Our server was generally a peach, although we had to retrieve our own sugar from the front.

Abra struck gold with the simple but elegant crepe ranchero ($5.99)—a sort of huevos rancheros number with egg, cheese and black beans in cosmopolitan dress. We agreed the nice salsa and guacamole did wonders with a perfectly cooked crepe.

I was not quite as delighted with my order. The contents of my daily special Mediterranean Crepe ($6.50) with a side of green salad were commendable safe bets: kalamata olives, feta, artichoke, etc., but the crepe didn’t hold up well under duress. With each bite, I gradually converted it into a second salad with crepe crumbles on the side. It needed something to hold it all together. But whaddya gonna do? I also sniffed a little at the vinaigrette dressing, which was, as is often the case, too sweet for me. Still, consider the source; I rarely find a vinaigrette that matches my quirky and probably inconsistent taste in dressing.

Crepes, all in the appealing $5-$6 range, drive the bus on Crème’s menu, which has classic staples including ham, sausage or vegetarian alternatives. There are also a few desserty breakfast options, such as the Nutella or caramel apple at $4.99 each, or the lemon butter and powdered sugar German ($5.50). This is the next place I’ll go for one of my rare sweet tooth attacks.

No fault of the establishment was that a couple of our neighbors didn’t appreciate the need for lower voices in such an intimate setting, making it nigh impossible for Abra and I to converse. But in general, Crème is a great place for a casual midday chat with that friend you never see enough, accompanied by inexpensive but tasty food, great service, and delicious coffee. It’s especially convenient for the woman on the go who only has an hour to spare before she has to stop by the Wild Orchid to drag home her man. (Although, for the record, on this particular occasion, mine was home with the babies.)