October 15, 2014

Everything Good and Nothing Bad: Collegetown Crepes

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by CATHERINE ELSAESSER

Food trucks have been a growing fad across the country for several years now, and we’re seeing more of these mobile eateries make their way to Ithaca.  For many years, the Hot Truck and Louie’s Lunch have dominated campus, but with the opening of Franny’s this semester, and finally, Collegetown Crepes, the Ithaca food scene is experiencing significant growth in terms of food truck competition.  Collegetown Crepes opened only a few weeks ago on Oct. 1st, and their delicious crepes have already led to long lines and excitement surrounding the truck. Owned and operated by Cornell alumnus Max Richman ’11 and current student Forrest Crawford ’15, the truck is meant to add some excitement to Collegetown and, in a sea of pizza hubs and burger joints, provide a different option for late night snackers.

The brightly painted truck stands out on the corner where Dryden runs into Eddy, close to popular weekend spots, Dunbar’s and Level B.  Collegetown Crepes sparkles in the dark with lights around the top and illuminated windows that read “crepes”. The truck is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 pm-2 am, perfect for hungry students to grab a bite to eat on their way home after a day at the library or a night out with friends.

My friends and I arrived a few minutes before the truck opened on a Thursday night.  We tried to go on opening night but with a line that had a wait time of an hour and a half, we decided to return another night.  Besides managing the line of customers, Max and Forrest expertly make there way around the snug truck, organizing crepe ingredients and making sure that the thin pancakes don’t burn on the gas lit griddles.

All the crepes are reasonably priced between four and five dollars, and the truck also offers drinks, including peppermint hot chocolate and warm apple cider for one dollar. There are more sweet than savory crepe options, but I learned that they’ve developed between 25 to 30 different crepes and will be rotating the menu to keep customers interested.  A few of the crepes that were offered the night I visited included: butter cinnamon-sugar, Nutella banana, chocolate raspberry, ham and cheese with apple and honey mustard, and feta and chive. And as of my most recent visit to the truck, they’ve begun to incorporate fall favorites, such as apple and pumpkin, into their recipes.

The butter cinnamon-sugar crepe had a crispy bite from the crystals of sugar and a warm, buttery taste.  As one excited student exclaimed after taking a bite, “this is everything good and nothing bad!” The Nutella banana crepe has fresh slices of the fruit inside the crepe and a generous drizzle of Nutella for added sweetness.  My favorite was the chocolate raspberry, oozing with rich chocolate sauce and a jam-like raspberry filling that combined to create the perfect chocolatey, fruity dessert.  The only challenge about eating crepes from the truck was that the thick crepe batter was very hard to cut with just a plastic fork, and I found myself in desperate need of a knife and napkins to enjoy the messy dessert.  A second word of caution, if you plan on trying Collegetown Crepes, they are currently accepting cash only, but have plans to accept credit cards in the near future.

Despite my slight struggle, Collegetown Crepes is definitely worth a late night visit, which I guarentee will be the first of many, for a warm and delicious treat.

Crepe Batter (Alex Rehberg / Multimedia Editor).

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