Cafe serves French crepe with cultural spin
Alessandra Rodriguez is familiar with the fear of trying new things. Being born to a Peruvian father and Italian mother, she said she was used to dishes from Europe and Latin America until she started attending American schools.
"Then suddenly in school or whatnot, there was something that I wasn't used to eating," Rodriguez said. "It was difficult for me, but at the same time it's good to try something new."
Rodriguez said she hopes other people will be willing to try new things when they visit her family's restaurant, Chef in Blue.
Chef in Blue, which opened in July 2013, is a cafe specializing in crepes.
The idea for the restaurant came about when Rodriguez's family went to Europe to visit her then-fiance's family. Her family visited France and sampled the crepes street vendors were selling. Rodriguez's father, who had wanted to open a restaurant, was inspired, Rodriguez said.
"He was like, 'There's nothing like this in Dallas at the moment, so why don't we open something and then we can mix in some of our own food?'" Rodriguez said.
Chef in Blue is a food fusion restaurant, mixing the popular French pancake with other Latin and European foods. For example, the Maya crepe ($8.75) includes Mexican chorizo, and the Euro Veggie crepe ($8.75) includes mozzarella cheese and olive oil.
"We mix a little bit of different flavors – a little bit of Latin, a little bit of European, not just French," Rodriguez said.
Although Chef in Blue has a selection of sweet and dessert crepes, savory food such as meats, cheeses and vegetables also work well for lunch and dinner crepes, Rodriguez said.
"The batter is very versatile," she said. "You can put sweet in it, and you can put salty in it. It'll still taste good."
Many new customers are often hesitant to try the savory crepes, Rodriguez said. She said her family wanted to introduce new foods through the restaurant but also provide familiar dishes. So, the restaurant also offers sandwiches, paninis, quiches, salads and soups.
"A lot of people think of crepes as like a dessert or a sweet," Rodriguez said. "They come in and they're like, 'I don't know if I want to try it,' and they stick to sandwiches. But when they do try it, they love it."
While the restaurant incorporates flavors from various countries, the overall theme of the restaurant is still French. Eiffel Tower decorations are scattered through the dining room, and some prints on the wall came from the family's trip to France, Rodriguez said.
Just as the restaurant is family-owned and -operated, Rodriguez said she wants customers to feel like part of the family, too. The Chef in Blue staff tries to know customers' names and celebrate their birthdays, she said.
"I guess it's the Latin culture," Rodriguez said. "We're very open and like, 'Oh, hi. How are you?' I feel like a lot of people who come here, especially if they're a regular, feel like they're not just another client."
- 4710 Preston Road, Ste. 312
- Hours: Sun.–Wed., 8 a.m.–3 p.m., Thu. 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.