Chicken breast, Gouda cheese, spinach, tomatoes, broiled eggs and sour cream are tucked neatly into a freshly-made crepe, straight out of the pan. Steam rolls off as you peel the tin foil away from the thoughtfully-prepared creation. The simple ingredients combine perfectly to create a simply delicious crepe.
Andi Melengu, 24, co-owner and manager of City Crepes, said, "French crepes are more elegant but not as filing. Our crepes are more of a meal."
City Crepes, one of the more recent additions to downtown Gainesville, has only been open for seven months, but in that time it has earned its spot among the familiar landmarks of the area. City Crepes is located at 609 W. University Ave., across from Central Florida Office Plus.
Melengu, a 2009 UF economics graduate, opened City Crepes after spending a year in Albania and Greece.
"In Europe last year, I was eating crepes every day. I really liked the crepes there, and I was looking for some kind of job in finance," Melengu explained.
So far, the business plan has been to keep things simple. The menu is divided into sweet and savory crepes and features 12 items, all ranging from $2.99 to $5.95. There is also the option to customize your own crepe.
Keidi Melengu, 20, co-owner and UF building construction junior, is City Crepes' only other employee. Both the Melengus were born in Albania and moved to the U.S. 10 years ago.
Convenience is also a key element of City Crepes' business model. One can order crepes for delivery through 2dollardelivery.com, and UF students are eligible for a dollar-off coupon found in Gator Bucks.
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the crepe shop serves lunch, dinner and, of course, dessert.
"It's like layers of heaven," 17-year-old journalism freshman Andrea Carroz said about her Nutella crepe.
Dusted with powdered sugar, her crepe oozed with dark, warm Nutella.
Though the Nutella and fruit crepes are a favorite, Andi Melengu said the prosciutto and chicken crepes are bestsellers.
"Some people have never had crepes before they come here. We offer a new flavor, which brings more culture and variety to Gainesville," Andi said.
The quaint eatery features a few tables; freshly brewed coffee and other beverage options; music; and a lounge area complete with a couch and reading material.
Both the brothers play DJ as well as chef while at work.
Though not straight off the streets of Paris, City Crepes sure does serve up a good crepe - Melengu style.
Check out City Crepes' Facebook page for its menu and specials.