Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spicebox Crêpe | Chinatown

("Tokyo in a Bite")
Although crêpes of the French variety by-and-large are not new to NYC, Japanese-style crêpes are still very much alive, kicking, and trending.  It's Spicebox Crêpe's balance of quality, price and location that gives them our nod for an overall rating of 4.5/5.0
When this crêpe concept first landed ashore in L.A. between 2005-2006, Genki Living became amongst the top destinations of its time. (Marion Crêpes in Tokyo, Japan is where they all draw their inspiration from)  It wasn't until August of 2013 when Eight Turn Crêpe brought it to NYC, and sometimes it pays to be first to the game.
Spicebox Crêpe, 33 Pell St (from their website)
Spicebox opened on Pell St., in the heart of Chinatown in October 2014, so they're still relatively new to the neighborhood.  With aspirations to create a franchise model around this concept, they have (reportedly) 5 locations including 3 in Guangzhou (China), 1 in Guangdong (China) and this new NYC outpost, they're poised for growth.
"Tokyo in a Bite"
One can't help but draw comparisons to other Japanese-style crêperies, (Eight Turn, T-Swirl, little known Big Bear) and traditional French crêperies.  The timely conical shape preparation, while not all that difficult to execute is still an art and thus difficult to master.  Savory or sweet, there's sure to be something for everyone either for breakfast, lunch, or snack to be shared.  Made to order on-premises, the price point is comparable in the $7-10 range.
"Piece of New York"
I ordered the "Tokyo in a Bite" (Strawberries, red bean, green tea ice cream, pocky sticks, yogurt, chocolate sauce) and "Piece of New York" (Blueberries, cheesecake, jam, whipped yogurt, house Nutella) and while these are different in their own right, they're just as tasty and fresh as their counterparts they're named after.  Light, flavorful, and portable with their own hand-held cardboard container to consume it in.

I've also ordered a cappuccino or two and know that they offer a perfectly acceptable blend of standard coffee. This is actually a great place for me to duck into to get my caffeine fix while everyone else queues up at the other cafes.
cute coffee cups
Coffee cups. SO CUTE!
By the way, the cup and matching polar bear sleeve are ridiculously adorable!
Kitchen
Kitchen
The space is fun and inviting, with colorful adornments throughout, and detailed hexagonal floor-tiling.  A chalkboard menu keeps the menu dynamic, and the wall of crêpes adorning the window is a nod to the Japanese fake food motif.

I'm particularly encouraged to see if they add to the menu over the coming months as the weather gets warmer.  Parfait and frozen yogurt sound good to me and hopefully something unique, original, and insanely Instagram-worthy.

Spicebox may be an underdog in this space, but I trust they'll be the ones to watch, as I expect they may be adding delivery and catering options to weather the seasonality of their product and target small businesses, as well.  As I don't enjoy venturing into neighboring NoLIta, their location within Chinatown is perfect for me, and ought to help them capitalize on tourist and local traffic.

Overall rating 4.5/5.0

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1 comment :

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