1011 Northwest 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
We touched down at PDX late last night! After we got to our hotel, it was already 10PM, but we were all pretty hungry after our flight. Luckily, I was ready for this. I knew exactly what we were close to and how late it was open. Le Happy was calling my name! How fitting that the first restaurant I visit in Portland is a hole in the wall crepe place. I love crepes. We don’t have them in Santa Maria.
The exterior of this place is just adorable. We immediately fell in love, and inside was even cuter! Tons of eclectic art, minimal lighting, and lots of candles gave it such a cozy feel. Plus, they were playing David Bowie the entire time we were there. Anyone who knows me knows that David Bowie is everything, so needless to say I was pleased.
It was so hard to order because everything sounded SO. GOOD. I eventually decided on the Faux Vegan, which has spinach, cremini mushroom sauce, goat cheese, and creme fraiche. Of course, I also added bacon. Protein, man! It was extremely tasty, and the cremini mushroom sauce was bursting with the flavors of mushrooms and sage. I wish I could bottle it and put it on everything. My only problem with it was that there was nothing in the crepe that added texture, and it also was so creamy and rich that it really needed something extra to cut it. Grilled onions or green tomatoes would have made this dish perfect, to me.
I read the menu before going and originally planned on ordering the Saumon Fume, but my sister beat me to it. That’s fine, because I still got plenty of tastes. This one had huge, heaping amounts of smoked salmon, white wine Gruyere sauce, and green onions. Oh my god. There was so much salmon! I never thought I would complain about such a thing, but it actually made it hard to taste any of the other ingredients. If you want salmon though, you won’t be disappointed.
My dad ordered Le Trash Blanc, which is a bacon and cheddar crepe and a Pabst Blue Ribbon on the side. I think this is such a clever menu item, especially since this place is open so late that it caters mostly to the bar crowd. It was a pretty basic dish, but filling and good nonetheless. The added PBR was just charming!
My mom ordered the Ma Provence, which ended up being my favorite crepe of the night. It had roasted chicken, thyme, garlic, tomatoes, green onion, gruyere, and goat cheese. It was incredible! The roasted chicken was juicy and extremely flavorful, and made this dish feel more like a meal than the others. It was also the most three dimensional, taste-wise. The tomatoes and green onions added that textural and flavor element that the Faux Vegan needed. I would say this was a perfect dish.
We were all so stuffed after dinner but agreed that we couldn’t leave without at least one dessert crepe, so we scoured the menu and chose the one that seemed the most interesting. The Belle-Helene was our choice. The fillings were poached pears, semi-sweet chocolate, toasted almonds and whipped cream. It was actually a little disappointing. The pears were delicious, but the almonds were not toasted quite enough and gave the dish a bitter flavor. If I were to ever order it again I would definitely ask for it to be prepared sans almonds.
Overall, I was so happy (le happy) that this was my first culinary experience in Portland! The atmosphere was so adorable and the service was quick (probably because we beat the bar crowds by going in at 10) and my water glass was never empty. If you come in later, be prepared to wait a while for your food (it’s worth it) because there is only room for one guy in the back turning out crepes! The prices were great as well, we payed $44 for five crepes. Most menu items were under $10. And of course, any restaurant that plays only David Bowie is the restaurant for me.