Since I end up going to the DC area at least twice every year (usually for work), I’ve been able to see a lot of minor changes as they happen on the food scene. One of the bigger changes is that the area is finally starting to embrace the food truck. A few years ago, there were surprisingly few modern food trucks, with the mobile food scene in DC still dominated by hot dog vendors and the people selling random snack food on the Mall. Indeed, it was just 2011 when one had to go to odd neighborhoods to find a place like El Chilango (who have since spun off a brick and mortar joint in the District, as is often the case with the better food trucks). In any case, there are now food trucks aplenty: 12th Street and 14th Street on the Mall are repleat with them, and the central business areas in downtown and Arlington now sport plenty of food truck options, as do most of the major tourist areas. Indeed, Connecticut Ave on the west end of the National Zoo has quite a selection, and, as we discovered this trip, some of them, like Crêpes Parfait, are actually quite good.
Like most any food truck Crêpes Parfait is a truck, and has a tendency to wander about (like any self-respecting truck these days, the best place to find them is using their twitter feed). But the two places I’ve seen them most are by the Zoo on Connecticut, or on the Northwest corner of Farragut Square. In any case, they are your basic food truck: a white truck with a menu board, and looking in you can see a modest kitchen built around two large crepe irons. And that’s basically their menu in a nutshell, one menu board of savory crêpes, one menu board of sweet crêpes, and a third menu board of simple drinks.
Looking over the available options, since it was “early lunch” time, I was looking for a light pick-me-up (at this point, we had walked ~8 miles already in the Death March), and the daily special on the sweet menu caught my eye: a pineapple crêpe with almonst creme fraiche. Poured onto the griddle as I placed my order, a few minutes latter I was served up a nice, fresh crêpe folded into sixths and served up in a cardboard sleeve. They’ve got the crêpe thing nailed: my crêpe was the perfect combination of crispy, chewy, light, and sweet, and served up with a nice creme fraiche (real cream, none of the fake stuff!) with a good, strong almond note, and some lightly cooked pineapple that didn’t overpower the crêpe.
Like most food trucks, they are basically a one-trick pony, but wow, they’ve got that trick nailed. If you are looking for a good, quality crêpe, freshly made, with some good fillings, Crêpes Parfait fills the bill. If you can find them.