Chow, Baby: Wednesday,May 29, 2003
Just For You, My Little Crepe Suzette

Chow, Baby’s sweetie, normally of a “whatever my honey wants” temperament, woke up one morning last week in a rare adamant mood with a fierce craving (and we’re not even pregnant) for crepes. Unfortunately, the national creperie revival has not yet hit Tarrant County, though across the country — Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, even Dallas — chefs too young to remember the crepe-bastardizing Magic Pan chain are rediscovering the thin French pancakes filled with eggs or meat or veggies or fruit. Or, at the Fresco in New York, smoked salmon with mascarpone cheese and chives. Sigh.

Here, our choices are more limited. Café Zamba makes a couple of tasty lunch crepes. IHOP has some jam-filled cousins. But suddenly stubborn sweetie needed something more “authentic.” (This from a person who, before dating Chow, Baby, thought Spaghetti Warehouse was decent Italian.) So it was breakfast downtown at La Madeleine, the closest Chow, Baby will get to France this fiscal year.

The ham Florentine crepe ($5.99), with thinly sliced smoked ham, spinach, and Swiss cheese folded in a delicate wrap, was wrecked by waaaaaaaay too much “delicate mushroom sauce.” Chow, Baby was tempted to save the extra cup of indelicate, thick soup and recycle it at dinner. Crepe Strawberry Romanoff ($4.99), a dessert crepe, was nice: fresh strawberries topped with a reasonable amount of brandy cream sauce. The winner was the chocolate banana crepe ($4.99), a lovely presentation of three folded crepes topped with chocolate syrup, studded with bananas, sprinkled with almond bits, and garnished with a few strawberry slices. Sweetie was full by the time that one was served, so Chow, Baby got to eat all it wanted. Nice to have things back to normal.

Little Pitchers, Big Pleasures

Another entry for the long list of wonderful hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants in Arlington: Los Jarros, 408 W. Randol Mill Rd near N. Cooper. “Hole in the wall” in a good way: Los Jarros is a little hard to find, and it’s not fancy, but the place is sparkling clean, the décor is eclectic-on-a-budget, and the servers try hard to please. The meals are fresh-made and inexpensive. It’s everything Chow, Baby dreams of.

The menu is classic Arlington-Mex: A breakfast burrito of eggs and chorizo is yours for a buck; huevos rancheros or migas are $3.75; American-style eggs and bacon with home fries run about the same. Lunch specials ($4.50) are the standard enchiladas or tacos or tamales, served with rice and beans. Chow, Baby started dinner with slap-in-the-face salsa, heavy on the cilantro, and warm crispy chips (gratis). Choriqueso — Monterrey jack melted over Mexican sausage ($4.95) — was a dandy appetizer, filling enough for a meal by itself. Yet Chow, Baby found room for a platter of gooey enchiladas ($4.95), one sour cream chicken and one cheese, both delicious.

For a midnight snack Chow, Baby made up for the flan shortage that it kept running into last summer and took home two portions of the custard ($2.25), thicker and creamier than most. And wonderful, of course.

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