Longtime Bitch supporter Shellie Terry Benson visited Becca in D.C. this month with her two munchkins, Jessica, 14, and Nicholas, 11 — who aren’t such little munchkins anymore. A morning of monument sightseeing needs proper nourishment, and a quick stop in Point Chaud Cafe & Crepes on 14th Street was on tap. We reviewed this little eatery when it first opened in 2010. Here’s Shellie’s take on today’s offerings …
We rolled into D.C. on a Saturday Amtrak train from Penn Station, where my kids and I had spent three frenetic days exploring New York City. It was an exciting and fun vacation thus far, but since we live in Florida, I welcomed the breathing room we found in D.C. after squishing shoulder-to-shoulder with bustling New Yorkers.
Knowing Becca was the consummate D.C. tour guide, I didn’t think twice about her Sunday morning brunch suggestion at Point Chaud Cafe and Crepes. I’d been impressed with the kids’ willingness to try new food during this trip (Nick devouring crab and Jessica discovering the joy of brie).
“Have you guys ever had crepes?” I asked them. Blank stares. “What’s that?” they asked in unison. “Well. Think of it as a really thin, sort of eggy pancake,” I explained. “And they put yummy stuff inside.” My kids are generally polite, so they didn’t balk and fell in step as we walked to the restaurant.
The giant menu board is divided into two sets of offerings: Sweet and Savory. Before I got my bearings, Jessica, the pickiest of 14-year-old eaters, piped up her order from the “Sweet” side. Point Chaud had her at “Nutella,” and she walked off to find us a table.
“Chocolate and strawberry … and a water,” was Nick’s request. We’re on vacation, I rationalized. Opting for essentially dessert for brunch seemed like a fair tradeoff today. He headed off with his sister.
Becca and I both ordered the D.C. Brunch Special crepe filled with turkey, cheese, mushrooms, avocado and tomatoes. “White or wheat,” the employee at the register asked, which elicited a blank stare from me this time. I had no idea you could make wheat crepes, and I quickly jumped at the healthier option along with an iced coffee.
Sunshine lit up the front of the restaurant where passersby could watch the cooks expertly spread the thin mixture across the large circular crepe cooking surfaces. Our desired fillings were carefully smeared or placed on the crepes before they were folded closed — a preparation that took mere minutes.
The kids had set themselves up at a table in the very back of the restaurant. “Don’t you want to sit up in the front?” I asked. “No,” Jessica said. “We like this ’emo’ spot back here.” Far from the airy windows, the back booth was indeed a bit bare and emo. Maybe they were already missing the dark dining corners we’d found in New York.
Within what I estimate was about 45 seconds, Jessica’s plate was cleared. “So. You like crepes?” I asked with a smirk. “Mhmm,” was her verbal endorsement before she went back to her cell phone. Nick wasn’t quite sure where to start with his, so I cut it up for him, and before I knew it, his face was decorated with ribbons of chocolate and bliss.
My crepe was indeed a savory delight … not just the fillings that defined it, but the crepe itself, with its hearty wheat tang and feather-weight texture that stood up to the chunky veggies and protein.
The quick breakfast was the perfect amount of food for the sweltering summer day, and it kept us full for several hours as we worked up a full-body sweat exploring the monuments. And bonus! It added up to right around $30 for the four of us.
The Bitches say: A. A perfect pit stop for a quick, nutritious (or super sweet) brunch on the fly.
Point Chaud Café and Crepes
1736 14th St. N.W.
Point Chaud serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.