BELLEVUE — With a number of Chinese restaurants opening over the last few months of 2019, there’s been lots of talk about how Bellevue is becoming the next Richmond, B.C. People have responded with gusto and crowds (especially during the lunch hour) have been constant. However, Chinese crepe shop Me + Crêpe is the only one where you can still grab lunch and be out the door in five minutes.
Tucked into Bellevue Square between a Body Shop and the Japanese chocolate shop ROYCE, Me + Crêpe is a Richmond-based chain that first opened in 2016 and expanded to Bellevue last May. The tiny shop specializes in jianbing, a Chinese-style crepe that has been sold by street vendors and eaten for breakfast for over 2,000 years.
Me + Crêpe has four small tables and a large crepe griddle at the back next to the register. Outside the two large screens displaying the menu and an iPad self-ordering station, the restaurant is the definition of “no frills.” There are 10 crepe options on the menu: from the Original with egg, Chinese crisp and soybean paste ($6.95) to the Peking duck with green onion, cucumber, duck and soybean paste ($13.95).
The griddle is set behind a glass partition, allowing you to watch as the batter is swirled around and around the edges until paper-thin, cooking quickly as sauces are brushed on and premade ingredients get layered on top.
These are different from French-style crepes, folded around toppings and eaten with a knife and fork. Jianbing are meant to be eaten on the go from a street vendor, the crepe wrapped around the ingredients like a gift, served like an open-top burrito and slid into a paper sleeve.
If you go with a friend and are hoping to share — be sure to ask to split the crepe. Otherwise, despite there being knives and forks available, jianbing isn’t easily shared, which is fine. You’re going to want your own anyway.
A friend and I ordered an Original, the Peking Duck and the BBQ Pork with char siu and special sauce ($10.95). Asked how spicy we wanted each crepe (options are: none, mild, medium or hot), we opted for mild on the Original and medium on the two others.
Each crepe is large and positively stuffed with ingredients. The Original has two eggs cracked and cooked right on the crepe batter; a crispy, crunchy, wonton-like fried wrapper; and a soybean paste that, unfortunately, was undetectable due to the chili paste that assailed my taste buds, overpowering any other flavors.
Must be a mistake, right? As it turns out, the Peking and BBQ Pork were much the same. Each crepe stuffed with tender morsels of duck or pork, the wrapper a tender crepe. The chili sauce provided a blistering heat that had me glad I ordered a can of sweet tea that helped calm the blaze between bites.
I’m not sure where wires were crossed — or if indeed there were any wires crossed. Perhaps the spice level here even at mild is no joke. Perhaps my tolerance for spice is much lower than I thought it was. Whatever it was, the crepes were pure fire.
Still, there’s no denying how great these are for a quick lunch. The Peking duck has wedges of cucumber and a crispy cracker adding crunch to contrast the tender meat. The char siu also had a cracker inside; they both had egg, despite it not being listed on the menu; and each crepe was studded with scallions, sesame seeds and a bit of cilantro.
Prices might seem a bit steep, but given the amount of char siu and duck in each respective crepe, the prices match the quality and quantity of each. There are little pots of chili paste on each table, I think next time I’ll be spicing as I go.
Me + Crêpe: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday; 2033 Bellevue Square, Bellevue; 425-454-2479, meandcrepe.com