Crêpes land in New Haven

A new sort of street food
A new sort of street food // Phoebe Kimmelman

At the corner of High and Chapel Streets, and between the established Yale foodie favorites Froyo World, Little Salad Shop and Atticus, French crêpier Adil Chokairy has set up shop. Or rather, set up cart.

Titled “Crêpes Choupette,” Choikary’s cart comes with both a kitchen station and a bicycle attachment, useful for green transport. And though Yale’s campus is not new to street food—Elm Street’s kettle corn cart or York’s Ay! Arepa! are just a few examples of  nearby competitors—Choikary’s take on cart cuisine is visually very different.

Choikary at work

Choikary at work

Choikary also claims that, in contrast to most cart-sold foods, his crêpes stand alone in nutritional value. He makes every crêpe to order, using all natural ingredients in the batter (which was originally his family’s recipe), and even locally sourced fruit (from a farmer’s market) in the heavenly banana, strawberry and Nutella crêpe I sampled.

Crêpes Choupette’s current hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday,, but Choikary plans to open up shop at 7:30 a.m. once classes resume in August. The reason? Pre-class breakfast crêpes!

That schedule might shock those who think of the pancake-like delicacies as reserved for special treats, but Choikary doesn’t see anything unusual about a crêpe-filled day. “I grew up watching my mom making [crêpes] for breakfast, lunch, desserts and dinner. It is such a versatile food that can be made for anything for every time of day,” he said.

 

Smoothing the batterPreparing to flipMmm.. Nutella

Making a crêpe

Even if you lack a sweet tooth, don’t write off Crêpes Choupette just yet. In addition to fruity and chocolaty fare, the menu offers three savory crêpes: the Choupette (fig spread, arugula, prosciutto and goat cheese), the Moulin Rouge (smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and arugula), and Le Chatlet (ham and cheese).

It’s hard to know what the fall will bring, but Choikary said his plan is to continue producing high-quality food, both in taste and ingredients. “It’s not work. It’s pleasure, because of the love that people give to what I do,” Choikary said. “I wanted to create something that instantly can create a smile on people’s faces.”

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