True Happiness in Paris: Princess Crêpe

Yes, in Paris.

I kicked myself for coming to the Marais on a Sunday afternoon. Of course the lines for falafel were too long. Disappointed in myself, hating everyone around me, but more importantly hungry, we headed down rue des Ecouffes to a little Japanese place called Don’s. It was a good value for some simple bento and rice bowls, but my tummy wasn’t ready to quit.

But this is not a post about Don’s. That was just the beginning of my Japanese day on a street in Paris that caters almost exclusively to both Jews and lesbians. You know, the usual type of Sunday.

Finally, after more than three years, I decided it was time to try the creperie just down the street, called Princess Crêpe, opened in 2011. Hardly news, but it's a shop that's proven itself. 

Oh the choices!

Sure, I, like every Parisian, had my doubts. This fluffy pink shop, run by young Japanese girls, doesn’t really make your mouth water. The plastic models of sweet and savory crepes outside is right out of Tokyo, but it’s far from inspirational. But today, I was taking chances.

In we went, with no customers in sight, and I ordered a banana crepe with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

As we waited, passers-by gawked at the cutesy storefront, as my dessert partner and I sat in the heart-shaped window. Two Russian girls actually came in and asked us, paying customers, to get up and move so they could get a picture in the window. We obliged. They bought nothing, took the picture, and left. The Japanese girls laughed uncomfortably. I put that in my “stereotypes-to-confirm” box for later.

A very happy boy.
Back in our seats, the crepe arrived, wrapped in a perfect pink cone, topped with Chantilly cream. We spent no time digging in, the ice cream melting slowly in the warm crepe, the cream mixing with the chocolate sauce as we discovered the sliced bananas sinking to the bottom.

It was pretty good.

But things got even better as I listened to the music piping over the speakers. I thought I was dreaming as an orchestral mix of Disney music segued into a song from The Little Mermaid, then from Hercules, then from The Lion King. All of the sudden, I found myself singing along with the seemingly 14-year-old Japanese girl behind the counter. I don’t think I had felt this happy in Paris since, well, since ever.

3 rue des Ecouffes, 75004. Go.

Maybe this is reflective of me as a person, or more likely as a Parisian, but I didn’t want to leave that shop and venture back into the real world. Unfortunately the crepe came to an end as the music quieted with the arrival of more customers. We were out the door of our Disneyfied Tokyo escape and on our way. Back into the crowds, the sullen faces, the grey sky – back into Paris.

But the next time I need a break from this city, I know where I can go for a sugar fix and for some, ya know, real music.