I’ll admit that I’m not very familiar with most eateries in Saratoga Springs, although that’s something I’d like to change. The only place I do frequent on a semi-regular basis is Ravenous, the well known creperie on Phila Street right off the main stretch of downtown.
There’s something kind of fun and whimsical about a place that only serves crepes, and I’ve always felt that Saratoga Springs is the perfect location for it. You step off the street after a morning of shopping in cute boutiques and into the bustling charm of the dining room at Ravenous. There are only a handful of tables, but if you’re lucky you get to sit at the counter and watch the crepe making in real time. Or you can choose to sit at one of the window counter seats and people watch while you eat.
A lot of folks seem to think that crepes are only the sweet and decadent dessert snacks that you might find on the streets in Paris. Ravenous does have quite a few of those options (from which I highly recommend you try the Dulce de Leche crepe – caramel, pecans, peaches, and fresh whipped cream), but I think it really excels in an unexpected way with its savory offerings.
Case in point is the brunch menu, where you can choose from the regular savory crepes or various egg-based breakfast options like the Texas Tornado.
This crepe is filled with a meat chili and cheddar cheese, and then topped with two poached eggs, sour cream, and scallions. It’s typically served with fries, but I opted for the side salad instead (which is really only mixed greens, served with oil and balsamic vinegar).
The chili is nice and thick, although flavored on the mild side, but I like the combination with the cheese and the eggs. I felt this time like there was something a bit off about the eggs, like they had been prepared way ahead of time and were a little lukewarm and rubbery. The non-melting cheddar topping definitely confirmed my suspicion. Still, the flavors were all there, and the cheese inside the crepe was warm and melty enough to compensate when it was all mixed together.
Another great choice from the regular menu at Ravenous that you can order at brunch is the Godfather’s Garden crepe, which includes portobello mushrooms, grape tomatoes, garlic, basil, and mozzarella cheese.
I am a sucker for fresh basil, and I think the textures in this crepe really meld together well. The tomatoes have a slightly roasted consistency, and there are really generous chunks of mushroom mixed in. My dining companion thought there could have been a higher ratio of cheese to other fillings.
The portions at Ravenous aren’t huge, but you can always start with some savory crepes and split a sweet crepe for dessert to get a fuller meal out of it. There’s a nice mix of crepe options, including some that are less traditionally “French” (like the Taj Mahal, with curried chicken, cauliflower, onions, and raisins). It looks like they have been making an effort lately to add more sides to the menu, with options like fruit and granola. And of course there’s always the french fries, which are hefty square cut guys served in a paper cone with a myriad of dipping sauce choices (go for the cajun mayo).
My main takeaway is that you shouldn’t only envision crepes with strawberries or nutella or fruit jams when you think of a place like Ravenous. Crepes can also make a pretty satisfying meal, including brunch.