Located on the east end of Alberta, Tour de Crêpes has an unusual setup. The dining area, which includes lovely outdoor seating and a sandbox for the kiddies, is a charming wood-built hall. The hall's roominess lends itself to relaxation; unobtrusive French music croons from the stereo. The kitchen/ordering area is housed in a sleek, polished steel Airstream located behind the hall. You can order your food at the Airstream, but on the occasions I have visited, table service was provided.
Crêpes can be a tenuous thing. Done correctly, they augment their ingredients, providing a stage on which the star of the creation can shine; done poorly, they are the equivalent of a rubber blanket whose sole purpose is to smother the struggling victim within. Thankfully, Tour de Crêpes issues the former. Their supple crêpes seem to hug and cheer up the ingredients inside. The sweet dessert crêpes come in your choice of classic "plain" or tasty chocolate, and the savory variety are darker, buckwheat-based crêpes that have a slightly nutty flavor.
The house favorite on the savory side is the prosciutto and Gruyère combo, served with either caramelized onions or exotic fig-onion chutney. I tried the Gruyère with fresh apple and cayenne, which was an exceedingly pleasant pick-me-up. Also delicious (but so rich that it's best to share) is the smoked salmon and capers with dilled chèvre and spinach crêpe.
Outside of the crêpe realm, other savory dishes include a deliciously rich and airy quiche brûlée whose ingredients vary daily. Mine was an unbelievable fresh asparagus and dilled havarti combination, and was as good as any baked egg dish I've had. The traditional French onion soup is hearty and satisfying—topped with a toasty baguette and melted Gruyère cheese, it holds its own among the flashy crêpe selections.
Among the sweet "meal" crêpes, my favorite is the fresh berries with crème fraîche: packed with seasonal berries, this crêpe is a simple delight. A number of other selections feature Nutella, a chocolatey, hazelnut-based spread that's practically an institution in France. At Tour, you can sample it with Grand Marnier, bananas, or the highly praised toasted coconut with coconut cream. Be sure and try the simpler offerings too: Even a basic butter, sugar, and lime combo is delicious.
Among the dessert crêpes lurks a crêpe so decadent I immediately decided to try to order it by saying "I'd like the Elvis." They knew exactly what I was talking about. You should probably have a friend help you eat the dark chocolate, fried banana, and peanut butter whale of a crêpe; otherwise, you might have to sit awhile. Delicious for three bites, then completely overwhelming, the Elvis isn't for the faint of heart. For lighter dessert fare, try the amazing vanilla-bean custard and raspberries on a chocolate crêpe, or the dark chocolate and raspberry crêpe. Both will exceed your expectations.
Mirroring owner Brenda Drain's love of bikes, kids, moms, and dogs, Tour de Crêpe's comfortable setting and friendly, attentive staff allow you to wrap yourself in the luxury of a rich meal without leaving the real world.