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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 09 Saras Crepe Cafe Page 1

Road-Trip Food: Sara's Crepe Café (St. Augustine, Florida)

Old World comfort food in America's oldest city.

By Debi Lander

A distant cousin of the American-style breakfast treat, crepes are light, delicate pancakes made by pouring a thin batter onto a hot cooking surface, often with a trace of butter. Originally from the Brittany region of France, they are popular because of their versatility, equally delicious whether savory or sweet. And nowhere will you find more varieties than Sara's Crepe Café in the heart of historic St. Augustine, a new establishment that already boasts a faithful following.

And no wonder. Proprietor Margarita Abramov hosts a cheerful, inviting shop, opened to celebrate what would have been her Russian grandmother's 100th birthday. And she has assembled an outstanding staff to translate matriarch Sara Lembert's Old World crepe recipes for a New World audience. Chef Matt Shapiro runs the kitchen with professional aplomb, while assistant DJ is as enthusiastic as flaming cherries jubilee. These two are on the path to crepe celebrity stardom.

Margarita herself should be as treasured by St. Augustinians as is the Fountain of Youth. She has it all: charm, personality, warmth, and spunk. Her energy flows not at a trickle, but at full gush. She will make this place a standout for locals and visitors alike.

Menu prices are reasonable enough to attract Flagler College coeds, yet the presentations please the business folk. Sara's offers a healthy fast-food alternative, a to-go version of a crepe, held in paper similar to a wrap. Sara's Crepe Café opens at 8:00 for breakfast and stays in operation through the evening hours for dining, dessert, and drinks, including wine and beer.

Smooth Derryck Lawrence was on hand the other night, crooning strollers off the street and into the courtyard. With his welcoming grin, Mr. Personality added an upbeat tempo to the already lively spot. If a visit to St. Augustine for the city's 450th birthday is in your road-trip plans, make sure to put a crepe from Sara's on your "must-eat" list.