116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — When Matthew Siegal opened Tasty Crepe at the Rapid Foods cloud kitchen in March, the question wasn’t how to make crepes tasty — he already had that part down.
The trick was how to package the thin, French pancakes — previously served in more formal settings — in a carryout and delivery-friendly format.
With 13-inch cast iron devices and an abundance of toppings, Siegal’s version of the crepe has the je ne sais quoi of a street food that hasn’t lost touch with the quality of its roots. Using a single crepe, each box has multiple layers of delicate dough evenly cooked to support its heavy toppings without getting soggy.
With a triangular shape, the new format has a portability that doesn’t sacrifice taste or texture.
What: Tasty Crepe
Where: Rapid Foods cloud kitchen, 4444 First Ave. NE, Suite 3001, Cedar Rapids; across the parking lot from Lindale Mall’s south entrance
Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Phone: (319) 251-3281
Details: Available for dine-in at Rapid Foods or carryout and delivery. See website for menu.
“It was a passion project,” said Siegal, who opened Tasty Crepe with his wife, Monica, after they started making crepes together every week as a tradition. “It’s brought both of us a lot of happiness, just sharing the passion with other people. Cooking for anybody, you feel good that you’re going to make somebody’s night or their lunch.”
After years of contemplating a crepe business to share that passion with others, the Fairfield native and Coe College graduate jumped on the opportunity with the cloud kitchen’s low entry point for new restaurant owners. After quitting a job in online sales, he started perfecting the art of making crepes.
Currently, he’s the only one making them in Cedar Rapids.
“I wanted people to have access to them in the area,” he said.
With a thin batter of flour, melted butter, eggs, milk, water and salt, his pitcher pours out a fair amount onto the skillet before using a T-shaped tool to spread it out thinly. Each crepe takes about 40 seconds to cook on one side before being filled with sweet or savory toppings and quickly ushered into a foil-lined box.
For Siegal, it’s the versatility that sells the dainty yet hearty treat.
If you have a sweet tooth, go for the popular strawberry cheesecrepe, the Chef’s Favorite with banana and Nutella, or the Chunky Monkey with Nutella, peanut butter, marshmallows and walnuts.
Other fruit options, including blueberry and raspberry, are made with the same popular base as the strawberry — powdered sugar, lemon sauce, cream cheese and vanilla extract.
If you’re in more of a savory mood, or want something that easily serves as a lunch or dinner, Tasty Crepe offers such options as turkey with pesto; the margherita with mozzarella, basil, tomato, spinach and balsamic glaze; and the Fancy Pants with prosciutto, cheddar cheese and oregano.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Avo-taco with avocado, black beans and salsa or the Brie crepe with apples and jelly.
Though Siegal, 27, has some previous experience working in restaurants, Tasty Crepe is his first venture as a food business owner — similar to many of the other new owners at Rapid Foods.
Eventually, the Cedar Rapids resident sees the concept being viable at other locations like NewBo City Market.
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