Recently while road-testing the new 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Ecotec (think updated Saturn Vue) on the backroads of Tennessee and Kentucky we had the good fortune to stop into Knoxville, Tennessee’s picturesque and historic downtown looking for some sight-seeing, relaxation, good times and a great breakfast…we found all that and more. Thank-you French Market Creperie!
Quaint, picturesque, unassuming, superbly tasteful and neatly operated in tight quarters all describe the unique eatery that is downtown Knoxville, Tennesee’s French Market Creperie. Not your average breakfast nook or coffee house, the owners Susan and Allen Tate have created the relaxed sort of sidewalk eatery one would expect to find while strolling the city streets of Europe. The decor is succinctly themed without being kitschy and the place carries an ambiance that is at once interesting, inviting, casual and original.
Let there be no question, this place is small…really small given the crowds it draws, but there in lies some of the charm. In Europe space is far more of a commodity than here in the states and by those standards the French Market Creperie is perhaps spacious…dining here truly does invoke the European experience both in it’s casually formal atmosphere and it’s efficiently compact operation. The staff here is pleasant, informative and welcoming…sort of a terrific mix between southern hospitality and Euro-sensibility. Finding a table on a busy Sunday morning here was a challenge but one not overly difficult to achieve. Buzzing with coffee sipping, crepe devouring denizens both local and tourist alike this was exactly the sort of cultural oasis needed on any road trip and a perfect foray into one of the few larger cities available in the Appalachian Mountains and rolling Kentucky hills.
The food here was simplistically excellent as one might expect from a creperie. Enjoying a hearty breakfast of both crepes and croissant sandwiches we neither left hungry not bloated but rather that perfectly healthy balance somewhere in-between. The food was prepared well, presented and plated appropriately for the theme and as easy on the eyes as the pallet… What more can one ask for from their breakfast/brunch?
Of note the croissant was excellent; flaky, buttery and fresh all of which served to accentuate the flavors of the Nueske bacon and scrambled eggs superbly. The ham and cheese crepe was also superb, a well balanced compilation of ingredients that empowered without overpowering. Offering a selection of teas and coffees I was particularly enthused with the fact that the French Market Creperie offered free refills on Lipton fresh-brewed iced-tea… It may sound insignificant but so many times when dining at restaurants of this very sort one finds the iced-tea a-la-carte and to a thirsty traveling patron free refills on tea is a huge and welcomed benefit.
Well reviewed and well reccomended we fully intend to make the French Market Creperie some place we stop every time we find ourselves in this part of Tennessee of traveling the I-75 corridor.
The French Market Creperie
530 South Gay Street Knoxville, TN 37902