Restaurant Review: Salon Café
Michael Hall ‘19
With sheets of rain unrelenting and sweater season in full effect, I could think of only two activities for a Friday afternoon: consuming velvety crepes and cleaning up some split ends. You’d be mistaken to think the two were mutually exclusive, and in fact, Salon Café offers more than just hair services–manicures, pedicures, and gel polish also accompany the crepe-centric café, the bodega-lovechild of a metrosexual and homebody mother. Salon Café, only minutes down Main Street, is offering a Nutella-forward experience between its salon services and café aspirations.
Walking over the porch’s creaking floorboards and through the opened double doors, entering Salon Café is like visiting your grandma if she had a French love affair. The immediate inside is a café, where an espresso machine, stove top, and crepe maker are crammed into a corner to allow for couches, small tables, and a fireplace, which transform the space into a living room. I ordered for the group—two sweet crepes, one savory, and one cappuccino—and we sat down to the sound of cars sloshing through the rain and admired how well lit the interior was (all warm lighting no deathly fluorescent overheads).
The cappuccino arrived first and required three bottoms-up swigs to get anything more than foam; the only reason to order a cappuccino here is to cut the sweetness of the crepes. Although there were Reese’s, Almond Joy, and Key Lime Pie crepes, we chose two variations of the classic crepe: a banana and Nutella, and strawberry and Nutella, both dusted with powdered sugar. Two neglected squirts of Reddiwip (I couldn’t miss the iconic silo can) flanked both crepes and a generous “drizzle” of chocolate syrup zigzagged on top. The chocolate syrup surely was Hershey’s and added little other than an unpleasant, artificial aftertaste. Beyond these unnecessary accoutrements, the crepes themselves were truly yummy; no edge was burned, and fruit and Nutella spewed out of these delicate cornucopias.
The bite of the strawberries was preferable to the softness of the banana, which added no textural complexity to the soft crepe and hazelnut spread. After a few mouthfuls (each chased by the cappuccino) I commented on the possible excess of Nutella, which my friends identified as the honest function of a crepe. The savory crepe came afterward and enveloped an even greater bounty, including scrambled eggs, ham, swiss cheese, mushrooms, onions, and honey-Dijon. Despite heavy doubts as to the success of a savory crepe in a stand-alone unit where hair is cut and nails are filed, the savory crepe certainly exceeded our expectations. No ingredient was lacking in comparison to its partners, creating an appreciated uniformity of bites.
Although I did not have time to indulge in a foot or hair treatment, the concept of a crepe and coffee pre-appointment is in full effect at Salon Café. Only one crepe maker delayed the order and caused the three to vary in temperature. All three crepes, nevertheless, were unfalteringly smooth throughout and although the savory was merely a Union breakfast inside a crepe and the sweet a vehicle for Nutella, they surely will satisfy any exam-induced crepe craving one should face in the coming month.
Michael Hall ‘19 is an Economics and Latin American Studies double major from Savannah, GA. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.