MaxiYumm’s Creperie brings sweet, savory flavors to city
As a global gastronomic sensation, the crepe has transcended borders. Though the word “crepe” has its origins in the French culture, the thin pancake has enjoyed popularity all over the world — in Argentina, Germany, Japan and more. Now, the crepe is spreading to New Brunswick.
MaxiYumm’s Creperie opened five months ago at 88 Albany St. A short walk from the New Brunswick train station, the restaurant specializes in both sweet and savory crepes.
Its atmosphere is casual yet classy with a mellow, bistro-like air. Dark wooden decor pairs well with a vibrancy spawning from the natural light that enters the restaurant through its glass storefront. The creperie offers table service, making the restaurant perfect for customers seeking a formal dining experience in a relaxed environment.
MaxiYumm’s Creperie is the brainchild of owner Tania Zinovieva. Originally from Russia, Zinovieva moved to the United States after receiving her culinary training in St. Petersburg. Crepe-making is a familiar enterprise to Zinovieva — though she has lived in America for 24 years, she has been preparing crepes her whole life.
For Zinovieva, the perfect crepe is all about proportion.
“The perfect crepe? It’s the perfect recipe for the batter.” she said. “You have to work on every part of the recipe and make it a perfect combination.”
MaxiYumm’s menu features a variety of different crepes, pancakes and blintzes. The customer can even order a “create-your-own” crepe by choosing from a list of ingredients.
During my visit to MaxiYumm’s, I ordered two savory crepes. Both arrived topped with a cream gravy and were garnished with tomato, cucumber and gherkin pickles, all useful for cleansing the palate between forkfuls.
The trio of flavors found in the “chicken, mushrooms and bacon crepe” meshed well. The chicken toned down the smoky, porky flavor of the bacon into a more balanced filling, and the earthen flavor of the mushroom developed as the flavors unfolded on the tongue.
In the “ham, mushrooms, cheese gruyère crepe,” the meatiness of the ham and the creamy tang of gruyère cheese took the forefront to the mushroom flavor. The porky and sharp combination of the ham and cheese flavors created a flavor profile almost reminiscent of a breakfast dish.
The crescendo of my meal at MaxiYumm’s was without a doubt the “crepe cookies and cream,” which features bits of dark and white chocolate, crushed Oreos, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chocolate drizzle.
The dessert crepe is the coalescence of multiple complementary textures and temperatures, balancing crunchy Oreo pieces with smooth, creamy ice cream inside a fluffy crepe base. The bits of warm, melted chocolate provide a rich, candy bar-like flavor and a satisfying contrast to the vanilla ice cream’s cold temperature.
As if the sweet, sugary flavors of a dessert crepe weren’t enough, I also ordered a chocolate milkshake, which arrived picturesque in a tall fountain-style glass with whipped cream and a cherry.
The frothy shake possessed a notable creamy quality, with an initial taste reminiscent of chocolate milk that slowly evolved into an ice cream flavor. The beverage lacked the extreme thickness and syrupy flavor of other milkshakes I’ve experienced, but was refreshing nonetheless.
Crepes can also be purchased at MaxiYumm’s for takeout, but Zinovieva encourages customers to sit down and experience the restaurant’s atmosphere, particularly the open kitchen from which the intoxicating buttery scent of crepes emanates.
“You eat with your eyes, with your nose and then your mouth,” Zinovieva said.
Students that find themselves experiencing sudden crepe cravings should be sure to stop by MaxiYumm’s Creperie. The Albany Street restaurant could sate even the most serious hunger with an assortment of savory and sweet menu options.