Planet of the crepes: From France to Philly

The "So Smoked" crepe is composed of salmon, avocado, sour cream and chives. (Hillary Petrozziello / Staff Photographer)

A close substitute to a trip to Paris can now be found in the unlikeliest of places: the quickly morphing west side of South Street.

It’s a west side story straight from western Europe, brought to you by the land that brought us the Eiffel Tower, and yes, the crepe.

So Crepe, a cozy joint that boasts quality coffee and breakfast delights, opened at 1506 South St. If you’re more of a breakfast-for-dinner person, drop in for a drink at the iconic dive Bob and Barbara’s, which is across the street, then head to So Crepe to feast upon one of Fred Elmalek and Fabrice Goutte’s crepe-y creations.

The meal-worthy, delectable dishes include a crowd favorite, the “So Smoked,” which consists of salmon, avocado, sour cream and chives. An appetizing apple dish representing the sweet crepe menu is the “So Washington,” a simple combination of caramelized apples with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

College buddies Elmalek and Goutte tossed around the idea of opening businesses in everything from flowers to sausages before settling on the restaurant route. The entrepreneurs became restaurateurs after two years of renovations and fine-tuning.

“The first challenge is we didn’t know anything. But you learn as you go,” said Elmalek.

Still they insist the decision was more motivated by personal satisfaction than providing a service to the community. “We decided ‘let’s do something for us every morning,’” said Elmalek, a former computer salesman.

Based on the reception from their first week, they are planning a second location.