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Forest Hills creperie hits the spot in summer

Inside Crepe’n’tearia in Forest Hills on a sweltering summer day, a steady stream of customers were taking refuge from the heat with bubble tea and cold desserts that come with names like the summer break crepe and Japanese ice cream cone crepe — concoctions that come with mounds of fruit and whipped cream.

There is rarely a down moment in this shop during the summer, when hordes of shoppers traipsing up and down Austin Street take a break to visit the crepe store that will celebrate its fifth anniversary next month.

“People love the sweet and savory crepes,” said Gloria Chen, the manager of Crepe’n’tearia. “A lot of people want the Nutella with strawberries or bananas, that’s a favorite. They also like the healthy crepes, like teriyaki chicken crepe, which is very popular.”

Crepe’n’tearia first opened on Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows six years ago and launched its Forest Hills site five years ago this August.

“The crepe is originally French, but lately it’s become very popular in Japan and other parts of Asia, and we wanted to combine the typical French crepe with Asian flavors,” said Chen, who is originally from Taiwan and lived in Forest Hills before moving to Fresh Meadows a couple years ago.

For example, there is the teriyaki chicken crepe, which includes seasoned grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, corn, lettuce, teriyaki sauce and house dressing for $6.75. There is also the Thai curry chicken, which includes seasoned grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, corn, lettuce, Thai curry sauce and house dressing for $6.75.

The shop offers more than 15 savory crepes and 18 sweet crepes and often offers special items which, if they garner enough public support, will become regular items on the menu. This month Crepe’n’tearia is offering the summer break crepe, which includes fresh strawberries, cinnamon and sugar, chocolate chips and whipped cream for $5.75. The Japanese ice cream cone crepe includes bananas or strawberries, whipped cream, and ice cream — chocolate, vanilla or strawberry — for $5.50. The Japanese crepe comes in a hand-held roll instead of its typically flat shape.

Customers can choose one of five batters for their crepes, including regular, whole wheat, strawberry, banana or chocolate. There are about 30 different types of black, green and milk bubble teas on the menu, ranging from honey black tea to mango green tea to Thai iced tea. Small bubble teas are $2.50 and a large is $3.25. Crepe’n’tearia also has sparkling teas, dried flower tea, dried fruit tea, traditional tea and coffee.

“We do a lot of delivery and catering, too,” Chen said.

Many customers are people who work in the area, and Chen said they enjoy the $8 lunch special that comes with a small bubble tea, a regular crepe and a mini crepe.

Over the past five years, Chen said she and the other employees have enjoyed watching their customers grow up.

“We’ve seen the little kids become teenagers, and have catered some of their 16th birthday parties, and we’ve seen people get married, and have children,” Chen said. “It’s great. I’ve met all different kinds of people from all different cultures.”

Crepe’n’tearia is located at 70-23 Austin St. and may be contacted at 718-793-2006.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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