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MIT student blogger Emad T. '14

It’s Possible To Have Too Much Nutella by Emad T. '14

Wait, don't go away! Hear me out on this one

I’m a small-time, not very experienced foodie – but I’d like to think I’m enthusiastic about food nonetheless. On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is “someone who just eats to not starve,” and 10 is “Phantom Gourmet-caliber fastidiousness and acclaim,” I think I’m a 6. Maybe a 6.5?

I don’t really know. I just like good noms.

There’s a few eateries in the Cambridge/Boston that, to me, have either gastronomical or sentimental value: Hsin Hsin (Chinese and Japanese food) over on Beacon Street, Trident (a smorgasbord of sandwiches and breakfast stuff) on Newbury Street, Flour (a bakery and cafe) on Mass Ave, and of course, nearly every Chipotle (burritos!) located a decent distance away from major T stops or MIT. This being MIT, a campus situated close to the Cambridge / Boston divide, there’s also a number of other places to drop some dough for a bite to eat. I’ll leave the fun of finding other good places to eat to you, the readers!

But I do have to (partially) spoil one surprise: crepes, the one lesson I’ve truly taken to heart after nearly 7 years of learning French (with notably mixed results). They’re part of a good French / francophile’s / foodie’s breakfast, as they’re versatile enough to be savory (if you put eggs and stuff on it) or sweet (if you load up on fruits and sugary spreads).

So far – though I’ll admit to not having invested that much time and energy into this pursuit – I’ve personally only found and dined at two places within walking distance of the T. There’s Mr. Crepe, a breakfast and brunch creperie that’s a short walk from Davis Square (a stop on the Red Line), and Sebastians Cafe, a cafe with multiple specialties and a location close to Kendall Square – specifically, right on the corner of Main and Ames.

According to one of my friends, Sebastians also dresses up certain employees like salads as they hand out coupons to passersby. (If I ever get the chance to confirm that, I’ll snap a picture and let you all know.)

Anyway, I was fixing for a crepe late last week and strolled in to Sebastians on the recommendation of the advisor for Active Minds, one of my ECs. I walked up to the counter and asked for a banana and Nutella crepe, and one of the chefs poured a ton of batter onto a circular cooking surface, ironing it into a flat circle with a little rod-like thing. When both sides had been sufficiently cooked, I greedily watched as they stuck a huge chunk of Nutella on a knife, spreading liberal amounts of it around like icing on a cake. It looked nothing short of inviting. (Had I known how explosive the Nutella taste would be, I would have snapped a picture.)

But oh my God was it Nutella overload. It was Nutella pummeling my taste buds into submission. It was a chocolately hazelnut gustatory sensation so intense, it refused to be subdued by the iced tea I picked up – although, now that I think about it, I don’t know why more sugar would help wash down sugar. Seriously. Things took a sharp left turn to Hyperglycemia City.

Too much Nutella makes you forget it’s folded into the crease of a crepe; you start to believe that the crepe itself is made of Nutella. I’m not knocking Nutella by any means – I’m going to try to find their Breakfast Tour in Boston this week, if I have the time – but I think I missed out on the bananas part and the crepe part. Maybe you guys don’t feel the same way, but I feel a need to caution you all the same.

Thus, my search for an awesome creperie in the Cambridge/Boston area continues. In a list of two easily-accessible creperies, Mr. Crepe, for its wide assortment of possible sweet crepes, takes the top spot for now. But I will continue searching!

In the meantime, for the crepe connoisseurs in the crowd: what’s your take on crepes? Is Nutella the dominant and essential ingredient, or just one aspect of a multifaceted experience? If you’re local, you get bonus points if you can recommend other creperies pretty close to T stops; I’ll think about venturing out further if a really good case is made for anything further out than that.