Crepe crusader

Those strolling through Ashland's Historic Railroad District will find a little bit of Paris at the corner of A and Fourth streets.

Kelly Sacks, a founding partner of Noble Coffee Roasting, is offering up sweet and savory crepes in a new open-air shop with a half-dozen tables just north of Noble.

"A crepe is something that's a little lighter than what we normally eat," she said. "It's quick, very versatile about what you can put in it and only takes a couple minutes to cook.

"I wanted to create something quick, fresh, delicious and satisfying — and this is it."

Open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Kelly's Crepes features both breakfast and lunch offerings, with its most popular being spinach with pine nuts, goat cheese and garlic butter for $6.75.

"It's a good balance of tastes," said Erin Douglas, an Ashland resident who dropped by for the spinach-feta crepe on a recent afternoon. "I'd get it again — and this is a wonderful, sweet environment for lunch. It needs a salad, though. There's no salad here. A crepe is like a snack; if you're hungry, better get a couple of them."

Sacks' crepes are made from a batter of eggs, flour, whole milk, butter and salt. Butter is browned for a deeper, nuttier flavor. Gluten-free crepes are available for 50 cents extra.

Another favorite so far has been the pulled pork with Carolina slaw and barbecue sauce at $7.25, Sacks said. You can also get an egg, bacon and cheese crepe at $6.75, a ham and cheese with dijonaise at $6.50, tuna with red onion and cucumber at $5.50 and the vegetarian hummus with cucumber, goat cheese and olives for $6.75.

Douglas' lunch companion, Amy Smythe, chose the tuna crepe and said it was good, but she, too, wanted a salad. "Great outside setting here," she added.

Ashlander Alberta Swan called the spinach-feta crepe "excellent, just perfect, with quick service and wonderful atmosphere. I knew it was a treat. Now, I'll get home and eat practical."

For those with a sweet tooth, Sacks offers Nutella with banana and powdered sugar for $5, lemon curd with strawberries for $5.50, raspberry with mascarpone for $5.50, cinnamon with sugar and butter for $4 and fresh lemon juice with sugar, $5.

"The crepe with powdered sugar and lemon juice is the classic," said Sacks. "I call it the cinnamon roll of crepes ... and when the weather's perfect and you're sitting in the shade — most seats are shaded — with a nice breeze, it's all just about perfect."

Sacks is a veteran of many restaurant operations here and in Portland. She was a founding partner in Noble Coffee and worked for years at the old Ashland Bakery Cafe.

She offers to-go crepes in a cardboard cone. Coffee (Noble's Pompadour or its decaffeinated World Tour), tea and soda are available, and Sacks encourages diners to bring other drinks from Noble if they prefer.

When cooler weather arrives in September, she plans to lock it all up till spring.

"Amazingly delicious," said Ashland resident Isaiah LaBounty of his lemon-sugar crepe. His mom, Lisa LaBounty, notes her spinach-feta was "amazing, light and crispy."

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

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