There's an easy answer to why the Coffee Beanery's Nutella-strawberry-banana crepes are the customer favorite.
"It's because Nutella is good!" says Coffee Beanery owner and master crepe-maker Victoria Bogatoff. "Nutella is really hazelnut with chocolate and skim milk. Add strawberries and bananas and you cannot go wrong. It's a pretty good combo."
The chocolate spread coats the fresh fruit pieces inside a paper-thin, airy crepe, finished with a touch of powdered sugar. The trick, Bogatoff says, is to treat the Nutella with care. "If it gets too hot, it burns and doesn't taste good," she says.
At the laid-back North Avenue cafe and coffee shop, Bogatoff's crepes are made on a special grill and fillings range from sweet – Nutella, peanut butter, coconut, fruit fillings, etc. – to savory – eggs, meats, veggies, brie, nuts and more.
Bogatoff's husband (and biggest crepe fan) convinced her to sell the specialty at her shop and customers have been lining up for them ever since.
"I started making blintzes in the Ukraine was I was seven," says Bogatoff. "I did it the old-fashioned way in a pan, though. They weren't as pretty as these."
Bogatoff empathizes with those who've tried crepe-making and struggled. She says the key to cooking the often-fickle discs is knowing your equipment. "You need to make millions to get it just right," she says.
But have no fear if your crepes don't look picture perfect. "You've just got to put your soul in there," she says. "That's what makes them taste good."
Also popular with the dessert crowd are Bogatoff's cheese blintzes with toppings like apple and cherry or her simply sweet butter-cinnamon-sugar combos. For the full crepe menu, plus a list of the Coffee Beanery's sandwiches, wraps and drinks visit coffeebeanery-cafe.com.
The Nutella-strawberry-banana crepe sells for $5.23 after tax at the Coffee Beanery, 510 North Avenue, Garwood, 908-232-3830.