While the unassuming exterior may fool you, walking through the door to the France House of Crepes greets you with an opportunity to experience delicious French crepes right here in Riverside. The right wall painted a cheerful salmon, with booths pressed up along the sides, and the left wall a bright yellow, combined with checkerboard floors creates the ambiance of an old fashioned diner mixed with a parisian cafe. There is music to serenade you as you dine; crooning old French songs, the popular and recognizable La Vie en Rose, (and strangely, Discord by The Living Tombstone). The music adds to the atmosphere and will definitely put you in the mood to enjoy crepes. The place is bright and cute, a darling little place to have crepes. At 7:00 P.M., there were other patrons– their conversations adding to the vibe– but nothing too busy or hectic.
The service is very prompt, with a greeter coming to seat you very quickly and the food coming out in a timely manner. Although it must be noted that around 7:00 P.M. is likely not their busiest hours and the time between ordering and receiving your food may change during rush hours.
The menu has a wide array of sweet and savory crepes, breakfast crepes and daily specials, omelets, hot and cold sandwiches, soups and salads. There is also a wide variety of drink options– hot drinks: cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate. And cold drinks: soft drinks and juices, fruit smoothies, iced coffees, and french sodas. And of course, there is a Happy Hour every day from 2- 7 P.M. with notable drinks such as micheladas and mimosas and much more. The menu pictures the most popular sweet and savory crepes for your perusal, with such a wide and extensive menu, there is something for everyone.
I ordered a sweet and savory crepe to have the best of both worlds and a hot chocolate, as it was a cold night and too late for coffee. The hot chocolate came first: a tower of whipped cream sitting atop a blue mug and topped off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. The whipped cream was light and airy, sweet with a hint of salt to overset the sweetness. The hot chocolate itself was not overly sweet, which I appreciated. The savory crepe I ordered arrived first, so I set the hot chocolate aside to finish later.
I ordered the Creamy Paris Crepe– one of their bestselling savory crepes and for very good reason. Inside the crepe was chicken, mushrooms, olives, onions, sweet green peppers and mozzarella cheese. A garlic cream sauce was drizzled over everything and grated parmesan cheese garnished the top. The combination was phenomenal. The olives added a slightly sour kick to the otherwise umami taste, the garlic cream sauce had a mild flavor that pieced everything together. The slight sweetness of the crepe added a perfect balance of sweet and savory making the crepe almost addicting.
Then the sweet crepe came out: their popular Royalty crepe, with Nutella, cocoa, strawberries and bananas, chocolate and a dollop of chantilly cream on the side. The crepe was sweet, overset by a brightness provided by the strawberries and bananas keeping it from being too rich.
Overall, the France House of crepes is a great place to go to enjoy crepes. The prices range from decent to a bit on the pricey side, making it the perfect place to go on a special occasion, rather than casual, everyday dining. It is a great place to go with friends or on a date if you are looking for a little piece of France in Riverside.