A Taste of France on Oleander

Jessica Ferrer | Contributing Writer

There are many shopping centers on Oleander Drive, but only one of them has a crêperie. Our Crepes and More… (OCM) is tucked away in one of these shopping centers, giving Oleander a bit of a French flair.

Like the name of the restaurant suggests, OCM specializes in the French version of a pancake, the crepe. There are over 30 varieties of crepes on the menu, and there is even a create-your-own option.

During lunchtime, there are plenty of savory crepes to order. All of the crepes are named after places in France. The crepe is spongy and very thin. It looks like a pancake that has been flattened by a rolling pin a few times and then filled with savory goodness, like spinach, mushrooms, cheese or even smoked salmon.

The Uzes is like a ham and cheese sandwich but with a French twist. Paper thin slices of ham, fresh chopped tomatoes, black olives, melted cheese and herbs are tucked into a crepe that is big enough to fit in a small brownie pan. It’s folded into a neat square, with a dab of salted whipped cream that acts like sour cream on top of a burrito. Its classic American turned classy.

For those who have a fondness for bagels and lox, the Quebec crepe is filled with pieces of smoked salmon, sour cream and chives. The sour cream and chives meld together to taste like a tangy cream cheese that cuts the smoky taste of the salmon. The crepe gives the perfect amount of carbs as it cuts out all of the extra bread that a bagel has.

The dessert crepes are folded into triangles that look like a slice of pizza. The Nutella and banana crepe is the popular French combination. The nutty chocolate spread is drizzled over top of the crepe that is stuffed to the brim with bananas. A flurry of powdered sugar is added for extra sweetness. It may be a good idea for two people to share one of these to prevent a sugar-induced coma.

Crepes aren’t the only item on the menu, though. OCM also serves a daily soup special, salads, sandwiches and a selection of in-house baked French pastries.

The Pain Bagnat puts other tuna sandwiches to shame. The tuna is mixed in a mayo-based dressing that is light and herbaceous, but the tuna is not overwhelmed by the mayonnaise as it might normally be. Crisp lettuce and cucumbers give the sandwich a bite, while cool tomatoes and salty olives add even more flavor. The sandwich is served on fluffy ciabatta bread that is sprinkled with more herbs on top.

It wouldn’t be a true French café if there weren’t croissants, and OCM has three types: a plain croissant, an apple croissant and a chocolate croissant. The chocolate croissant isn’t in the typical half-moon shape of a plain croissant, but is instead shaped like a turnover and filled with decadent chocolate. The croissant is light and flaky. The right amount of chocolate is place in the middle—it’s just enough to add a rich sweetness without overwhelming the airiness of the croissant. A dusting of powdered sugar lies on top.

 OCM is a tiny, quaint eatery. It’s canary yellow walls and soft music in the background are relaxing and help one forget that they are in a shopping center. OCM is run by a French family who not only cook the food to order, but serve it as well. This gives the feeling as that OCM isn’t a restaurant off of a busy street, but instead a tranquil café in France.