Tucked away in a little Victorian on South Pearl Street, the quaint and cozy atmosphere at Gaia Bistro will lure you in, and the food will keep you there. Known for a spread of organic and locally sourced ingredients (a greenhouse in the back supplements the menu in the summer), the food turning up in this cozy abode is perfect to be enjoyed with a French press coffee and a few friends. This week, we were more than delighted with a savory crepe filled with roasted tomato, poblano peppers, red onion, basil pesto and goat cheese.
When it comes to savory crepes, getting the batter right is a crucial step. It can’t be too sweet or the crepe will clash with ingredients like peppers and goat cheese. Gaia has this down to an art, churning out those light and fluffy little blankets made out of buckwheat and wheat flour — or available gluten-free upon request. They are not too sweet and become the perfect vehicle for their savory fillings.
We don't need much persuading to dive into most dishes containing goat cheese, especially when served warm and paired with some basil pesto. Gaia is no exception; we dug in with a goldmine of rich and creamy reward on our mind. Nuggets of goat cheese were distributed evenly throughout the crepe so that each bite satisfied without overwhelming the other ingredients. Too much would have taken away from those delicious and zesty poblano peppers — each bite is like a little high five to your palate.
The variety of ingredients enfolded in the delicate pancakes also kept our forks moving. No two bites were the same, but each provided a harmonious combination of flavors. Just when you think the goat cheese and poblanos are your new best friends, you get a bite with roasted tomato and onion and it makes you rethink everything. The crepe was served piping hot — a comforting and warming meal on a cold day. But the bright vegetables and overall lightness of the crepes would also be great for a warm and sunny day on Gaia's expansive and inviting patio. But while dreaming of 90-degree days, it’s satisfying to simply enjoy the delicious blend of hot, flavorful food while looking out at the snowfall.
This savory dish rings in at $11 and is served with a side of mixed greens. Gaia has so much more to offer than crepes though, so don’t shy away from any of their other delicious menu items like the huevos rancheros or the vegetable lasagna.