Making crepes is a true form of art. Though often dismissed as simply a much thinner version of a pancake, crepes are an entire category of their own. From the sophisticated methods by which the crepes are prepared to the refined flavors of which they are composed, crepes are marvelous. And thank heavens this glorious concoction does not solely reside in corner cafes and creperies in Paris, for within the lovely capital city of Madison at 127 N. Hamilton St. is Bradbury’s. It’s a beacon of hope to all the crepe-obsessed who can’t quite afford that ticket across the pond. Bradbury’s, you are loved.
The walls of Bradbury’s are made up of giant glass windows, which allow frequenters to peer out and observe the world from afar as they savor their masterfully composed lattes and, of course, their crepes.
This relaxed environment is exaggerated when set against a backdrop of surrounding distress; Bradbury’s consequently represents a haven of sorts. It naturally serves as a safe abode in which crepe and coffee-lovers alike can dwell and gastronomically indulge, if only for an afternoon.
The great men and women who make up the Bradbury’s team have truly mastered the art of crepe. Each crepe is crafted to a spot-on thickness with a splendid texture, akin to the dense quality of a good pancake, yet not quite as doughy. Plus they have an oh-so-delicate sweetness that allows for great versatility as far as stuffing these beauties with either sweet or savory fixings. Their menu does rotate rather frequently, as it is based off seasonality and what ingredients happen to be available and fresh given the time of year. Regardless of the variability, I have yet to leave Bradbury’s disappointed in my crepe selection.
One of their most popular sweet crepes, and my personal favorite, is the dark chocolate plus caramel plus sea salt crepe. Pools of rich dark chocolate and luscious caramel melt wonderfully together to form a cohesive blend of deliciousness that is perfectly complemented by just a hint of sea salt. The addition of the salt effectively enhances the flavors of both the chocolate and the caramel, as it forces these tastes to linger on the tongue and stick to the taste buds long enough for you to determine that you have died and gone to crepe heaven.
Any crepe on the menu that mentions “lemon curd” as a component will be similarly delicious. Though proceed with caution as the lemon curd does deliver a rather pronounced tanginess. Delicious, yet certainly tart.
The apples plus caramel plus pecan crepe is one that has stuck around for a while, and with good reason. Many claim that its magnificence is on par, if not greater, than the aforementioned dark chocolate crepe. The sugary deliciousness of the caramel with the sweet crunch from the apples and the indulgent flavor of the pecans exist in a harmony that has milk and cookies jealous.
On the savory side of the current crepe menu are options containing squash, swiss chard, bacon, onions, cheddar, smoked whitefish…many of which are pleasantly topped with a fried egg, which not only delivers a new flavor dimension, but also dramatizes the crepe’s aesthetic appeal.
With far too many tantalizing crepe options to enjoy alongside a steaming cup of quality brew, Bradbury’s truly captures all that is happiness.