Well, aren’t we fancy, Bed-Stuy?
, , … What’s next? A store that sells only crêpes?
Mouna Thiam moved from Paris, France, to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, eight years ago, and she noticed there weren’t a whole lot of places in the neighborhood where she could indulge in a little Parisian cuisine.
So with a little bit of gumption and a whole lot of planning, she left her job as a manager at a decorations store and, last Saturday, finally opened her dream business – a crêperie, “Le Paris Dakar,” located at 518 Nostrand Avenue on the corner of Macon Street.
“This is something that I always wanted to do,” said Thiam, “because in this area, there’s not a lot of French food. To get crêpes you have to go downtown or in the city. “
Le Paris Dakar sells homemade sweet and savory crêpes, omelets, quiches, stuffed croissants, salads, tarts, sandwiches and espresso coffees, as well as a few food and drink items that borrow from her family’s native country of Senegal.
One of Thiam's favorites is the Bissap, a “national drink of Senegal,” made from dried red Hibiscus, vanilla, peppermint and a touch of sweetener.
The crêpes are made-to-order right in front of the customer and come in an abundant of delicious varieties, including apple cinnamon, white chocolate, brown sugar-and-banana, turkey and Swiss, barbecue chicken and cheddar, or their “#5,” made of smoked salmon, cream cheese, spinach and capers.
The Teisseire Sirop is a cold refreshing drink, another French classic, made of concentrated syrup in mint, grenadine and peach flavors, with no artificial colors or preservatives. And there’s the “Ginger,” a popular Senegalese cold drink, an icy mash-up of fresh pineapple with the bite of ginger.
The food may be a bit fancy, but there's nothing pretentious about the shop: The exposed-brick interior, wooden benches and touches of West African art and French designs create a welcoming environment, and the staff is extra-friendly. The prices are reasonable too.
The crêpes range in cost, from $4 to $7.50. They also offer a variety of French pastries, including the Pear William, éclairs, the napoleon and the Paris breast, priced from $3.50 to $4.25. Nothing on their menu is over $8.
However, the menu is changing still, based upon customer demand.
Le Paris Dakar is open Mondays through Sundays, with very loose hours, until they can gauge foot traffic. But ideally, said Thiam, they’d like to open early mornings before work, until around 9:00 p.m., if customers show an interest.
“In a few weeks, we hope to offer outdoor seating and begin bringing in musicians on the weekends,” said Thiam. “And by September 1, we’re expecting to have our final menu and our stores hours set.”
But until then, customers can stop by and try one of Le Paris Dakar’s many delicious crepes, coffees or cold beverages.
Only one request: When drinking, don’t forget to raise your pinky finger, just because you’re fancy.