Margarita Uricoechea carefully and quickly ladles and spreads crepe batter over one of two 14-inch-round Krampouz griddles at Snap in Georgetown. After a moment, she gently folds and lifts the thin, lightly crisped pancake with a long German spatula and adds it to the growing stack beside her.
It's Saturday morning, before the first customers have arrived. Asked how many crepes she'll make today, Uricoechea, 42, says, "We're supposed to be making 400 on weekend days, but we're not there yet. We're just six weeks old."
Snap is just steps away from the C&O Canal, in a narrow row house Uricoechea converted from a residence into a cafe. There's no seating inside, no restroom and little more than a cash register and the glass case behind which the crepes are made. "We are technically a carryout," says Uricoechea, though guests can linger at tables set up in the long, narrow back yard, crisscrossed by low-hanging branches from neighboring trees. (Watch your head.)
Cafe, carryout -- just don't call it a creperie. That's too sophisticated, Uricoechea says. "I didn't want that. You'd only have 10 customers a day who knew what [crepes] were." She was after a different market: "It's the price range for students, plus it's portable and fast."
Uricoechea's crepes are multicultural. Sometimes she stuffs them with spicy tuna or beans and salsa or pesto chicken. On the sweet side, she sells crepes spread with Nutella, dulce de leche and red bean paste. (Savory crepes are $4.50 to $5.50, while sweet crepes are $3.50. Toppings and extras are $1 each.)
Her first order on this day is for a ham and cheese crepe. She picks up a plain crepe from her stack, folds it in half and lays it on the griddle. She scatters sliced sauteed mushrooms and grated cheddar, topping that with a slice of ham as the cheese begins to melt. Once it's heated through, Uricoechea folds it and slides it onto a paper plate -- quick as a snap of the fingers, which inspired the carryout's name.
Snap, 1062 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, 202-965-7627. Open Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
-- Matt McMillen
Matt McMillen last wrote for Food about Cherry Hill Farm and Orchard in Clinton.