Sept. 25, 2013 10:04

Creperie is High Point’s sweet secret

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editor@yesweekly.com

This place is so cool I can’t believe it’s in High Point. And in downtown High Point to boot. Bereft of the biannual Furniture Market, these streets usually look like the part in the zombie movie where the undead have finally devoured each other and left the space for the few of us who are technically still alive.

But this place, this little crepe shop with its simple menu, funky demeanor and charismatic owner… man, this place could be in Austin or Seattle. This place could be in Brooklyn.

“My point is not to engage in competition with neighboring cities,” says owner Miro Buzov, “but to offer something the other cities don’t have.”

And no one — no one — is doing crepes. Not like this.

Buzov stands behind the seven-stool counter working three crepe pans. Today he’s got the Kitchen Sink: red-pepper coulis, artichoke dip, pesto, marinated artichokes and mushrooms, roasted red peppers, fresh spinach, tomatoes and cheese, made to order. He can also do a sweet one with cookie dough, Nutella, fresh fruit, honey… whatever you want.

But today he’s kind of backed up.

“He usually has his girl with him to help,” a man at the counter says. “I guess she’s not here today.”

Buzov enlists the aid of another  regular, Charles Simmons, to bring forks to one of the tables. Simmons asks for a mocha in return.

“That is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming drink to produce, my friend,” Buzov says with a light European accent. “I hope you got some time.”

Buzov has been in High Point since 1998, and he says he’s been trying to get something going in the Triad’s forgotten city for almost a decade. This project met both his ambition and his resources. And when urban planner Andre Duany came to town (see cover story on page XX) he stopped by here every day, citing Buzov in some presentations and meeting with city leaders.

But just a couple weeks after Duany’s visit, he says, he got a visit from the health department, which disallowed him from using processed meats and fresh fruit in his crepes.

The crepe he makes today is fantastic, with a Mediterranean flavor and European charm. It’s also a lot of food for one person. Lots of folks seem to be splitting them today.

He makes an entry-level dessert crepe for two women who have never eaten crepes before: Nutella, honey, processed fruit and whipped cream, cooked down and folded expertly into a neat, golden rectangle. He fixes a mocha for Simmons. And then he takes a smoke break out on the sidewalk.

He’s not looking to get rich here, he says. He knows the limitations of his city, has a reasonable expectation of what its people will support.

And though he’s been in High Point now through three decades, he’s been around the world. He wonders why his city can’t be like Boston, or Portland, or even like Brooklyn, with small, artisanal businesses and grassroots-level entrepreneurship. He’s waiting for the city and its leaders to get with the program.

“They all know what a city is supposed to look like,” he says between drags of his cigarette. “They’ve all been to Las Vegas, to New York, to Paris. Don’t act stupid. {They] know what it’s suppose to look like.”

With that he snuffs out his butt and heads back into the shop. The lunch rush is over; he’s got to prep for dinner.

WANNA go?

Penny Path Café & Crepe Shop; 104 E. Kivett Drive, High Point; 336.687.8130

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