I wanted to like Qarma Crepes. I really did, despite being annoyed with the new Thornton Park business before I even visited. I mean, how is it possible to design a website for a restaurant and not print your hours of operation? Not even the days you’re open or the meals you serve? Also, who comes up with a name that isn't search-engine friendly?
I was charmed when I entered the small eatery, tucked in between a Starbucks Coffee shop and a Tijuana Flats. And that was another reason to like it -- I like to encourage independently owned restaurants. We need more of them. The young woman who greeted me when I walked in one morning (I had to call to verify the cafe served breakfast, once I found the phone number buried within the website, under “location”) was pleasant and welcoming.
And the surroundings are quaint. Except for the high-tech video-display menu boards, the dining area has an agreeable dining area with simple pine-topped tables and surprisingly not uncomfortable metal chairs. Acoustic music, perhaps a little too loud, plays through the room and wafts to a loft accessible via a spiral staircase. It’s a place I could enjoy sitting to do some work, as I’m doing right now, writing this review.
But the menu is unnecessarily confusing, especially for the breakfast items. With some guidance from the young woman on the other side of the counter, I settled on an omelet crepe with swiss cheese, mushrooms and green peppers. I paid for my order, which included coffee, completing the transaction on the screen of a tablet where I was asked to leave a tip for service I had not yet received.
I liked that my coffee was served in a small metal press pot, which was brought to my table after it had had time to steep a bit. Not long after, my crepe followed.
At first I thought the omelet had been omitted, but then I did notice some egg in it. There was a good showing of sliced sausage and plenty of diced peppers. The mushrooms were uncooked. But the crepe itself was hard and crusty, almost like a tortilla that had been crisped.
I ate as much of the filling as I could, leaving most of the hard and thick pancake. When I left, I was thanked as warmly as I was greeted. I really wanted to like Qarma Crepes. They’re obviously dedicated to the community -- three cents of every dollar, according to a note on the website, will be donated to local charities. But ultimately, if Crepes is a part of your name, you really should do better crepes.
Qarma Crepes is at 12 N. Summerlin Ave., Orlando. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-403-5549.