Creperi Café, Pizza Barbarossa form new Crépizza restaurant
Plus, the new location of Sokolata adds a tasty lunch and dinner menu to go with all of those mouthwatering European pastries, cakes and gelatos.
Earlier this summer I treated my boys to their first visit to Creperi Café at Trace Fork, where we enjoyed a lunch so nice they couldn’t wait to go back. So my heart sank when I drove by the place this past weekend and saw the lights off with a sign posted on the door.
Oh no, I thought, COVID strikes again.
But upon closer inspection, I was thrilled to learn that the small, locally owned café hadn’t actually closed, but had just moved a hop, skip and a jump away to consolidate with its sister restaurant, Pizza Barbarossa, next to Qdoba.
That’s right, both businesses owned by local restaurateurs Manoli and Aoleen Stavrulakis have combined to form the new Crépizza restaurant inside the same storefront where Barbarossa has been operating since 2011.
(Creperie Café dates back even further, to 2007, although its original location was in Kanawha City where Pepperoni Grill now stands.)
The consolidation had actually been in the works for the past two months, I later learned, but was a surprise to me since I haven’t been out and about nearly as much as usual during the pandemic.
During that recent visit to the café, I enjoyed a gyro crepe stuffed with seasoned meat, lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, feta and tzatziki, washing it down with a Greek coffee so strong I haven’t slept since. I haven’t been to Pizza Barbarossa in many years, but I gave its food a solid review when it first opened and continue to hear similar praise from readers to this day.
A blended menu offering the best of both restaurants at the new Crépizza should keep fans of each place pretty happy.
There are still nearly 20 different sweet and savory crepes offered – filled with everything from smoked salmon and gouda to chocolate, bananas, almonds and coconut – plus an impressive selection of soups, fresh salads and appetizers.
From the Barbarossa side, you’ll find fat oven-baked calzones, subs, signature pastas and plenty of different brick-oven pizzas.
The four-cheese rigatoni and Mykonos spaghetti baked with shrimp, marinara and feta date back to the days of Mykonos Restaurant on Capitol Street (which the couple also owned) while popular pies like the Athenian (chicken, spinach, artichokes, onion, garlic, olive oil and feta) and Carbonara (bacon, ham, cheese and cream) have become “new” classics as well.
Like those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials from long ago – celebrating “two great tastes that tastes great together” – I’m pretty stoked to now have my favorites at both restaurants now available in one convenient location.
IF YOU GO: Crépizza, 100 RHL Blvd. in South Charleston, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 304-746-4040 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.
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Meanwhile, across town in Spring Hill, I finally made it down to the new location of Sokolata, a European-style bakery also owned by the Stavrulakis that moved from its smaller space into a new larger location next door that used to house Schlotzsky’s on MacCorkle Avenue across from Thomas Hospital.
Known for epically good European pastries, cakes and gelatos, Sokolata not only gained more space in the move but also added a full lunch and dinner menu to enjoy along with those sweet treats.
Although I do miss the large pastry cases that greeted (read: taunted) visitors at the previous location, it’s nice to have a full array a food options to enjoy before indulging in said desserts.
I met a friend there for lunch, where we enjoyed warm bowls of lemon chicken rice soup, a fresh Greek salad, a bubbly pepperoni calzone and a traditional gyro with all the fixins.
And, of course, gourmet gelato to cap off the meal.
In addition to good food, Sokolata continues to offer outstanding (and elaborately decorated!) pastries and full-size cakes, making it one of our go-to spots for ordering something amazing to mark a special occasion.
IF YOU GO: Sokolata, 4524 MacCorkle Ave. SW in Spring Hill, is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 681-265-5093 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.
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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at email@example.com.