WHAT’S IN STORE: Jammin Crepes, fresh and local "fast food"

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Kim Rizk

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Kathy Klockenbrink
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Kim Rizk

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Kathy Klockenbrink

By Rich Fisher
   What started on a train station parking lot has blossomed into one of Princeton’s most unique and fun-to-visit eateries.
   Located at 20 Nassau St. in the heart of downtown, Jammin’ Crepes is in its second year of serving up delicious, distinct crepes that are created from area farm products.
   ”That’s really important,” owner Kim Rizk said. “That’s what our whole kind of presence is about, serving and preserving local flavors.”
   Aside from some places in Pennsylvania and New York, the crepes are cooked with harvests from nearby farms that include Sansone’s Farm Market, Chickadee Creek Farm, Blue Moon Acres, Cherry Grove Farm, Terhune Orchards, Paradise Hill Farm, Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm, Griggstown Quail Farm, Stults Farm and Russo’s Orchard Lane Farm.
   Ingredients from these establishments come together to produce a vast array of crepes that evolve throughout the year. Since Jammin’ Crepes only serves fresh ingredients, the dishes depend upon what’s seasonal.
   ”We believe in eating with the seasons appropriately,” Ms. Rizk said.
   Popular items in the winter include apples, pears, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. In the summer months, strawberries and blueberries are in full supply.
   Jammin’ Crepes was born in 2011 when Kim and her partners — husband Ami and Kathy Klockenbrink — opened at the West Windsor Community Farmers Market in the Princeton Junction train station parking lot on Saturday mornings. The legal business name was, and still is “Two Flippin’ Chicks Doing Business.”
   The idea was to open a “fast food” place but not with the traditional, cholesterol-spiking meals. The fare would consist of fresh, local food that could be served quickly in a casual, accessible environment.
   ”We chose crepes because there were no other crepe places like that around,” Ms. Rizk said. “But more because it’s kind of a fresh, relatively easy to prepare food on the spot, something we knew we could make from scratch right in front of people.
   ”If you’re gonna be at a farmers market, the beauty of that is seeing the food prepared in front of you. We felt the theater of that, people seeing food being made from scratch, made sense. It was exciting.”
   In a year they added the Princeton farmers market to the weekly agenda and by year three, business was so good it was time to open a restaurant. The wall was knocked down dividing two retail operations and Jammin’ Crepes was unveiled in October, 2014.
   Amin handles the accounting, Kathy does the administrative work and Kim runs the kitchen. She has a background in both the retail food and hospitality businesses, saying, “I was fairly well seasoned understanding what it takes to deal with food and the public.”
   The restaurant has a rustic feel, as walls are lined with reclaimed wood from New Jersey barns and adorned with photos from the farmers market days. There are 43 seats indoor and another 25 for outdoor dining. Bar seating overlooks the two cooking stations (featuring eight griddles), which allows customers to watch their crepes spring to life.
   The food is the star of the show of course.
   ”We make the crepe in a rather traditional way they make them in France,” Ms. Rizk said. “But our fillings are not traditional. They are unique and creative.”
   And while Kim feels that customers should explore all the choices offered, there are some signature crepes that are must-try.
   There is a Brie, bacon and jam crepe with fresh arugula, which provides a sweet and salty combination. The popular turkey club features meat from a whole roasted turkey that comes with cranberry chutney and a horseradish aioli produced from Jammin’ Crepes homemade horseradish.
   Then there is what Ms. Rizk terms the “not to be missed” bacon, egg and cheese crepe, which includes free range eggs from Griggstown, bacon from a Bucks County smokehouse and cheese from a Pennsylvania farm. It is also stuffed with daily roasted vegetables.
   To spice up any meal, a bottle of house hot sauce is included on every table. Whatever scraps are left on the table get composted or recycled by the community-minded owners.
   It is a dining experience like no other in the area, from the atmosphere to the cuisine.
   ”We want it to be a very lively, welcoming kind of community gathering spot,” Ms. Rizk said. “We have tons of regular customers who are in every morning, every day for lunch. We have families in on the weekends. We have good music playing all the time, very upbeat. It’s a friendly, fun place to be.”
Jammin’ Crepes is located at 20 Nassau St., Princeton. For more information, go to jammincrepes.com, email info@Jammin’crepes.com, or call 609-924-5387.