ASTORIA — Upper East Side's sweet and savory crepe purveyor Bonjour Crepes & Wine is opening its first Queens location in the neighborhood, joining a slew of creperies that have popped up in recent years.
"[Crepes are] becoming very trendy and very popular," said Parvez Eliaas, who opened Bonjour's first location in 2012, and hopes to set itself apart from the many creperies in Astoria with a "cozy" ambiance and Hungarian-influenced recipes.
Its menu combines both French and Hungarian influences, inspired by Eliaas' wife, who's Hungarian, and nearly everything they serve is made in-house.
Their most popular item is a crepe stuffed with grilled chicken, gruyere cheese, pesto, spinach and tomatoes, Eliaas said, while another top savory choice comes with Hungarian ham, gruyere, tomato sauce and basil.
The eatery is among half a dozen to open in Astoria in the last few years that specialize in crepes, and is now the fifth just on the 30th Avenue corridor alone, joining Brother Crepe, T-Swirl Crepe, Sunberi Frozen Yogurt and Crepe and Café To Go Creperie nearby.
"I like this area very much," Eliaas said of Astoria. "It's a very European, very dynamic."
Though crepes are nothing new — just look to Magic Pan, a now-defunct creperie restaurant chain that flourished in the 1970s — the dish is seeing a resurgence in popularity, according to Eliaas.
"I think before, people used to think of creperies as 'Oh, crepes are heavy, it's fattening.' But it's actually not," he said. "You have fresh ingredients going in, fresh vegetables. It's much better than a slice of pizza."
Bonjour sets itself apart with its service, decor and ambiance — what he describes as "modern" and "cozy" — with a batter that makes their pancakes "a little softer" than your standard crepe, Eliaas said.
Bonjour also offers more than a dozen sweet crepe options, like one with Nutella and fresh fruit or another with poppy seed, sugar and butter, plus omelet crepes. The eatery also serves waffles, pancakes, soups and salads, as well as organic coffee, espresso and teas.
Bonjour will begin offering its extensive wine list once its liquor license is approved, which Eliaas expects to happen in the coming weeks.
Eliaas said the Astoria location is the first of what he hopes will be several expansions for the company in different city neighborhoods.
He doesn't seem too worried about the competition, noting that other crepe shops have already tried to open near his locations on the Upper East Side — including one just two blocks away from Bonjour's original outpost, he said.
"They went out, they didn’t make it," he said. "It looks like we have something, that we can manage to make our clients very happy."