Taste of Crepes brings European flavor to Kutztown

Submitted photo by John Scott Taste of Crepes celebrates its opening with a Ribbon Cutting with the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce and Kutztown Community Partnership.

Kutztown's Main Street became a little more unique this past June when Taste of Crepes opened its doors for business.

Steve Asztalos, a native of Budapest, Hungary, who resides in Shillington, opened the original Taste of Crepes restaurant in May of 2009 with his wife Ildi in West Reading's shopping district.

After a few years of being in business he knew he wanted to expand, but he didn't know where to go. It was between Kutztown and Lancaster. When a Kutztown University professor who frequented the West Reading location suggested opening a new store in Kutztown, Asztalos was immediately sold.

Crepes are a 'European kind of thing,' Asztalos said. 'It's unique. You can't find it on every corner.'

Many people are already familiar with crepes, he said, which are comparable to thin pancakes stuffed with anything from smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber to strawberries and ice cream.

'Sometimes when you get new people who are first-timers, they go with a plain or ham one. It's on the safe side,' Asztalos said. Simpler crepes, ones with ham, turkey or chicken have been popular, but the artichoke crepe has also been a hit with customers. Once the weather cools down, he'd like to add soups and other cold-weather fare to the menu, but smoothies and iced lattes are good for now.

One of the primary reasons Asztalos chose Kutztown is because of all the traffic from students. He has plans to make the restaurant student-friendly, offering student discounts, a delivery service and possibly becoming affiliated with the University's 'Bear Bucks' program.

The new restaurant is also in close proximity to the West Reading location, making it easier on not only Asztalos, but customers, too. 'I have a lot of people who used to go to the West Reading store who now go here,' he said.

Asztalos was a little apprehensive about opening during the summer when students aren't in town, but he was pleasantly surprised by how well the shop was received by the community.

'I like them ,' he said. 'A lot of businesses visited and it was nice knowing they accepted me. It was a surprisingly nice summer.'

As for future plans for expansion, it isn't out of the question, Asztalos said.

'Right now, I'm not really thinking about it. We want to keep it simple at this point.'

Taste of Crepes, located at 269 W. Main St. in Kutztown, is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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