About once a year, Julie and I find ourselves in Hershey for a quick getaway.
We don’t go to the park (too hot, too crowded), but find plenty of other things to do — a Paul McCartney concert, for instance.
By skipping Hersheypark, it also gives us a chance to visit the downtown area and discover new dining spots. On this trip, we found Hershey’s only French creperie, Au Bon Lieu.
Au Bon Lieu is not easy to find. It’s set back from the road, almost hidden behind the Chocolate Avenue Grill.
Even after finding the parking lot, we weren’t sure we were in the right place. The creperie shares the parking lot with the much larger, Phillip Arthur’s Cafe, and the only thing to distinguish it is the stained glass Eiffel Tower in the window.
It’s a small shop, maybe 10 tables total (a few of them were pushed together for a large group). The walls are beautifully painted, the one behind us sporting a large Eiffel Tower on a pink and purple background.
We grabbed a table in the back corner of the room beneath a speaker playing a mix of Beatles and Wings songs, this being the day after Paul McCartney’s concert at the Hersheypark Stadium.
With only two crepe griddles, wait times can vary depending on the number of customers. But Au Bon Lieu helps you pass the time. On every table is a small dish, filled with pieces of chalk. Guests are encouraged to doodle as they wait for the crepes.
Each of the menu items are numbered 1-95, and we were asked to write our own orders on the pad while the chef worked the grill for the other guests who were already in the queue. The number system is a little deceiving, however, as there are “only” about 50 options.
I went sweet. Julie went savory.
My sweet crepe included Belgian dark chocolate (sorry, Hershey) inside with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar on top.
While making the crepe, the chef took a large block of chocolate and pressed it on the crepe, spreading it around as it melted. He invited Julie to come over and taste a spoonful of the chocolate, and she was more than happy to indulge.
The presentation is absolutely stunning. It’s in sharp contrast to the room, which was more than a little unorganized.
Our “server,” a friend of the chef who was just helping out, thought the sweet crepe was going to Julie and had the chef put a little heart on it (a nice touch for all of the ladies). Usually, men would get the Batman symbol.
It tasted as good as it looked. The dark chocolate was thick and semi-sweet. There may be nothing better than warm, melted dark chocolate. The strawberries were fresh and sweet. It was a perfect sugary start to the morning.
Julie’s savory crepe featured mozzarella cheese inside and an egg on top (plus a piece of lettuce for garnish). She compared it to a lighter version of an egg sandwich, with the crepe replacing the bagel or English muffin.
Her crepe was a little heavier than mine, though both were enough to get us through the morning. And for the two of us, it was only $15 for two crepes and our two drinks.
For Julie and I, our yearly road trip to Hershey was a memorable one. And Au Bon Lieu was a memorable meal.
It was a sweet day, and we didn’t even visit the park.
Au Bon Lieu
110 W. Chocolate Ave
Hershey, PA 17033