July 16, 2007
Michel Bloch Back in the Saddle

What goes around...and nothing goes around quite like a crepe. Michel Bloch began to make crepes in Sacramento 28 years ago, in a trailer parked along P Street between 19th and 20th. After an absence of more than two decades, he's coming back to town.

Bloch was the subject of one of my earlier food columns for The Bee. You can see a copy of it blown up on a window of a former La Bou Cafe at 9th and K downtown. The sketch of me that ran with my columns at that time also is there. Remarkably, I haven’t changed.

Neither has Bloch. He’s still making crepes. And according to his plans, the site at 9th and K won’t be vacant for long. Late this month, or more likely in August, he is to open a crepe cafe on the premises. It will be considerably bigger than his first place, which had room for only three gas-fired creperies, a refrigerator, a telephone and Bloch and another cook. There was no counter, no stools, no tables, no booths, just two benches on a thin strip of grass on the other side of the sidewalk fronting the trailer. But it was popular, with customers lining up daily to order crepes.

Bloch's Ze Crepe trailer didn't stand still for long along P Street, and he resumed hauling it to county fairs, music festivals and the like. In the early 1980s he operated a crepe restaurant in Town & Country Village at Fulton and Marconi. For about a decade now he's owned a crepe cafe on the campus of UC Davis. He also runs the Crepe Institute, through which he trains prospective crepe entrepreneurs in the precise use of creperie and raclette.

He says he's eager to expand his crepe making because crepes again are hot and he's feeling slighted that he isn't in the middle of the action. "My ego's hurt; no one is talking about me anymore," says Bloch.

The new place will be open for breakfast and lunch only to give Bloch time to devote to his other passion, horses. He lives in Cool, El Dorado County, where he has five horses, including Monsieur Joseph, his most frequent companion in long-distance races of the American Endurance Ride Conference. They've finished as high as second in the Tevis Cup, the 100-mile ride in the Sierra.

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