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Crepes salees are very thin, lightly salted buckwheat packets, folded around some of the most seductive stuffings imaginable. We ascend the French Alps, packing in fresh spinach, Swiss, béchamel sauce and nutmeg. We know the way to St. Tropez, stocked with tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic and herbs du Provence. And the Forest crepe marries fresh mushrooms in a white wine sauce with plenty of cream, garlic and herbs. The Normandie crepe is a sweet invasion of warm apple slices, caramelized with cinnamon, while the French Riviera crepe is an orgy of homemade light custard crème and fruits.
Frankly, though, all that cooking jive is way too much work. So we're thrilled that the folks at Scott's Generations do it for us -- and better than anyone else. No dried-out meat here -- this carved bounty is juicy even without gravy. No fat, either (we hate blubber on our brisket), just lean, carefully trimmed slabs -- and no extra charge for extra lean here, by the way, as if a better cut could be found. We like to build our brisket into a sandwich, stacked a full eight ounces, served on a fresh-baked onion roll alongside coleslaw and pickle spears. It's a brisket worthy of bravo.
This doesn't mean you should pass on dessert, of course; finish up with flaky quesitos, buttery puff pastry ribboned with sweetened cream cheese; or tembleque, a cinnamon-coconut pudding. Other showstoppers include pastelito guayaba (guava turnover), dreamy-creamy cheese flan, and fluffy tres leches cake.
For stunning Puerto Rican taste treats, K-Rico is A-OK.
These bites are bargain-priced already, most around $4. Which is good, because we order a lot: tortilla Espaol (potato pie with tomato sherry sauce), zesty black bean fritters with Calypso avocado dip, a gorgeous tamal Cubano stuffed with corn, pork and sofrito seasoning, and chicken empanaditas with mushrooms, peppers and onions. We're also smitten with shrimp pancakes, escabeche (tuna pickled in savory Spanish olive oil, cider vinegar with sweet peppers and pimento-stuffed olives), and papa rellena, a potato croquette stuffed with picadillo and topped with tangy cilantro sauce.
But it's the little extras that keep us coming back. The Muse offers freshly baked pastries and muffins (try the Morning Glory) as well as salads, bagels, sandwiches -- even milk shakes. The decor (photography by local artists, sponge-painted walls) is crunchy without being too hippie-dippy, as is the clientele. A favorite feature: a calendar of events for almost every evening, including what must be a unique Valley offering: Lesbian Scrabble on Tuesday nights.
With laptop plug-ins, we certainly know where to go to find our muse -- and a good latte, besides.