Several years ago I was in Sykesville MD, eating at one of my favorite ice cream parlors, when another customer recommended a crepe restaurant just around the corner. At the time, it was only open Sunday mornings, making it difficult to get to. It now has expanded hours and recently I was in the area when it was open. So of course I had to try them out. It was a great recommendation, as the French Twist Cafe is a delight!
The French Twist Cafe is owned by Hélène Taylor, a French woman who moved to the United States in 1986. Inspired by French bistros, she opened the cafe in 2014. It is located on Oklahoma Ave, just off the Main Street in Sykesville. The cafe is easy to find, as it has strikingly blue paint. In fact, that was how I was told to find it: “Just go around the corner, and look for the blue building.” During the summer, they are open every day from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
As I was informed, the main thing on the menu is crepes. They have eight savory crepes and a dozen sweet crepes. The savory crepes are themed around locations: the French (La Franciase), The Canadian (La Canadienne), The American (L’Américaine), etc… There is even a Maryland one (La Marylandaise) which, of course, features crab meat. The sweet crepe options include a plain crepe with sugar, one with cinnamon and sugar, a couple with chocolate syrup, and several featuring Nutella with or without fruit. Of note is the Fall crepe (Crepe d’Automne), consisting of apples topped with caramel sauce. Their non-crepe offerings are French Toast and Belgian Waffles. For drinks, they have an assortment of coffee, tea, and smoothies.
I was there for lunch so I went with a savory crepe – La Canadienne. The combination of eggs, cheese, bacon, and maple syrup appealed to me. The crepe was thick with ingredients and the mix of flavors worked well. The crepe itself was a little more toasted than I prefer, but not so much so that it did not taste like a crepe. As I had just had ice cream, I did not get a sweet crepe. But I saw many other customers order one. They looked divine! And huge! They were even bigger than my savory crepe. I anticipate that the sweet crepes are large enough for at least two people to share.
I was there on a hot summer day so I skipped the hot drinks and went for a smoothie. On the waitresses’ recommendation, I ordered the banana-strawberry. Cool and refreshing, it was perfect. The strawberries dominated the flavor. The distinctive taste of bananas was definitely there, but it was subtle.
And even though I was full from ice cream and crepes, the cookie display by the register was too much for me to resist. Warmed by the server, the chocolate chip was gooey and chuck full of chocolate. The baker did not skimp on the butter either, making the cookie very rich. But becuse there was so much chocolate, the cookie was very crumbly. So be careful when eating it. Highly recommended!
The French Twist Cafe does not have table service. Food is ordered at the counter and you are given a buzzer. At this point I grabbed a table, and got my crepe when it was ready. Alternatively, you can watch the crepes being made, just behind the counter.
The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating. All of the indoor seating is upstairs, where there is plenty of space. It looks empty, but it was not. There were several groups up there, just in different sections of the dining area. Outside, there are a handful of tables on the front porch. There is also a larger seating area in the back of the restaurant, right by the parking lot. You can also order crepes to go. Many people were people doing that, leaving plenty of free table space.
The ambience at French Twist is fantastic. It is in a beautiful old building, tastefully decorated with pictures and wooden seats. I’ve been to bistros in Europe and this feels just like them. The staff are pleasant and gave new customers helpful advice. The food came out quite quickly; I was only at my table for a minute before the buzzer activated. All in all, the French Twist Cafe is a pleasant and comforting dining experience with good food.