Just west of Albuquerque’s intellectual bellybutton—that would be the 400 block of Downtown Central, obviously—The Market @ 610 opened in November. It’s the sort of flea-market-style mall you find east of Nob Hill’s summit. The large space is about half-full of independent contractors hawking everything from incense sticks to furniture.
Crepes, for their simplicity, offer nearly limitless possibilities. Raven has two batters, and dozens of sweet and savory sauces and fillings. His operation is so elemental that it could probably fit on a bicycle-drawn cart, and it makes his closet-sized kitchen seem roomy in comparison. Raven learned about crepes in Paris a few years back while helping his parents set up a string of Tex-Mex restaurants there.
You’ll see a man standing behind a waist-high counter, looking a bit like a casino blackjack dealer. That’s Christopher Raven, the chef and owner of Crêpe Central. Before him are two crepe griddles.
For dessert, I chose a gluten-free buckwheat batter, filled with banana slices and maple syrup and drizzled with a house-invented apple cider vinegar reduction. The buckwheat pancake had more flavor and fiber than the wheat, and the body was less silky. And then it too was gone. Together, the crepes set me back $11 (cash-only), and they kept me full for a good while.
Business on the whole has not been brisk, he told me. He’s counting on vendors to bring in traffic. Here’s hoping his lighter-than-air béchamel sauce can keep the fledgling market afloat.