Want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, enjoy a soothing beverage and satisfy your taste buds with an experience you will find nowhere else?
No, you don’t have to go to France to enjoy crepes the way they should be made. Schastea, the friendly, minimalist tearoom and creperie, invites you to experience its warm and fuzzy atmosphere in Pawtuxet Village.
Tony and Olga Perez recently changed the name of the popular hideaway from Elephant Room to Schastea, which translates as “Happiness.” They have also opened a second location on Providence’s West End.
“We follow the ‘less is more’ philosophy,” Tony said, as we sat on a comfortable couch on the second level, with soft, cool jazz playing in the background. We were mesmerized by a large painting of a rope bridge in a misty forest hanging on the wall. Right away, we felt relaxed.
We had enjoyed afternoon tea and crepes with berries on a previous visit and weren’t sure whether to visit Schastea for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
“It doesn’t matter,” Tony assured us. “Crepes are good any time.”
With so many choices, we needed some guidance at our noontime visit. There are 16 crepes listed under the Savory menu and 14 under Sweet, plus many daily specials. Savory crepes range from $8-$12, while sweet listings go from $6.50-$9.
I chose the Ranchero ($10), a large crepe filled with black beans, chorizo and cheese, topped with two sunnyside fried eggs and a savory salsa. I was amazed at the large portion and enjoyed every bite.
Joyce chose the Fig and Prosciutto ($11), a colorful and succulent crepe covered with fresh mixed greens, walnuts, goat cheese, raisins and, of course, figs and prosciutto, enhanced by a vinaigrette dressing. She raved about her choice and vowed to have it again.
For dessert, we chose the Dark Rum Chocolate Canache ($9), with raspberries inside a Mexican chocolate crepe, vowing to return for the Yogurt and Mixed Berry.
Jamaican pastries and other freshly baked items are also available. They even have tea-flavored ice cream.
Schastea has a large selection of wines and liquors, but we are in a “Tea Room” and Joyce wanted to try one of the 50-plus varieties of teas from all over the world. She chose a green tea, served elegantly in a double glass, complete with a timer for best brewing and a pinch of ginger on the side. I chose one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
Schastea sells teapots and cups and some beautifully crafted paraphernalia, which is very popular with customers who buy their teas in bulk.
It is fun to watch the staff creating the crepes on special machines and adding fillings and toppings with the skills of an artist.
Perez works with Dorcas International in providing training and employment for refugees.
Schastea is open Sunday and Monday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the rest of the week 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. You won’t find a friendlier and more relaxing place.