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The Bonté Crêperie & Café fruit crepe with strawberries, bananas and Nutella is topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar. (Katie Price / Special to the American Press)<br>

The Bonté Crêperie & Café fruit crepe with strawberries, bananas and Nutella is topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar. (Katie Price / Special to the American Press)

The cafe is located inside Gigi’s Downtown at 709 Ryan St. (Katie Price / Special to the American Press)<br>

The cafe is located inside Gigi’s Downtown at 709 Ryan St. (Katie Price / Special to the American Press)

Downtown eatery offers something different for Lake Area

Last Modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 9:53 AM

By Donna Price / American Press

When I first heard about Bonté Crêperie & Café, located inside Gigi’s Downtown, at 709 Ryan St., I wasn’t sure if I wanted to eat there.

I assumed it would be a little awkward to be eating food and consuming calories alongside sweaty, buff people who are working out at a fitness center.

I gave it a try anyway when my daughter, Katie, home from college on spring break, wanted to check it out, and I’m glad I did. A friend of hers had told her the crepes were really good and that she ate there often.

So at noon one day last week, we walked through the doors of Gigi’s Downtown, stepped to the right and we were there.

Owner Rebecca Breaux Turner welcomed us and told us a little about the cafe’s fare. If you are a starving, red-meat-consuming diner looking for an all-you-can eat buffet, Bonté Crêperie & Café is not for you.

If, however, you are looking for a light, healthful meal or snack, the kind you don’t mind eating while fitness club members walk by, this place would fit the bill. Turner serves up salads, parfaits, smoothies and crepes filled with fresh fruits or vegetables.

Fresh is the key word here. Ninety-five percent of the ingredients the cafe uses are produced within 170 miles of Lake Charles, and the crepes are made fresh every day.

We took a seat by the front window at a rustic table made from a large wooden spool.

On the day we went, Turner was in the process of reworking the menu, so she told us what was available. Katie and I each ordered a fruit crepe with strawberries, bananas and Nutella for $5.75 each.

The fruit crepe we ordered turned out to be more of a dessert than a lunch, but I was fine with that. Who doesn’t like dessert? When it arrived on the table I was impressed by just how beautiful it was and how artistically it was presented. The fruit had a kind of glaze on it and was wrapped in a Hungarian crepe, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

The crepes were served on handmade pottery plates made by local potter Rex Alexander. They were almost too pretty to eat, but we got past that, ate the crepes and both agreed they were awesome.

I drank water with my crepe, but Katie wanted to try one of the fruit drinks for $4.50. She couldn’t make up her mind about which fruit drink to get.

“Just surprise me,” she told Turner.

What arrived was what Turner calls a “red and green drink” made from fresh red and green apples with a dash of carrot. Katie said it was excellent.

When Turner, who got married April 6, opened the restaurant last year, she said she thought it would offer a type of eating experience that wasn’t available in Lake Charles. She has traveled extensively, living for a while in Europe and even spending a year backpacking across Australia and New Zealand.

Because the cafe is located in a fitness center, she does not cook hot food there, as the smell of hot food cooking doesn’t go well with the fitness center ambiance. Plans were in the works for a relocation where more cooking could be done, but for the time being the cafe will remain at its current location.

Turner’s masterpiece, her “baby,” is a ruby-red drink she calls Bonté, which she said means goodness in French. The cafe gets its name from this drink. It’s a lacto-fermented, naturally carbonated probiotic soft drink she makes with filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, fruit juice or tea, and kefir grains or whey. She gave us each a sample of it to try. It is a fruity, almost wine-like-tasting drink with a decided kick.

The drink is available at the cafe, and Turner also sells it every Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Cash & Carry Farmers’ Market at 801 Enterprise Blvd.

Soon, Turner’s signature product will be available to an even wider audience. The people at Whole Foods Market approached her about carrying it in their stores, and it will be on their shelves in the near future.

My trip to Bonté Crêperie & Café was delightful and well worth it. My favorite part was tasting the awesome signature Bonté drink. It definitely was goodness in a cup.

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