Timing, they say, is everything. Unfortunately, the timing for Dalibor “Dali” Blazic couldn’t have been worse. Following years of operating his successful Dali Crêpes catering business, he chose the wrong time – this spring in the midst of a pandemic – to open his first brick and mortar cafe: Dali Crêpes Cafe. The plan was to open Dali Crêpes Cafe in late April, which Dali did, but at that time was only able to sell his crêpes via curbside pickup for takeout. No one saw COVID-19 coming in late winter/early spring and his gleaming new cafe and patio sat empty, devoid of eat-in customers.
Thankfully, that has changed. Dali Crêpes is now open for business and ready to serve you complete with masked and gloved employees, lots of hand sanitizer and social distancing. Of course, you can still order crêpes for takeout, as well as to dine in. And there are lots of opportunities to do so, since Dali Crêpes Cafe is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., except on Sundays when it closes at 8 p.m. I don’t know many restaurateurs who work harder or longer hours than Dali.
There is a cool world map that sort of looks like a jigsaw puzzle made of wood on one of the walls at Dali Crêpes. Dali, who is originally from Serbia, explained to me that many countries and cultures worldwide make and eat crêpes of one sort or another – whatever they might be called – from Sudan and France to Brazil and beyond.
Dalibor Blazic emigrated to Utah in 2011. However, he missed the crêpes that his mother made twice per week saying, “I want to eat crêpes every day!” So he decided to make his own crêpes, eventually leading to his Dali Crêpes catering business. With an education in hotel and restaurant management and a culinary focus, he was well-suited to creating his own food business.
Prior to starting Dali Crêpes, Blazic worked in the kitchen of the prestigious Grand America Hotel for six years, where he honed his skills. When asked what prompted him to strike out on his own, he says “Because I stopped coming up with excuses why I couldn’t.” He adds, “Food makes people happy and I love to be part of that happiness.”
Dali’s crêpes come in a wide variety of savory and sweet flavors, including Nutella, raspberry, banana, mango, turkey-avocado, Black Forest ham, veggie, Caprese and plum with walnuts, to name a few. And, Blazic strives when possible to support other local Utah food producers and artisans using locally-made ingredients when he can.
During a Sunday lunch at Dali Crêpes Cafe we enjoyed both savory and sweet crêpes. And although my stepson managed to eat one of each on the spot, I could only muster the strength to eat half of my Black Forest Ham crêpe and took the other half as well as a dessert crêpe home for later. Crêpes might be delicate, but these ones are not tiny – a really good bang for the buck. My Black Forest crêpe was delicious: Black Forest ham slices with melted mozzarella, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and avocado mayo.
Dali offers a gluten-free option for crêpe lovers who want it. My wife absolutely loved her gluten-free Turkey Avocado crêpe, and said she’d not have known it was gluten-free from the taste. Her crêpe was roasted turkey with baby spinach, mozzarella cheese, avocado, cherry tomato and avocado mayo.
Although the menu changes frequently at Dali Crêpes, other savory options currently in rotation include a vegetarian crêpe, a Caprese, a smoked brisket crêpe, chicken Alfredo, and one called Montenegro, which is prosciutto, parmesan, arugula, fresh mozzarella, basil pesto and cherry tomatoes. He’ll also custom design crêpes with fillings to your specifications. Savory crêpes at the Cafe range from $9.85 to $14.
To be honest, I grew up thinking that all crêpes were sweet. Nope. But Dali does make memorable sweet sensations, as well as savory ones. My favorite currently is one called Strawnana, which is stuffed with strawberries and bananas, of course, along with chocolate, chopped nuts and whipped cream.
Other sweet crêpes include You’re So Nutty, Whiskey crêpe, Banana Dreams, Honey Heart, Greatest Passions, Raspberry Land, Just Nutella, and Mango Kaloka. Sweet crêpes at Dali’s run from $6.85 to $8.85.
In addition to crêpes, Dali’s offers hot and cold coffees, blended drinks, teas, sodas, and hand-crafted drinks. Dali treated us to a drink from his homeland which was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. It was sparkling elderflower with orange slices.
During these challenging times, a perfectly made crêpe from Dali Crêpes is certain to put a big smile on your face and, quite possibly, improve your outlook on things for the entire week to come. That’s how satisfying these crêpes are. And this is especially true because Dali and his team are so friendly, outgoing and helpful. There are killer crêpes in your near future and you’ll find them at Dali Crêpes.
Culinary quote of the week:
“If there’s a sexier sound on this planet than the person you’re in love with cooing over the crêpes you made for him, I don’t know what it is.” — Julie Powell
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.