Craft Crepes at Gabino’s Creperie

A Little Taste of Heaven

By Kevin Perry

Every great meal is a discovery. It begins with an unexpected jolt of flavor, escalates into a thoroughly nourishing experience, and doubles back to complete the circle of gratification. In many ways, the versatile fold of a crepe is a microcosm for everything wonderful about gastronomy.

It just requires a little getting used to, as Gabino’s Creperie owner Marcel Ramirez will attest.

“When people ask me like, ‘What is it?’ I say, ‘Just think of a French burrito.’ That opens it up a little bit where it’s like, ‘Okay, you know what? I’m going to come check this out. What the hell is a French burrito?’”

Marcel’s playful preview emulates the circuitous shape of his signature dish. After circumnavigating the globe, he has brought his favorite tastes back to our beloved hometown. “I was born and raised in Palm Springs,” narrates Ramirez. “I lived a couple years in New Jersey in a little town called New Brunswick. Then I also spent some time in South America. I lived out there in Santiago, Chile. Then my last one was in San Francisco. Finally, I decided, all right, it’s time to go back home, you know?”

And we welcome him with open arms and eager palates. Upon Marcel’s triumphant return to Palm Springs, he immediately began blending a bouillabaisse of concepts and comfort food. “I grew up in a South American home,” Ramirez recounts. “I could remember my dad, as early as I could remember, making us crepes on the weekends. That was always like, whenever we had friends stay over or family, cousins, or anything, they would all look forward to crepes in the morning. That was always a very normal thing in our household.”

Marcel’s fascination with folded foods followed him into adulthood. “It wasn’t until I lived in San Francisco that I started to grow a passion for it,” he assesses. “I wanted to know more and get into the whole crepe thing. There was a really cool crepe shop that my wife and I would go to on Sundays and I would always just be stuck watching them make it and the different ingredients that they would use and whatnot.”

The obsession transformed into a vocation when Ramirez finally opened shop in Palm Springs. “We started as a catering business,” he explains. “The sky was the limit to what we were able to create and make. Our biggest hit was, and is still to this day, is the cheese steak. It’s made with rib eye. We have our Cheez Whiz that goes in there. We put our house chimichurri and grilled onions and peppers. That’s our biggest hit. We don’t have that on the menu at all times. We’ll randomly throw that out there. If you don’t order online quick enough, then we sell out pretty quick.”

Marcel specializes in yum-on-demand, crafting culinary concoctions that are truly unique. “Our crepes are not like any other crepe you would have anywhere in the world, to be honest with you. We were just in Europe, in Barcelona, and in Ireland and obviously, since we have our own crepe shop, we like to check out other crepe shops all around wherever we travel.”

The verdict: Ramirez can confidently match his menu items against the global competition. “They’re not that soft, bland, crepe. This is something that is handheld that has a really interesting, I would say consistency. It’s different. It has a crunch, but it still has a little bit of that gooey, that soft touch into it.”

But if you immediately think sweet when you hear the word creperie, then think again. “At our shop, we are only savory crepes,” Marcel declares. “We don’t serve sweet dessert crepes. It’s a challenge to try to get people to understand that crepes can be savory… Our biggest challenge is to get people to our window and once they do, they’re family.”

The take-out mastery of Gabino’s refines the genre of gourmet-on-the-go. “We are only a walk-up window service. We don’t have indoor dining. It’s just a window in a back alley.” And yet, Ramirez has built a portal powerful enough to bolster a sense of belonging in a socially-distanced era.

“Community to us is everything,” gushes Marcel. “We love people. We love everybody. It doesn’t matter nationality, ethnicity, religion, we are open to everybody.”

Despite his hectic schedule, Ramirez makes time for what matters. “We try to be involved in community as much as we can. Business is business, but community to us goes before that. We are open arms. We’re all about it. I feel like Palm Springs has a really open community.”

Simmering in a robust wave of nostalgia, Marcel concludes, “It’s a beautiful town honestly. I didn’t appreciate it as much when I was younger.”

And he has done it again: Ramirez deftly folds his life story into a perfect loop, rectifying his past with his present. We can’t wait to taste what the future holds.

Gabinos Creperie
170 E Palm Canyon Drive

More From Eat & Drink

View All Posts

We’re Big on Locally Owned

Our Locals Support Locals In Palm Springs, we are proud of the many locally owned…

Read More

Restaurants offering To Go, Curbside or Delivery

Restaurants in Palm Springs are open.  The following list includes those offering to-do, curbside or…

Read More

What’s Open and What’s Not

Revised: December 16, 2020 A stay-at-home order is in effect through December 27. Keeping Everyone…

Read More