Riddle me this Baristaville: What tiny eatery, somewhat dark, partially obscured by trees, about thirty feet from a Decamp bus stop, directly across the street from a gas station, and with virtually no advertising, has successfully managed to serve Baristaville patrons three meals a day, on Styrofoam plates and with plastic cutlery for twenty years and counting? If you’ve guessed Bon Jour Montclair Café and Creperie, at 254 Park Street, you’re correct. And if you’re a regular patron, well then, you’re a prize winner.
Back when I was still new to Baristaville, I was walking through Watchung Plaza with my husband, who had lived in Baristaville since 1988. I noticed a brown awning above a little space with a flashing coffee sign. Apparently, my husband had never been there, so we decided to walk in. Just as quickly, we walked out. We thought it too small, perhaps a bit dark, and, moreover, there was no seating available outside. The next time we walked by, there were a few seats available outside. So, we sat down, I ordered a fresh fruit crepe.
When I my crepe arrived, I picked up my plastic fork and knife and cut into my warm crepe. When my plastic knife revealed the contents of my crepe, I couldn’t be any happier. The crepe was bursting with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples and bananas.
The rest, as they say, was history. Bonjour quickly became my favorite, 3 xs’s a week, B’ville haunt. The affection for Bonjour has spread though my family, to my children, and even onto my seventy-six year old Czechoslovakian grandmother, who upon nearly every visit to Baristaville, does not want dinner at CulinArine, or my beloved Osteria Giotto. She wants a Banana, Pecan, and Caramel Crepe from Bonjour.
Bon Jour serves up many a luscious sweet crepe, including the delectable Suzette, or a divine crepe filled with sautéed pineapple and bananas. But it’s not all caramel, Nutella and chocolate at Bonjour. The savory crepes are also not to be neglected. Perhaps a goat cheese, tomato and basil crepe, or a meaty variety, filled with steak, Portobello and Swiss, or even a crepe complete with shrimp with spinach, garlic and pine nuts. Want to see how it's done, watch the video.
But Bonjour doesn’t stop at crepes, they also create more than twenty kinds of sandwiches, served on baguettes, with a side of mesclun salad. If you want to keep it a little lighter, salads at Bonjour overflow the plates, and are topped with avocados, asparagus, and artichoke hearts. Bonjour’s soups, are made fresh daily, and if it were not 90 degrees in the shade, I be having a cup of Apple Carrot Soup right now. The salads and soups are served with a huge wedge bread.
Bonjour serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open Monday through Saturday 8a.m. to 9:30p.m and Sunday 8a.m. to 8p.m. A word of caution: CASH ONLY!