By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- The Joy of Eating in Vero Beach isn't just a place to go and chow down, it's a respite from consuming the same old menu items day in and day out.
The petite new shop in Three Avenues Plaza carries coffee, ice cream, cookies, smoothies and pie, but specializes in a unique menu item, French crepes.
From the ordering counter, customers can watch as shop owner and Chef Ned Nichols carefully pours a thin layer batter onto a circular griddle to start creating their chosen dish from scratch.
At the Joy of Eating, there are countless crepe combinations and crepes can be either sweet or savory, and a choice of cheese, veggies, protein, fruit or other sweets for fillings.
Once cooked, the delicate crepe is stuffed with the chosen fillings and folded over into a neat rectangle, served onto a plate and ready for consumption. A side salad or chips can also be added to the order for a well-rounded plate, although the crepe alone is plenty of food.
On the savory side, the combination of spinach and roast turkey with a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese is absolutely scrumptious.
The thin layers of the crepe allow great tasting fillings to be highlighted, not hidden inside bread and sometimes forgotten like a traditional sandwich.
For those with a sweet tooth, the mouthwatering fruity and sweet fillings nestled inside the almond and vanilla flavored sweet crepes are the perfect choice.
Customers can choose their favorite filling combinations from menu, which includes bananas, strawberries, blueberries, toasted coconut, peanut butter, candied walnuts and more.
One simply irresistible combination is Nutella with strawberry and blueberries. Each filling compliments the other; the best way to describe the decadent union is "mmmmmmmmm."
Liquid meals, otherwise known as smoothies, are popular among people who want a healthy boost of energy during the midafternoon.
Hale's Groves juices, fresh produce, including seasonal berries, peaches, kale and spinach are just a few of the items available to combine into the perfect smoothie.
Mr. Nichols has been in the food industry in Vero Beach and in other parts of the U.S. for some time. He was involved in starting the Red Onion Eatery in Vero Beach, and most recently helped develop the café in McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach.
He and his wife, Shaivite, have enjoyed being creative with the décor of the small eatery, which is a modern interpretation of an old fashioned-ice cream parlor. The walls are chalkboards and in certain places, customers can add their own pictures and comments about their dining experience.
By bringing something a little different to the table and sprinkling a little creativity on top, the Nichols have created a winner in The Joy of Eating, and it won't be long before the place is constantly packed.
The company's slogan is "food is our passion, eating is our joy." One thing is certain, the new creperie is definitely one of Vero Beach's top new joys. Business hours are Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.
The Joy of Eating is located in Three Avenues Plaza at 2091 Indian River Blvd., Vero Beach. For more information, call (772) 492-3460 or visit them on Facebook.