Say bonjour to Melanie Streitmatter.
The native of Burgundy, France is opening a crêperie in Mt. Lebanon to give locals a taste of her homeland. Mel’s Petit Café, located at 431 Cochran Rd., will debut Oct. 20.
“Since there was nothing like this in the area, we thought it would be a great idea to open a business to share my culture,” says Streitmatter, who moved to Mt. Lebanon eight years ago with her husband and children.
The family has spent the last year transforming the 1,000-square-foot space — a former consignment shop — into an authentic French eatery. The menu will be a mix of sweet and savory crêpes and waffles, bakery items such as cakes, pies, muffins and banana bread, and coffee drinks.
Unlike a gut-busting stack of flapjacks, one of Mel’s crêpe dishes will leave you full, but still able to move after the last bite.
A staple of the French diet, crêpes are enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner or as a snack. Less than an eighth of an inch thick, the pastries — which look more like a tortilla than a pancake — are stuffed with a variety of fillings, from sugar, Nutella and jelly to ham, egg and cheese.
The savory selections, or galettes, are made with buckwheat flour, giving them a crispy exterior.
Menu selections will change based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients that Streitmatter is able to procure.
Growing up, Streitmatter followed in her grandmother’s footsteps and developed a love of baking, creating over-the-top birthday cakes for her loved ones. Her aunt taught her how to make a killer crêpe.
It’s a skill she’s excited to share with Pittsburghers, including all of the French ex-pats who call the city home.
The café will be open Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Folks can stop in for takeout or sit and relax inside. Weather permitting, there will be outdoor seating as well, giving patrons the feeling of dining at a Parisian sidewalk café.
“It’s like having a little bit of home right here,” Streitmatter says. “We are going to try and make it as authentic as possible.”