After seeing the unexpected Twitter good news, I did hustle from the building. Down the road, barely noticing the traffic, into Rosslyn, barely noticing the crowds, under the pedestrian bridges, past District Taco (another week), and straight to the yellow box at the end of the block.
Twice this week, I’d sought Choupi without luck. But now it was back.
The man inside the box is Sabri Uzun, apparently the Willard’s former pastry chef. He’s friendly, and we work through how many crepes I’ll eat. How big are they? They are big, nearly medium pizza-sized. How many do most people order? Well, one. Could a person eat two? Yes, sometimes. I order two. As Uzun moves in the box, it moves with him.
He pours the batter for the first, a spinach and feta, with ingredients appearing from compartments around his head and his feet. Then he moves onto a dessert crepe of Nutella, banana and almond. The full process takes about five minutes, and he folds them with paper into good cone shapes. They go into a paper bag with napkins. $10 total.
I try to explain to Uzun what coming to his cart means to me… sitting at the light day after day, watching the walkers stop at the cart, being unable to time a race from car to cart, first for ordering and then pick-up (and remember the crepe dream?). so crepe close and yet so crepe far. Traffic’s noisy and there’s a language gap, but I think he gets me.
I walk to Temporary Plaza, where I’ve found myself repeatedly on my week off, in my temporary plaza-like status. I bite into the spinach and feta as the paper cone gets hot in my hands, and all the work — in my weeks off, chasing an elusive food cart counts as work — is worth it.
The pastry is filled, and before the sun tops the Rosslyn high-rises, the temperature in the shade gives the right home to the flavor engine at work. Feta’s about to fall from one end and spinach from another spot, but it’s impossible to lose either. Every bite down, into the wrap, leads into the next bite. Something has been captured here. Now it’s yours.