Wraps & Crepes does wraps right - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
article photo
This uttapa wrap at Wraps & Crepes has a generous layer of chicken cooked in a tomato sauce with creamy goat cheese and spinach. With the crepe is a mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink. The restaurant has six varieties of wraps and 15 of crepes.(CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD)
article photo
The samosas are crispy pastries that come with a variety of vegetable- and spice-laden chutneys. The restaurant is owner Rajesh Kotha’s second in Omaha.


DINING REVIEW

Wraps & Crepes does wraps right
By Casey Logan
WORLD-HERALD Correspondent


I have a fundamental issue with approximately 90 percent of the wraps in circulation.

For too long, these tortilla-rolled lunchables have been passed off as convenient, self-contained, even healthy alternatives to sandwiches. I disagree.

WRAPS & CREPES

617A N. 114th St.

402-505-4488

Hours:11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Prices: Dosa choices range from $5.99 to $8.99 and can be changed to a thicker, pancake-like uttapa for an additional $1. Wraps range from $7.99 to $8.99. An order of Samosas (2) is $2.99. In addition to fountain soda and bottled water, Wraps and Crepes also offers Mango Lassis ($2.49) and Chikku Smoothies ($2.49).

TIDBITS


Bring the little ones: It's not a huge selection, but Wraps & Crepes does offer three “kids menu” options (two dosas and a wrap) without spices.
Owner Rajesh Kotha says he plans to expand his restaurant's menu of housemade drinks. In addition to fountain soda and some bottled water and sodas, Wraps & Crepes currently offers Mango Lassis and Chikku Smoothies, made fresh daily.

But Wraps & Crepes, just north of 114th Street and West Dodge Road, tested my preconceived notions.

My main problem with wraps is ingredient distribution. Too often, a wrap is prepared just like a sandwich, with stacked fillings. It's then rolled into a deceptively neat-looking cylinder that loses its structural integrity the moment you start eating. A good third of all wrap bites yield nothing more than tortilla and lettuce.

Wraps & Crepes avoids this problem. Specializing in Southern Indian food, this isn't your typical deli-meat-and-cheese joint. Instead, imagine a traditional Indian dish packaged into a wrap.

The restaurant is owner Rajesh Kotha's second in Omaha. He has operated Kurry Xpress near 108th and Q Streets with his business partner since 2010.

The work they've put into designing the new space, formerly a pharmacy, is obvious. The interior of Wraps & Crepes is bright, fresh and clean, though it also feels a little bit like walking into a beachside juice shop. The tables shine with science-fiction-level white tops, and a wide strip of mint-green paint lines the walls.

The presence of two flat-screen televisions did little for the atmosphere. Fortunately, the volume was turned down. Unfortunately, the sound was replaced with the notably strange choice of American club music, piped in through the restaurant's speakers. (If you've ever wondered why Indian restaurants don't play more Usher, this is your spot.)

When a couple of friends and I arrived for an early dinner, only one table was occupied, but business quickly picked up. Diners order at a counter, though sometimes the restaurant offers table service.

The Wraps & Crepes menu is divided into two main categories. Wraps come in six options, each served in a freshly made whole wheat roti, an Indian flatbread. Choices include yogurt-marinated chicken, curried chicken, malai (cream-marinated) chicken, curried lamb, cheesy paneer or spiced mashed potatoes. Diners pick from a variety of veggies and dressings to complete the wrap.

MORE FOOD REVIEWS

Crepes come in 15 options and can be ordered either as a thin, crispy dosa or (for an additional $1) as a thicker, pancake-like uttapa. The dosa is prepared by spreading a thin layer of rice flour-based batter across a hot griddle.

Facing down my deep-seated issues, I ordered the Chutney Ritto wrap with curried lamb. It arrived cut in half and easily could have been two meals.

A rich, flavorful and slightly smoky tomato-based sauce worked well with the lamb and mixed greens. What the menu generically listed as "grilled vegetables" turned out to be almost exclusively peppers, which made for a hotter wrap than I was expecting, but the heat wasn't overwhelming.

I traded half of my wrap with a dining companion, who'd ordered the Continental Crave wrap with cheesy paneer, a soft but hearty Indian curd cheese texturally similar to tofu. The paneer dominated the wrap in a good way, with mixed greens, romaine lettuce and cucumber giving it a freshness that felt healthier than my wrap. It couldn't match the taste, though. Both of us kept turning to the curried lamb wrap. By the end, I was digging into mine with a knife and fork.


Our other dining partner went simple with an order of vegetable samosas that we all picked apart.

I enjoyed everything I tasted, including one of the restaurant's mango lassis (a thick, yogurt-based fruit drink made fresh each day), but the samosas were the highlight. A triangular pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas and then deep-fried, they were just the right texture: crispy with a bit of a kick that suggested cumin and cayenne.


At just $2.99 for two, they're the cheapest thing on the menu.

Did I become a wrap convert? Close. I ate a wrap. I enjoyed a wrap. I can even say I'd recommend a wrap, especially for vegetarians who'll find decent options. But I wouldn't necessarily go back for a wrap.

I would, however, fly back for a dosa.

A Southern Indian staple, dosas are, in theory, similar to wraps. But with the dosa, the crepe itself is part of the experience.

On my second visit, I took the server's suggestion and ordered the No. 13 dosa: chicken cooked in a tomato sauce with creamy goat cheese and spinach. Served in a light sourdough crepe made from rice flour, it was huge, about as long as my forearm and twice as much as I needed (I took the other half home to my wife.)

It was delicious. If I had to quibble, I'd say the chicken was slightly dry, but nothing a dab more of sauce couldn't fix.

My dining companion ordered the Chutney Ritto wrap, but this time with curried chicken, and it was no less spicy than on the previous trip. Again, we split an order of samosas, this time to try the variety of vegetable- and spice-laden chutneys. The most unusual (and requested): an avocado chutney that tasted like a thin, somewhat zesty guacamole.

Despite my preference for the dosas, owner Kotha told me in an interview later that wraps were his restaurant's most popular selection. Part of that might be familiarity. His Indian diners, he said, usually opt for the dosas.

Judging from my two visits, the consistency at Wraps & Crepes will be rewarded with repeat visits, especially with the heavy lunch traffic around the Miracle Hills and Old Mill districts. Hopefully more customers will discover those delicious dosas.

The wraps worked on this skeptic, but when it came down to it, I still preferred the alternative.

Casey Logan is the communications coordinator at Film Streams, Omaha's art house theater in north downtown Omaha.

Contact the writer: Casey Logan

casey.logan@owh.com    |   402-444-1056    |  

Casey's a GA features reporter looking for good stories to tell about interesting people.


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

This is the 1 beer you should drink when in Nebraska, says AOL
This is the 1 beer you should drink when in Nebraska, says AOL

To celebrate National Beer Day, AOL Travel and MapQuest compiled a list of the 50 places to drink local brews in 50 states.


Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.


Nebraska's best bloody Mary is in a city that's not Omaha or Lincoln
Nebraska's best bloody Mary is in a city that's not Omaha or Lincoln

From the department of statewide food contests ...


Hanging out with the Omaha Rollergirls before a big match
Hanging out with the Omaha Rollergirls before a big match

When was the last time you took in some live, rough and rowdy female roller derby? Yeah, I figured it’s been awhile.


Midtown bar will open in new location Friday
Midtown bar will open in new location Friday

Midtown's Sullivan's Bar is set to open in its new location on Friday.


UNL students make dancing robot drones
UNL students make dancing robot drones

The idea is to converge disciplines without literally colliding on stage


For two full weeks, Omaha venues will overflow with indie rock shows
For two full weeks, Omaha venues will overflow with indie rock shows

Gather your tickets, call in late to work, and get yourself to the club. For the next couple of weeks, a surprising number of awesome indie rock shows hit Omaha venues. We're already wondering how we're gonna get enough sleep.


Dining notes: More Easter dining specials
Dining notes: More Easter dining specials

Two Midtown Crossing restaurants have Easter specials.


Nightlife notes: Storz beer is being served again
Nightlife notes: Storz beer is being served again

Storz Triumph Lager is back on the market after a brief hiatus.


The 15 best Record Store Day releases for 2014
The 15 best Record Store Day releases for 2014

On Saturday, more than 500 exclusive vinyl (and some CD and cassette) releases will hit the shelves at your favorite independent record stores for Record Store Day.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved