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18 Catt. 2: In re Choupi

2013 March 13

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

One morning I was running very late to the courthouse.  Broken alarm clock. Mismatched socks hiding under my long black robe. No breakfast. How I wished I had in my employ a chef named Fritz Brenner who could make me eggs au beurre noir, broiled Georgia ham, and hashed brown potatoes! See REX STOUT, OVER MY DEAD BODY (1940). But it was not so. As I rushed through the streets to the courthouse—stomach at full growl—I stopped suddenly when I spotted a little yellow food cart at the end of the block. A food cart serving breakfast? Yes, please.

The food cart was Choupi, and it was not the first time that I had seen the crêpe* cart. The Chief Justice and I shared a nutella-banana-walnut crêpe last fall when a full docket had us in need of an afternoon dessert. I asked then, “[W]hy would you eat a savory crepe when you could indulge in a sweet crepe?” See In re Choupi, 12 Catt. 3 (2012). I now know that the answer lies in breakfast.



Not wishing to subject my stomach to an overly sugary meal so early in the morning, I focused on Choupi’s savory offerings. The menu includes a variety of meat, vegetable, and cheese options. It even has eggs. All crêpes start at $3.50, and each topping is 50 cents. I opted for a classic flavor combination and ordered ham, mushroom, and cheese. (The combination is such a classic that it appears on a list of “Choupi’s Favorites,” though as a lunch item.)

Before I go any further, I must address the issue of “street food.” Because crêpes are street food, defined as “the kind[] of food[] that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up,” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011), the savory crêpe before me today is entitled to the presumption of affirmance. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012) (explaining the presumption in favor of street food); In re Choupi, 12 Catt. 3 (2012) (holding that crêpes are street food). Therefore, I must affirm the ham-mushroom-cheese crêpe unless I can show a severe flaw with the dish. I cannot.

Ham, mushroom, and cheese crêpe

Ham, mushroom, and cheese crêpe

Just like my first dining experience with Choupi, my crêpe pancake was prepared on the griddle by an expert hand. It was light and thin and soft, though it was not as flaky on the outside as the first time. I would recommend indicating your preference for a crispier crêpe if you indeed do prefer a crispier crêpe.

The ham-mushroom-cheese filling was warm and tasty. The ham added some saltiness, the mushroom slices were fresh, and the cheese held everything together nicely. I remember wanting more cheese as I chomped away on the crêpe, but that was just me in my ravenous state trying to turn a beautiful thin crêpe into an oozy grilled cheese sandwich or a cheesy quesadilla.

Although I still prefer sweet crêpes, I recognize that savory crêpes have their place in this world. And that place is at 8am when one needs breakfast before going to work. Choupi–one of the very few food carts/trucks in the area that serves breakfast–opens at 7:30am, Monday through Friday. Find it on North Lynn St. near the Rosslyn metro, and then be sure to return later for a sweet crêpe in the afternoon.

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

*Throughout this opinion I use “crêpe” instead of “crepe” to please the Chief Justice, who I’m sure is mad at me for being late to the courthouse and for eating a crêpe without him. For the Chief Justice’s feelings on the use of “crepe”, see In re Choupi, 12 Catt. 3 (2012) (Jeremy, C.J., dissenting).

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