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At most shopping mall food courts, you might be able to pick up a burger or a taco or, maybe, a big-ass pretzel.

But Southern Hills Mall recently added a new spot featuring made-to-order examples of France's favorite finger food.

Located next to Chick-fil-A near the Iron Hill Bar & Grill entrance, Paris Crepes began serving specialty crepes more than two weeks ago.

What's a crepe, you ask? Think of it as being a pancake spun super-skinny on a crepe maker.

Generally made with a handful of simple ingredients like flour, butter, milk and eggs, Paris Crepe owner Ali Djaroun adds a secret ingredient to his signature crepes.

"I sprinkle a bit of vanilla to give it a nice bit of sweetness," he admitted, pouring some batter onto a heated surface, swirling it so it covers the entire length of the crepe maker

Chopping off some excess with a knife, Djaroun then gives the crepe a flip in order to cook both sides of paper-thin batter. 

Paris Crepes

The trick to making a tasty crepe is making sure the batter is as thin as possible, said Paris Crepes' Ali Djaroun.

He does this for two crepes and the cooking process takes no more than a few minutes.

Djaroun then puts the cooked crepes onto a plate, adding an abundance of banana and strawberries into what appears to be doughy sandwich.

OK, here comes the magic. He then adds a delicious drizzle ofchocolate syrup, caramel syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.

"This looks pretty good, don't you think?" Djaroun asked, showing off Paris Crepes' fresh fruit crepe.

Well, if you ask us, it looks freaking amazing!

Paris Crepes

Paris Crepes' Fresh Fruit Crepe contains pieces of banana and berries on the inside. The outer layer has been drizzled with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Immediately after that, Djaroun added more crepe batter and spread it think with a tiny spatula.

"You probably know what a sweet crepe tastes like," he said. "Now, I'll make a savory one."

True to his word, Djaroun added oven-roasted chicken, a bunch of veggies and a spicy sauce into a crepe that was rolled into the shape of burrito.

"This is today's daily special," he said. "It tastes very good."

Paris Crepes

A Roast Chicken Crepe at Paris Crepes at Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City.

We concur completely. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Djaroun is able to make sweet crepes filled with a variety of fruits, chocolate, Nutella, you name it. Plus he has savory crepes that featuring such nontraditional crepe flavoring as pizza.

Wait, a pizza crepe? 

"It's very good," Djaroun said.

We'll take his word on it. Plus we'll also take the word of Mary Dahlin, a certified dietitian who also happens to be Paris Crepe's best customer.

"I walk at the mall and will order a different crepe every day," Dahlin, a South Sioux City woman, explained. "I don't feel guilty eating crepes because they represent a much healthier option than usual fast food."

It also helps that Djaroun happens to be quite expert when it comes to making crepes.

Paris Crepes

Paris Crepes' Ali Djaroun makes a Roast Chicken Crepe at the Southern Hills Mall's Food Court. Paris Crepe is located next to Chick-Fil-A by the Iron Hill Bar & Grill entrance.

"I'm originally from Algeria where crepes are a very common food," he said. "You can do many things with a crepe." 

So, how did an Algerian man find his way to Sioux City? You can thank Facebook for that. 

"I met my wife on Facebook and she lived in Sioux City," Djaroun said. "I came here to be with her as well as for business reasons."

While business hasn't been booming at Paris Crepes, he admits he's been getting outstanding word of mouth.

"People tell me that they didn't expect to find a crepe place at the mall," Djaroun said. "I like giving them something completely unexpected."


Food and Lifestyles reporter

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