Food Cart Pioneer: Fold Crêperie 2003-2006 2017-09-24T20:37:08+00:00


Contemporary cultural values, that emerged under the sign of industrial civilization, have become guiding principles for living around the world. Speed has become our test of virtue and the Fast Life has trapped us all in its spin throwing our habits into confusion, assailing us at home and forcing us to eat Fast Foods. However, we can choose to regain wisdom and free ourselves from the speed that threatens our sanity. We can choose to defend quiet material pleasure over the universal problem of the Fast Life. Against those who are much more numerous, who mistake frenzy for efficiency, we propose a vaccine of proper sensual pleasure practiced with slow and lasting delight. We begin right at the lunch table with the savoring of Slow Food rather than the gulping of Fast Food. We believe that true culture is present in our taste’s development and not in its diversion. Come in and stay awhile: enjoy our commitment to the Slow Life. ~paraphrased, by Krista, from


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Country Home, Summer 2006:

Weekend Away: David and Krista Arias have created a place that captures the neighborhood’s indie spirit: A cafe/gallery/small press that serves yummy crepes from an old Streamline trailer out back. Open weekends, last Thursdays, and for special events, such as film screenings and poetry readings. Original Article not available online

Sunset Magazine, Summer 2005

Art on Portland’s Alberta Street: Fold Crêperie, WHAT: Sweet and savory crêpes served from a Streamline trailer parked behind a historic house. WHEN: Brunch Sat-Sun; also open Last Thursday Art Walk evenings. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 2921 N.E. Alberta St.; 503/750-1415. Read More

The Oregonian, Karen Brooks, April 2005:

Fold Crêperie: From an old Streamline Trailer parked behind La-Palabra Café-Press come some astounding Slow Foodist crêpes folded with things like mango and mint, wild salmon or a faint-worthy combo of Nutella and homemade coconut brittle. Everything is personalized – superb Turkish coffee touched by cardamom; magnificent cocoa with cayenne and lime. There’s a magic here, easily found at an outdoor table next to a little speaker sending out inspired music or at an old desk set with tractor seats inside the tiny cafe, a personalized salon of recycled objects. Original article not available online

Bon Appetit, Nancy Rommelmann, April 2005

Fold Crêperie was written up in Bon Appetit with the likes of Lauro Kitchen, Clarke Lewis, Lovely Hula Hands and Naomi Pomeroy’s Family Supper in Food writer Nancy Rommelmann’s excursion to the emerging culinary culture of Portland’ East side in the early-ish days of its renaissance. Here is what she had to say about Fold:

“…An equally personal experience awaits at Fold Crêperie, a Streamline trailer-slash-kitchen. “It’s like performance art,” says chef-owner Krista Arias, pouring crêpe batter to a soundtrack of French music. The results of her handiwork are both savory and sweet – ham and cheese with créme fraîsche and pepper; honey and jasmine ice cream. Brunchers also get food for thought, since Fold doubles as an arts collaborative. That crêpe and fresh fruit smoothie just might come with a poem or photo exhibit gratis.” Original article not available online

Oregon Humanities, Spring 2005

A Journal of Ideas and Perspectives, Meg Daly:

The Cereal Box Review mission statement – “Because you are what you read” – could not be more apt for a literary journal in the form of a cardboard container. The review’s goal is to give readers something more compelling than fiber content to think about during breakfast. Just fold the journal in to the shape of a cereal box, tape a few flaps together, insert a bag of your favorite granola or corn flakes, and you’re ready to take part in what Krista Arias calls “cereal eating sacrament.”

Arias is the founder of Fold Crêperie, Salon and Small Press, a 2-year-old media arts center in Northeast Portland. Fold consist of a cafe space for gatherings and readings, a crêpe-making kitchen housed in a trailer out back and a media publishing publishing studio down the street.

The Cereal Box Review is one of the many projects to come out of Fold (formerly La-Palabra Café-Press). Nearly every inch of the issue/box is covered in words and art. Issue No. 4, for instance, includes a short story by Portlander Stevan Allred, a poem paying homage to Elizabeth Bishop, a definition of the term “nervous breakthrough,” a quote from Matisse, and a hodgepodge of aphorisms, poems, essays, and photos crammed onto the broadside. The Review gives new meaning to the saying “a feast for the eyes.”

Arias is committed to creating public gatherings and arenas for philosophical and literary discussion. As if tipping her hat to Rilke who wrote “a work of art is good if it has grown out of necessity,” Arias started Fold — “think the the fold of the batter, the fold of the community, and the fold of the paper” — because she needed it.

Read Full Article

Seattle Times, 2005:

PORTLAND — Krista Arias, 34, whips up gourmet riffs on French crepes from a kitchen inside a streamlined trailer behind La Palabra, a “philosophy” cafe where locals meet to sip mint-laced hot chocolate and read Aristotle.

La Palabra Café-Press & Fold Crêperie, 2921 N.E. Alberta, in an old carriage house next door to Hi-iH, is actually three businesses in one, says Arias, a Mexican-Canadian-American working toward her doctorate in philosophy. She and her partner, David McElroy, converted a trailer in the back into a kitchen for making Parisian-style buckwheat sweet and savory crepes. Advocates of the “slow food movement,” they don’t have an espresso machine and don’t sell lattes. Instead they offer percolator espresso and have plans to open a cocoa and tea bar. Bon Appétit magazine recently profiled La Palabra (Spanish for “The Word”) as one of the five best places to eat in Portland, but food’s not the only draw. The cafe is also a gallery displaying the work of local artists and a salon, where Arias and McElroy host read-alouds and invite visitors to type out poems on a bank of manual typewriters and hang them from a “tree” made of coat hangers. Original Article

Willamete Week, Street of the Year, 2005:

The street’s newest culinary incarnation reflects a friendly slew of good and bad, high and low, a mix that mirrors the carnival cast of the street itself: Fold, a diminutive crêpe stand, has one little local attention but garnered the praise of Gourmet magazine earlier this year.

Willamete Week, 2006:

Fold Creperie: At Fold it’s all about what’s inside: butter with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of cayenne ($4) takes a Southern departure from the traditional French filling. So do savory dishes, like the buckwheat crêpe filled with jack cheese, tomato, lime for $6. The hipster-rustic ambiance – decor includes antique school desks and local craftiness – sets the mood for a romantic brunch r a solo date with The New York Times. A pot of French-press cofee ($2-$6) features beans from th smallest batch roaster in P-town. Original Article not available online

Portland Mercury, 2004:

Fold, Streamline Trailer No. 43
2921 NE Alberta, Official Reopen Date, Nov. 2

A new mover and shaker on the crepe scene, this one-woman operation gets huge props for her sweet biz name and the kickass silver Streamline trailer Fold calls home. The business is on the move from Mississippi to Alberta (the advantage of having your restaurant in a trailer)–so stop by and see the new surroundings on Last Thursday, October 28th. While you’re there, don’t miss the Salmon Chevre savory crepe made with ricotta, dill, chives, sweet onion, the titular salmon, and French goat cheese. It’s very adult. On the sweet side, the Mango Cardamom is a cut above, “folding” butter, lime, mint, and coconut with the fruit, creating an untraditional standout with the complexity and brilliance of a fine French dessert. Original Article

Portland Monthly, 2011:

….To call the space eclectic is an understatement. A gravel path on the right side of the building leads you to an enormous silver airstream trailer in the back—that’s where the magic happens. After placing your order, you are directed to the side door of Suzette’s, housed in a century-old carriage house. The interior, painted a bright pumpkin-orange, is scattered with a deliberate hodgepodge of old typewriters, ancient telephones, and Christmas lights. The whole thing feels very taqueria-esque, especially with Son cubano drumming in the background. This is at least the third incarnation of the space, originally the critically loved Fold Crêperie—one of Portland’s original “street food” mavericksRead More

Gutting the trailer


Mexican tile floor…. overkill???


Almost finished floor and before painting the walls