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Bino’s Bistro & Creperie (1260 University Avenue, 619-688-1674) has opened in the Uptown District shopping center. The Eurofying remodel shed light on the formerly cavelike buidling, once home to a Thai restaurant, and the sun now reaches to the buildings depths. Generic--but nonetheless pleasant--cafe music pipes out over the patio and the effect has been transformative, making Bino’s look much more like a desireable lunch destination.

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With fresh pastry, pretty good coffee, an 8 AM opening, and ample parking, Bino’s could be a solid destination for leisurely breakfasts. Starbucks will probably continue to dominate the coffee and muffins crowd, but this new place is worth a look.

For me, it’s all about the crepes ($8-$11). In my typically famished state, I ordered up a Croque Madam. It had ham folded up inside, a fried egg on top, and a smothering of bechamel sauce; a pancake version of the iconic French sandwich and very likeable.

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Afterwards, I let the appetite loose on a dessert crepe loaded with poached apples, raisins, nuts, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. The whipped cream came from a can, which is always a disappointment, but the rest of the stuff atop the crepe was perfectly credible and I ended up sated and happy.

Crepes are neither difficult nor classy, but they sure are fun, comforting, and filling. In spirit, I suppose they are little more than burritos with Parisian aspirations, but for me they have an entirely different feel, inspiring leisure and contemplation. Maybe it’s just because I need a fork to eat them.

Bino’s also does some sandwiches, most of which are versions of the various crepes served between bread. The menu indicates that a beer and wine license is incoming (with a little luck and time) and that the restaurant plans to expand into dinner service. The genial owner (seriously, in between slapping me around some and joking with me) told me that dinners were already being served Thursday through Sunday, when the place stays open until nine. Other days, they close at four. I will probably wait until the wine menu comes out to inspect the dinner service, but for now there’s no doubt that Bino’s is a small victory for the crepe elite.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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