Serving more than crepes at Gopal’s Creperie in Kapaa

“I’m an artist at heart,” explains Indy Reeves, a Hare Krishna who named her place after Gopal, the sustainer of cows and cattle and the infant and child form of Lord Krishna. “Every crepe I make is a little piece of art. I blend it with my spirituality by offering the crepe to Krishna that’s in every customer’s heart.”

We are sitting at a small, round table in the crêperie’s outside dining area. Next to us, a young couple eats a late afternoon lunch under a gazebo with a view of the ocean, nearly 50 yards away. A triple strand of mala beads hangs low on Indy’s neck and the ocean breeze blows tight curls from her long ponytail.

Located across the street from the Kauai Products Fair in Kapaa, steady streams of customers come to the tiny lunch wagon for gluten-free crepes. That’s all you can get at Gopal’s, but I’m not really interested in that. My body tolerates gluten just fine and my taste buds jump for joy when “gluten-full” bread is served.

For Indy’s husband Gadhai, it’s a different story. After eating products with gluten, he is bedridden for a day or two. In addition, his mind is muddled and his energy is low. Their 6-year-old son Sylvan was irritable and had skin rashes until gluten was removed from his diet.

Indy spent six months perfecting her recipe for gluten-free batter, and it’s really good. There are no eggs or gluten to give the crepes their classic, springy and delicate texture, but they are crisp, tender and tasty. Plus, there’s none of the cloying aftertaste that coats your tongue after eating most gluten-free products.

Savory and sweet crepes are generously loaded with fresh and flavorful fillings, most of which are made with farmers market produce. All crepes are gluten-free, vegetarian and absolutely delicious, and there are vegan options as well. Either way, all ingredients are organic.

Gingered lentil ($7) crepes are filling and packed with good-for-you ingredients. The hearty dish with green lentils is sweetened with slow-cooked carrots and feta cheese adds a savory element. For $3, you can get a side salad with fresh made vinaigrette. Today it’s grapefruit and lemon.

If you’re a light eater, the Farm Fresh Pesto ($7) combines cherry tomato halves and feta cheese crumbles. Indy makes the zesty pesto herself and leaves out garlic and Parmesan. Lord Krishna’s instructions teach how to transcend the three modes, or qualities, of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. Garlic falls under passion and vegans don’t eat cheese.

Those who are young at heart, literally and figuratively, will enjoy a crisp crepe filled with freshly made macadamia nut butter, slices of apple bananas and a drizzle of local honey ($7). One bite transports me to a golden memory of home, safety and goodness.

Another comforting combination is pineapple, honey and ginger ($7). Indy adds ginger to cubes of freshly cut pineapple and stews them in their own juices. She layers pillows of goat cheese on the crepe, tops it with the pineapple and drizzles it with honey.

It doesn’t matter if you’re gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, the food at Gopal’s is affordable, filling and nourishing.

“Krishna resides the heart of every living entity and Bhakti Yoga basically is living your life so that you are doing everything in the service of the Lord. So that’s what I’m serving. I’m serving Krishna in your heart.”

Gopal’s Creperie is located at 4-1620 Kuhio Highway in Kapaa and can be reached at (808) 635-2164.

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