(Noah Scialom, Patuxent Publishing / January 24, 2013)

When last we checked in with Mustapha Snoussi, the Algerian-born owner of Mount Washington's Crepe du Jour was buying a big-screen TV in 2010 and opening his restaurant early on June mornings to watch his first love in sports, World Cup soccer.

Now, there's a Ravens flag in the restaurant, and Snoussi, who is better known for croque monsieur sandwiches and truite almondine entrees, is taking reservations for a Super Bowl party with buffet-style "finger food," including chicken wings and cheeseburger sliders, as well as beer, wine and cocktails — and, if the Ravens win, free champagne.

Snoussi has embraced American football, especially the Ravens. And he notes that he and the team have several deep historical connections.

The former maitre d' of a restaurant in Paris, he moved to Baltimore in 1995 when his wife, a nutritionist, got a job at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. A friend told him he should check out a new football team that had just moved to Baltimore. That was around the time Art Modell relocated the Cleveland Browns and changed the team's name.


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Snoussi knew next to nothing about American football.

"I came the first season," he said. "It took me a year to figure out everything. Now, it's become one of my sports I watch every year."

Snoussi opened Crepe du Jour in late 2000, and got his first review, a favorable one, in the Baltimore Sun, a few weeks before the Ravens' first Super Bowl victory.

This year, the Ravens are back in the big game, and coincidentally, Super Bowl Sunday falls on Snoussi's 46th birthday.

"I will have a cake," he said.

Snoussi is promoting the Super Bowl party in emails and on Facebook.

"It's going to be a big event for us," he said. "I'm definitely excited."