Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Restaurant Review: CRAVE (West End Location)

Earlier this summer I had a rare just-the-girls dinner with some old college friends. We all live in relatively the same area so we met up at the West End in St. Louis Park for dinner at CRAVE. I was looking forward to eating at CRAVE because I had never been and wanted to try it out.

We arrived around 6 pm and luckily we had a reservation because the place was busy. After we were seated our waiter came, took our drink and appetizer orders, and left us to scan the menu.....

We didn't see our waiter for another 15-20 minutes when he came to drop off our drinks and appetizers. By this time we were all starving and promptly placed our orders hoping the previous 20 minutes were just a fluke. I mean, they were busy but not THAT busy.

Unfortunately, we were wrong.

By the time our food actually came it was almost 8 pm. One of the girls I was with still had some planning to do for her job the next day so we each took a couple bites and asked for to-go boxes. When the checks arrived we all already had out our cards, hoping the waiter would pick up on our vibes.

Funny thing happened, knowing that he would get new customers the faster he got us out the door he had our cards back to us in record time!

Now that I got the negative part of my review out of the way on to the good....

The food was delicious!
The good thing about CRAVE is that it has a little bit of everything on the menu. This tickled my fancy and stopped me short of completely writing the place off. You see, at the time I had a mad craving for some sushi, something that was offered on the menu. Never get between a girl and her sushi. So for my appetizer I ordered the yellow tail nigiri. It wasn't spectacular it hit the sushi spot for the night. 
Perfect for an appetizer
As for the entrees on the menu, there were so many things that sounded scrumptious. I wanted to order one of everything (maybe not a bad idea?), but narrowed it down and decided on ONE dish. This dish singlehandedly negated almost everything negative written above. I say almost because I still wrote the negative things. But it came close to making me forget all my troubles. It was THAT. GOOD.

The dish in question was the short rib melt and it was melt in your mouth amazing. How amazing? Let's just say I ordered it because it came with fries and I can't even remember what the fries tasted like, which is saying something because I'm a fry girl through and through. The sandwich consisted of short rib, provolone, sautéed onions and mushrooms smeared with sriracha aioli and stuffed in a huge piece of tandoori bread. The bread was thick and soft, the meat was perfectly marinated, and the cheese and onions were phenomenally seasoned. As far as the sriracha aioli, I would just like to say that I am NOT the biggest fan of sriracha (I don't get the people who go crazy for the stuff) but on this sandwich it added just the right amount of kick and sweetness.
Sorry the insides of the sandwich aren't visible, I was hungry!
This sandwich is God's gift to CRAVE. I will definitely be ordering it again if I happen to find myself back at CRAVE. Maybe I will give them a couple months to work on the service or order to-go ;).

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