My wife and I had a babysitter for the night and were looking to try somewhere new. My wife wanted to try Crave. I was a little hesitant because I had heard very mixed reviews from friends and family, but I'm glad we went.
The first thing I noticed is that it's a bit loud and even though we were seated far from the entrance, I could still feel a cold draft every time someone walked through the doors. That being said, it wasn't a big deal and the chic, energetic vibe was nice and added something to the overall experience. The service was also very good throughout the night and the manager stopped by each table to make sure guests were happy, which is always a nice touch.
After also considering the brick oven mac and cheese and the Kogi beef tacos (which looked amazing), we ordered the Crave Burger, a brick oven Margherita pizza and the s'more brownie for dessert.
The pizza was very good, although my wife enjoyed it more than I did. The crust had a nice flavor, with visible seasonings baked in throughout. I also appreciated the texture. It had a crispness that easily gave way to a tender chewy bite. As with most fresh mozzarella pizzas, the cheese didn't cover the whole pie, but that was expected. And there was nothing particularly special about the sauce or toppings. However, the biggest reason I didn't like the pizza more was because there was a substantial dusting of flour left on the bottom of the crust, which gave each bite a somewhat unpleasant, drying mouthfeel. Overall it was good, just not great, but I think my wife would order it again.
The burger, on the other hand, was a real winner. It was nice and juicy and cooked perfectly. The meat had a delicious seasoned flavor, the bakery style bun was tasty and stood up to the burger without overpowering it and the toppings seemed fresh. I had higher hopes for the house made pickles, but they didn't really stand out. The burger came with thin, crispy seasoned fries that were really good. There are lots of places that claim to have good burgers, but most don't usually live up to the hype. And fries are often an unimaginative afterthought, so I was really pleased with Crave's take on both.
The s'more brownie was interesting. It was good, but I'm the fence as to whether or not I'd order it again. There was a layer of graham crust, then a chocolate brownie, then toasted marshmallow topped with whole cookies. There was also a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I expected the cookies to be ginger snaps because of the way they looked, but I think they may have been graham-flavored. The ice cream was not all that flavorful and was somewhat icy, rather than smooth and creamy. The biggest thing that kept my head spinning was the noticeable salt flavor in almost every bite. I like salt a lot in general and am also a big believer that adding a little salt goes a long way to help subtly bring out flavors when making a dessert, but this was a bit too much. And I got that salty taste in every bite, so I couldn't really tell where it was coming from - the graham, the brownie, the marshmallow, even the ice cream. It was almost like, rather than adding some salt when baking, they salted the whole dessert prior to serving. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the saltiness made it unpleasant, it was just definitely a little misplaced.
Overall, we're glad we went and look forward to going back sometime soon.