Crave Restaurant and Lounge
Update: Crave is closed.
In a word: If Dooce ever visited Madison, this is where you'd take her.
JM ate the BBQ or Bust chicken sandwich with a side of buttermilk mashed potatoes and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the black and blue burger with a side of sesame spinach.
We split a slice of chocolate cake.
The bill was $29, or $14.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Crave a B; Nichole gave Crave a C+ (see our grading rubric).
Molly Webb's martini-centered
review of Crave covers what may be the strongest of Crave's attributes: the drinks. N.b., the seats at the bar are such that low riders achieve plumber butt and then some. Which could be OK, but in our book, the food and decor don't quite pull their weight.
It's very cool inside, to be sure, as proven by the presence of the entire Sex in the City 2025 cast at a neighboring table. The decor was painstakingly put together, but something about it just didn't work out. It was all done in shades of either frating green or what we'd consider gretna green (google it). We wouldn't have been surprised to see a Bradley sink (a la every elementary school washroom ever) hooked up to the large, green-tiled pillar in the middle of the dining room.
As for the sandwiches, they didn't go unappreciated, but at $9 are far to one side of the value curve. JM's BBQ chicken sandwich was tasty, especially the mango salsa, but slight. He could have taken his ten dollars and gotten full at any number of State Street establishments instead of needing a dessert.
Nichole's black and blue burger via Kate's burger rating guide:
- Bun: egg-yellowish, seemed store-bought. Not toasted.
- Meat: rather good, even without condiments.
- Bun/meat ratio: bun covers too small an area too thickly.
- Cheese: too much bleu, whew.
- Misc.: pleasantly messy; perfect bacon; served with a slice of yummy watermelon. About a 6.5 of 10 overall.
The sides were winners (as was the service, incidentally). What a treat to get sesame spinach (goma ae) with a burger. The mashed potatoes, a welcome change from fries, were velvety and delicious.
As for the cake - well, the vertical presentation was lovely, but we thought it odd that the bottom layer of cake was a micron thick. And there was something familiar about that frosting that we just could not put our fingers on, though that didn't keep us from licking them.