Crave | 57 E. Market St. | Akron, OH
Happy Monday, friends. How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? Mine was excellent. Tiffany and I hosted this year. Everything went well—the weather cooperated, the food was excellent (bravo to my wife) and our guests had fun.
I rode that Thanksgiving momentum into Saturday, when my brother and a couple friends came to the condo to watch my new favorite tradition—Ohio State’s yearly destruction of Michigan. And destruction it was. The Buckeyes dominated the Wolverines in all aspects of the game, easily winning 56 – 27. So, the question became how to celebrate my beloved school’s victory over its “hated” archrival.
What to do, what to do? Well, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the hard work Tiffany put into hosting Thanksgiving. She scrubbed our condo from head to toe. She ordered, prepared and cooked most of the food. She cleaned up afterward. Surely, she deserved a night out at a nice restaurant. And darn it, I was going to give it to her. What better place to go than where it all started—Crave in Akron. That’s the spot where we had our first date.
Oh, did I mention that I had a Groupon voucher to Crave? That’s not the reason I chose to go there though (wink, wink). It’s because of all the stuff I said earlier!
Located in downtown Akron’s Arts District, Crave is a modern-American restaurant that sports a contemporary and elegant setting. One side of the restaurant houses an intimate dining room while up the steps and across the aisle is a stylish bar and plenty more tables for seating. Crave’s menu is both unique and extensive, with items like flank steak banh mi, stuffed acorn squash, lobster BLT, and chicken and waffles. The wine, beer and martini lists are substantial as well.
On this night, Tiffany ordered smoked gouda mac and cheese while I selected the cornflake-crusted chicken sandwich. The mac and cheese—presented beautifully—was an explosion of flavors. Employing a spiral pasta, the dish featured blackened chicken (with a kick), roasted garlic butter, sriracha and crispy onion straws. Tiffany and I both appreciated Crave’s unique take on a classic entrée. As for my sandwich … thumbs up. It was crispy, tender, savory and featured delicious grilled sourdough bread. The accompanying truffle fries served as a worthy side dish. My only complaint is that the food should have been warmer. While not cold, our meals did taste as though they weren’t immediately served after exiting the oven.
Have I mentioned Tiffany’s affinity for desserts? To that end, she ordered both the flourless chocolate chili cake and white chocolate and cardamom cheesecake. Hey, I’m not complaining … both were great. The flourless cake featured mouthwatering chocolate caramel while the cheesecake was rich, creamy and accompanied by a delectable chocolate cake sphere. Unfortunately, there are no pictures—by the time we realized we forgot to take some, the desserts were long gone.
Parking at the restaurant is easy. Meters are available nearby as is a parking garage across the street that is free on nights and weekend. Prices at Crave are reasonable and the service is excellent. Oh, I almost forgot—they have happy hour, too. Guests can enjoy $6 flatbreads and discounted wine and beer from 4 – 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
If you ever find yourself hungry in Akron, check out Crave. Heck, head to Groupon, buy a voucher and save yourself some money. That’s what I’m doing as we speak.
A good Thanksgiving, an Ohio State victory over Michigan and an outstanding Saturday night dinner. Can every week be like this? Here’s to that—cheers!