Kay, guys. You have a special occassion? Your family wants to take you out and eat fancy fancy meat while you enjoy delicious vegan food? Or you enjoy blowing $15 on a main course? (Come on. I adore you. Spread the wealth. Have you seen my Kenya fund lately?)
Crave pretty much personifies Edina. There may be a Crave nearer you these days - we got 'em in the Mall of America, the West End in St. Louis Park, and Downtown Minneapolis. AAAND two in Florida. And one in Nebraska. Who knows where they'll go next. Prolly your backyard. Your backyard'll get so fancy.
This is another place that has a myriad of gluten-free options and a smattering of vegan ones, so hooray! Both Seestor and I can eat here. And we don't even have to pay. Thanks Mom! (She even gave me a cool gel pen. Could this night get any better?) The palatte is super varied - there are foods inspired by Japan, Italy, Korea, Switzerland, the ever-vague "Mediterranean" region (which means hummus and/or olives, I've discovered), and the US. If there's one thing I've taught you so far, I hope it's that ethnic food = vegan options.
By the time we sat down, I was so hungry I literally had no idea what was coming out of my mouth. So imagine my delight when our server brought me a Blueberry Mint Fizz! It's a characteristically fancy schmancy pop that'll cost ya five bucks. But it sure is tasty. It's got this fruity-fun flavor combo jiving with the carbonation, augmented fancily by the fresh mint leaves floating at the top. The taste is light, not too sweet, and authentically blueberry.
Still low on blood sugar, I tried to read the menu instead of eat it. I watched everybody order without hearing a word of what they said - oh. EXCEPT, readers, the sushi at Crave has gluten in the rice. Kind of silly. I mean, why would they have GF soy sauce if you can't get GF sushi to dip it in? Seestor ordered sashimi (the fish without rice or nori) and rallied with the GF soy sauce.
Anyway, I passed through the ordering process, and then I think there was some concern about Steve Jobs having been a vegan and an a-hole at the same time when he was in college. Giving vegans a bad rap. Apparently, he thought being vegan meant that he didn't have to clean himself because he was so healthy on the inside. He got over it before he entered his turtleneck phase.
Then, joy of joys, a flatbread landed in front of me.
This would be the Caprese Flatbread for $13. If you want it vegan, as pictured, let your server know to leave off the cheese. But look at all the goodies on there! Tomatoes. Fresh spinach. Balsamic reduction. And AVOCADOS. Avocados are my weak point. I will do anything for an avocado. These were perfectly fresh and creamy and lovely. They went well with the balsamic flavor. Of course, as you'd expect from such a fancy place, all the ingredients were of a very high quality. They blended nicely together. I even got a sprinkling of crushed red pepper. It was kind of like bruschetta, but flat.
I ate the whole thing. (Yes, homies. I was THAT hungry.)
[EDIT] Thanks to our lovely friend Valynne, who used to serve at Crave downtown, I know now that the flatbread wasn't vegan. Even without cheese. BUSTED. Check her comment below for a list of the only truly vegan items. Thanks Valynne! You're the bee's knees! [/EDIT]
If you're not into pizza without cheese, you can always take a gander at the sushi menu - as long as you're okay with gluten, they've got yummy veggie and avocado rolls.
Thanks Crave! I'm now 15% fancier. Well! Time to go play in the mud!
(Vegans don't have to clean up, you know.)