The story behind Cravings is a classic tale of opportunity, adversity, and resilience. All new restaurants face challenges in their infancy, but when a 400-square-foot cookie and crepe shop in a still-developing neighborhood has its lease discontinued just a few years into operation, one might feel the need to strike up a dirge. (Rather than a ’60s pop song.)
But a successful $15,000 Kickstarter campaign helped pull owners Matt and Lindsey Tewanger off the plank and eventually punch their ticket to a newly renovated downtown space three times the size of their original location.
It isn’t across the street from a row of quaint duplexes or boutiques.
Before you write off Cravings as being too far from the beaten path, consider this: it’s a less than 10-minute walk to the Arena District, under a third of a mile. For all the bustle and bother of trying to grab food at the North Market on a Saturday morning, you could go just go another few blocks south, take a deep breath, and inhale a delicious burrito. Or any other of their wonderful offerings.
The aforementioned burrito is well-composed and dynamic in texture (the crispy potatoes and time on a griddle to thank for that). Then there’s the lovely chopped salad with bulgogi steak, a loaded potato soup, and a marvelous breakfast roll, the latter set off by a rosemary dressing and toasted, house-made brioche roll.
It’s that brioche recipe that got people buzzing in the first place: you turn brioche into doughnuts (aye—bronuts), and you’re bound to get people mewling at your door like a bunch of neighborhood strays.
Ultimately, it’s the small-batch, home-cooked feel of the place that wins you over. Its new space attracts both the high-cuffed jean and Carhartt jacket-wearing Italian Village type and the no-cuffed jean and Carhartt jacket-wearing construction worker type. The new space is clean and modern, but with natural wood surfaces and homey accents that maintain a familial atmosphere.
In the end, it’s an easy place to root for. Local kids made good.
By V.R. Bryant
Originally appeared in (614) Magazine December 2017