Gorgeous Washington Street serves as a fitting location for a trendy restaurant like Craft. My photographer, Steven, and I were immediately captured by Craft’s chic interior furnished with a few TVs on the walls, overhead green string lights and diverse drink options colorfully written on a chalkboard behind the bar. This Restaurant Week, Craft offers a $12 lunch and a $20 dinner, the only difference being dinner includes alcoholic drinks. Of course, we decided to go for dinner.
The dinner menu allows patrons to choose two sliders, a side, a dessert and a choice between a beer, a wine or a $5 gift card for those not drinking alcohol. However, our server, Christine, informed us that diners simply must choose five total items; for instance, if a person doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, they can get a beer or wine and opt for the $5 gift card in lieu of a dessert. She also said that they can accommodate gluten-free diets with lettuce wraps. We really appreciate that Craft allows this kind of flexibility.
I was delighted to see that the restaurant offers delicious-sounding vegetarian options. I eagerly selected the grilled shroom slider and the black bean slider, the chop’t garden salad as a side with white balsamic vinegar, the Cookiez ‘n Cream sundae for dessert and the Craft All Day beer from Beer Tree Brew Co. Steven ordered the Craft slider and the Korean pork belly slider, house fries, the Unicorn sundae and the Raiz Cabernet Sauvignon. We aimed for as much diversity as possible in the options to get the most comprehensive look at Craft’s Restaurant Week offerings.
I instantly took a liking to the IPA I ordered, but Steven was not as quickly dazzled with his wine. However, once our meals arrived, he said the red wine grew on him, as it pairs nicely with the meat of the sliders and allows the taste of the food to take center stage. Steven described the Craft slider as surprisingly juicy and a perfect option for people looking for a solid, classic burger. He appreciated how different the Korean pork belly slider was with its slight spice, though he said Craft could turn up the heat on it and could somewhat improve the pickle slaw. The pork belly was cooked masterfully, featuring both tasty charred bits and soft melt-in-your-mouth parts. The true star, though, was the perfectly salted, perfectly crunchy house fries — even when we could feel ourselves getting full, we easily polished them off. Steven also offers extra points for the presence of one extra-long fry, which is obviously a necessity in a batch of fries.
As for the vegetarian sliders, I couldn’t have been more pleased. The grilled shroom burger was my personal favorite, as the flawlessly complementary combination of grilled red onion, arugula and balsamic glaze atop the grilled portobello mushroom made every bite a delight. When I found myself wanting more, the black bean slider quickly fulfilled my desires with its fresh arugula and avocado, and I couldn’t get enough of the chipotle aioli. It did get a bit messy as the burger tended to crumble a bit, but that didn’t take away from the meal at all. The garden salad with white balsamic was refreshing, albeit a little bit basic, but the simplicity was welcome next to the creative sliders.
Finally, it was time for dessert, and we marveled at how carefully and adorably the sundaes were presented. The Cookiez ‘n Cream sundae consisted of vanilla ice cream atop Oreo crumbles, with whipped cream and half an ice cream sandwich poking out — basic but classically tasty. The Unicorn sundae was the more fun of the two, with vanilla ice cream and strawberry topped with pink and purple whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a cone sticking out like a unicorn horn. Steven recommends crushing up the cone into pieces and eating the sundae all together, which created the familiar taste of strawberry shortcake.
Craft exceeded all expectations, from its accommodating service to its diverse menu with options for all types of eaters and its clear mission to please customers with interesting and impeccably prepared food. It’s a must-try this Restaurant Week if you’re looking for a relaxed but stylish atmosphere and a twist on the classic slider burger.