The first time I visited Crave was June of 2011 with my mom for Sean’s birthday (and because I had a Groupon). I remember it was really delicious, so I don’t really know why it took me so long to go back again. Probably because it’s all the way out by the Isle of Palms connector and I rarely venture out in that direction if I can avoid it. Both Crave and its executive chef, Landen Ganstrom follow me on twitter, and tweet at me pretty much anytime I post anything food related, (ie “Looking for somewhere to eat lunch in Charleston,” etc) with suggestions, which can be really helpful.
After I saw that Crave won “Most Life-Changing Mac and Cheese in America” from Esquire Magazine, you can bet they shot to the top of my list of restaurants to try. I had their mac and cheese at the Mac Off in October where they won People’s Choice Best Macaroni and Cheese (Ben didn’t because he was “so full of macaroni I never want to see another bowl of mac and cheese as long as I live”), and it definitely stood out from the crowd. So I dragged Becca out there last Saturday for lunch to try it for ourselves. I started with the Macaroni and Cheese, which I reluctantly shared with Becca, and I have to say, it was pretty damn delicious. It reminded me of that Mitch Hedburg joke “Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults,” because it had a similar flavor. I was almost tempted to cancel my entree and just get another order of the macaroni, but I had just enough self-control to resist.
Becca got the Greek dip to start (Creamy garlic hummus and Mediterranean olive tapenade, served with flat bread and mixed greens topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese), which I gladly shared with her. We were surprised at how good the hummus was. For some reason, I was expecting it to be really generic tasting, but it was actually really yummy. I don’t do olives, but Becca said she loved the olive tapenade.
For my entree, I went with the turkey club (oven-Roasted half pound turkey club served with toasted ciabatta bread, apple wood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and cajun remoulade), which was outstanding. You could really tell that the turkey was fresh and not lunchmeat out of a package. It was thick and flavorful and so good. I also love that the bacon was nice and crispy. I hate when restaurants serve chewy, rubbery bacon. This was perfect. And the cajun remoulade was the perfect condiment. The sandwich just went together really well. I got a side salad to accompany my club (to try and cancel out some of the damage I did with the Mac), with the lemon vinaigrette which was good also. It had olives, feta cheese, and cucumbers on it, and it was really good for a side salad, but I wouldn’t say that it blew me away at all. Then again, it’s really difficult to get me excited about a salad, no matter how good it is.
Becca got the “Wedge salad” (local Butter lettuce with Humbolt Fog Blue Cheese, Duroch pork lardons, crisp fresh red onions, apples and a cracked black pepper and dill dressing), which more accurately should be called a “butter lettuce salad with a wedge of bleu cheese.” She liked it, but was a little disappointed that it wasn’t actually a wedge of lettuce.
For dessert, I was really excited to try the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake that they tweeted me about a couple weeks ago when I was looking for a dessert place in Charleston. It’s a “rich Gluten-free chocolate cake with salted homemade caramel butter crème and sea salt chocolate frosting topped with caramel drizzle.” It was, in the words of my mother, “The Bomb.” It was so yummy. I don’t think I would’ve known it was gluten-free if they hadn’t specified it on the menu. I loved that it was sweet without making me feel like I had diabetes by the second bite (I’m looking at you, Applebee’s). They have a bunch of other desserts that look good, too, like Baked Alaska, Seared Pear, Hot Fudge Snickers, Coconut Cake, and an array of ice cream. I definitely know where to go next time I’m looking for dessert.
I also see that they have a bunch of options that are gluten-free, paleo, and cross-fit friendly for people like me who are trying (keyword here being TRYING) to eat healthier. Despite the fact that our service wasn’t really that great and I really wish they had a better website, the food more than made up for any issues I may have had. I highly recommend stopping by Crave whenever you’re out in Mount Pleasant or Isle of Palms.
Crave Kitchen & Cocktails
1968 Riviera Dr
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464