Oh yes. That’s right. Saturday night I had the pleasure of going out with my cool young family to Crave on Main street. I Google search got my looking at is as it won 3 awards last year from the Georgia Straight best of awards, so I thought this would be a great place to contemplate what is new and happening on the east side of van. Crave’s claim to fame is “Modern Comfort Food”. I really like this idea, and also the fact that it won a good few awards, so off we went.
If you want to know what the food buzz word for 2009 will be it will be Comfort Food. There is no coincidence that my most hit on page is “Apple pie and toad-in-the-hole”. We are entering uncertain economic times, whether real or imagined. Winter is coming on a lot of levels. The last thing in the world I want is cold, unnatural, Uber arty food on 15″ plates. I want braised meats, stew, poutine, mac and cheese, spaghetti bolonaise, pie. Hell, I could have given my left nut for a Figgy Pudding with Brandy Butter two days ago. Hot, dense, spicy, warming. That’s what I want. and I’ll bet the advertising budget for Campbell’s Soups that you do too.
Crave fits this bill perfectly. Modern interpretations of comfort food with an inherently French Canadian influence. We ate smoked black cod niçoise, big fat burgers with fries, and mine, poutine of truffle Parmesan fries with shortrib jus and a side Fois Gras mayo. It was astonishingly good. And utterly comforting. Even if the other features of the place weren’t so comforting.
One, no booking. Which I get, it’s a tiny place, if a table doesn’t show up, it’s big money lost. And they do have a nice call back system, where you show up, register, and they will call you when your table is ready. Fine, we had a few drinks down the road. But also the tables are SO close together. Again, I get it, it’s small. But just fair warning. If your meal is to discuss your impending break-up, sex life, side effects of cancer treatment, or finances, this is not the right time and place. You are right beside the next table. This is best for the kind of group we were. Young, loud, and not too worried about what strangers thought of our conversation.
Our service was so unobtrusive as to be forgettable. I couldn’t even tell you if it was male or female actually. Everything showed up and that was good, and was neither rude or doing that irritating best-bud waiter shtick. Maybe this is just Vancouver though. You almost never get an server that’s tying too hard. I hate when they think I will tip more if they crouch down by the table, get on a first name basis, or other wise act like they learned to sling food from the TGIF Friday’s School of Service.
I’m going to go back to Crave, maybe just not on a Saturday with a load of people. And I am also going to check out Burgoo as comparison to get a fuller picture of this whole comfort food thing. In the meantime, go. I recommend it as a great easy place for a weekday. And the prices are WELL reasonable for the quality they are serving up. This is *VALUE FOR MONEY (*note other buzzword for 2009).