Fresh Look: Cravings Carryout Cafe

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Zooming up Fourth Street through Italian Village several months ago, I happened across a chalkboard sandwich sign at the corner of Fourth and Third streets. The sign brightly advertised breakfast and lunch at a spot that sounded like a bakery through and through-Cookie Cravings Cafe.

When I finally had the chance to stop into the cozy, brick-walled space (I'm not exaggerating on the cozy part here-guests order and sit practically in the open bakery kitchen), I was pleasantly surprised to find that cookies were only a fraction of what they do. There were savory and sweet crepes, sandwiches on fresh brioche and rotating daily soups. I left with one question: Why hadn't I stopped in here before?

Apparently this wasn't the first time owners Joan, Lindsey and Matt Tewanger had heard customers ask this question. So this past week, to more accurately reflect what it is they do, they changed the name to Cravings Carryout Cafe. With the name change comes an updated and expanded menu with brunch served all day. Sweet and savory crepes will now only be available as rotating specials. Small renovations to the 400-square-foot space added four extra seats, and once the weather breaks expect outside seating along their brick sidewalk. But the focus, as the name suggests, will be on to-go orders.

Brunch dishes include items like BLT (thick bacon, roasted tomatoes, greens and basil mayo on brioche for $8), The Burrito (two eggs, Yukon scallion hash, jack cheese, peppers, avocado tomatillo salsa for $8, or add bacon for $2) and Housemade Granola with Snowville Creamery yogurt and berries for $6.

Lunch offerings include the popular (and personal favorite) Cravings Club (roasted chicken, apple and Brussels slaw, Amish cheddar, bacon and rosemary aioli on brioche for $8) and the Carnitas Sandwich (braised pork shoulder, pickled red onions, jack cheese, avocado tomatillo salsa on brioche for $8). There's always a soup of the day, too, so keep an eye on the specials board. And I was happy to see cookies still gracing the counter (you have to try the blueberry goat cheese if it's available-it's a great balance of savory and sweet).

This weekend, the grab-and-go cafe will celebrate its name change with two days of specials. All weekend they'll be serving house-made biscuits with gravy made with Blues Creek Farm Meats sausage. On Saturday, swing by for lemon rosemary brioche doughnuts (dubbed Bronuts). On Sunday, the special pastry will be cinnamon rolls. Sign up for the event on their Facebook page, and you may even win a free bag of Thunderkiss coffee.

Starting March 8, Cravings' will offer expanded hours. They will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday brunch.