Month: January 2012

Last night The Jaguar Land Rover Dealership in Minneapolis held a fantastic event where they unveiled their new dog park on location at the dealership.

This wasn’t just your ordinary event where you invite folks in for a meet and greet. This was a doggie-centric event that included nearly a hundred dogs of all kinds and over 150 people. There was a dog grooming station that provided a free nail trimming service, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and even a full blown doggie fashion show.

In addition to all of the above, they also had Greg Gagne host an auction to give away several incredible packages that were donated to the event. All of the proceeds from the evening went to benefit the Animal Humane Society!

CRAVE Catering provided an incredible spread of food and beverages for the guests. Some of the other very generous sponsors included Loll Designs, Hoigaard’s, Lucy Activewear, Yum! Kitchen and Bakery, Artful Living Magazine, and Adogo Pet Hotels.

Thank you to everyone who came and supported this great event! It was fantastic seeing all the people, and some really great dogs!

– T.J.



















Red Carpet Monday Orlando Business Networking Event was held at the CRAVE Orlando location last year. They’ll be hosting another event at CRAVE Orlando in February, 2012. For an inside scoop, take a look at the video from last year’s event. It drew a significant crowd and was an overwhelming success.

We look forward to this year’s event and we hope to see there.

– T.J.


I wanted to take the time to give you some feedback on our dinning experience last night. Our family showed up 35 minutes early for our reservation but ended up late being seated. We did not feel the person on the desk communicated or treated us as a customer.

However, your Gen Manager, Dawnette Meadows, stepped in and made all the difference in the world. I have been in customer service my entire career and her handling of our situation was impeccable. She listened and reacted very well, not just once to cure the issue but also followed through and clearly assigned a very talented waiter to assure we had a very positive experience. And it worked, our evening was extremely pleasant and memorable.

Her response resulted in my decision to not use a 10% off coupon we brought with us. I felt her handling was so unusual in today’s business environment, I wanted to make a gesture to show my appreciation and thought it would cover part of your cost of the courtesies she extended. The result is we are a even stronger patron then before and will continue to hold our annual family get together at your establishment. Better yet, I am inclined to be the reverse of the normal and promote the places I enjoy and respect 10 times over the negative places.

Bottom line is our family will be a positive supporter of Crave. Thank her for taking the time to defuse and turn around our situation!

– Darrel


I just came back to Ft. Lauderdale after our long wedding adventure weekend for our son and new daughter-in-law’s wedding weekend. I want to thank you for the gracious hospitality you gave us in answering all of our questions.

I was very nervous to make a large number of reservations from a restaurant sight unseen.  People who know me know that I am from the old school of good character and expect things run in a certain way  I was more than pleasantly surprised at the good service we received as well as the quality of food.  The guests all raved about the food and said it was the best rehearsal dinner mean they have ever had.

Even your black tablecloths set the mood to make my few table decorations look more elegant one each table.

Again, thank you for beginning a wonderful weekend perfectly.

– Cyndi

This is a fantastic video of CRAVE Sushi Chef, Tuan Tran at our Orlando CRAVE Restaurant. He takes a little time to explain some of the details behind being a Sushi Chef. Check it out!

If you’d like to receive updates from CRAVE on tips, discounts, recipes and a whole lot more you can sign up by clicking HERE.

– T.J.

On Friday January 13th, CRAVE Restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida had the privilege of catering the Femfessional Networker Event in Coral Gables.

Femfessionals was founded in Miami so of course we think of FemCity Miami as home. FemCity Miami, and the women in our community, sculpted Femfessionals into a national movement. It’s Founding Members provided unconditional support and passion for our vision and we will be forever grateful to those original Fems.

The event was sponsored by Equinox Gym in Coral Gables. The lovely ladies spent the morning at the gym working out in a customized group fitness class organized exclusively just for Femfessionals so by the time they were done with class our fems were very much ready to enjoy some of CRAVE’s healthy and delicious menu delights!

The menu for the day was a delicious and decadent assortment of sushi creations from our one and only Chef Rob, Thai Chicken Nuggets lightly drizzled in a luscious Thai chili sauce (the lovely ladies could not get enough of) Also, to complement our delightful menu for the event we served a beautiful Mediterranean plate with Pita Bread, hummus, olives, and roasted garlic.

Helping our guests plan their special events is one of the things I enjoy the most about my job! I’ll be more than happy to help you organize your event at our beautiful restaurant or offsite! We can cater intimate gatherings as well as larger social or corporate events at your home, office or special venue. Feel free to call me at  305-772-5761 or Email Me to discuss your future private events!

– Paula

This is a look at the CRAVE Orlando Restaurant. It’s a beautiful, happening restaurant that gets a little love from the locals in this video. Check it out!

– T.J.

Do you know what Project Elf is? It’s a program that started 3 years ago by Mickey Mikeworth and her program at

Project Elf is a Holiday surprise to families that have recently moved out of the homeless shelter.  We pull together a team of Elves to gather supplies and gifts and then to sneak (with the families permission) into their house on Christmas Eve and make a very special holiday delivery.

CRAVE is a proud partner of this program.

Here are a couple responses received from the recipients of this program.


OMG! When I came home that day all I could do was open my door and right off the top I felt peace and I have not EVER felt like that. I just sat on my new couch and it felt like a hug.

How deep this feels is like nothing like I have experienced before.

I still feel the love in my apartment. I mean, it leaves me in awe. I sat down at my desk and ALL the stuff I needed was here. I wrote you guys a letter to say how thankful I was and to document this crazy event. That’s when this little magnet that the elves put up caught my attention, it is a poem called Imagine a Woman. I read it and I KNEW it was MY message.  The message in that poem  – well- I have never seen a message like that. I cannot read it enough.  I felt like these people who came into my home KNEW ME.

Every little detail has been thought of and it is like being on some fancy design show or living in a hotel.

I sat on that couch in the love and peace and just pondered on how much life had changed for me. How this moment was such a blessing and how hard this life of mine has been.  I felt like my test scores came back and it said “I passed”.  I just sat there and let the tears roll out and let the world fade away for one hot minute.

I grew up in a lot group homes and had a lot of pretty awful stuff happen to me. These last few months had tested every last one of my nerves.  I was on the street and 8 months pregnant with 2 kids living out of my car. I went to an interview to get into the local shelter and I dressed my kids up and went in to see the director. They do not take everyone at the shelter and I got a chance. Before I got help with this apartment every day I was in homeless shelter fearing that I was going to be sent away -because that is how it works. If you step out of line or piss the owner off she will send you packing.  

We spent the first night in a room that smelled like urine and it was awful.  No air conditioning and it was a HOT summer and I felt sick. So sick and I started going into labor that night. Not normal labor but sick labor. Something was not right so I let the kids sleep as long as I could and in the morning I sent them with a friend and went to the hospital. I immediately went into an emergency C section and then to my horror my baby was in deep trauma and baby Christian was in a coma for 2 weeks.  

Still homeless with a new born we then went a different shelter and that place was filled with roaches. I had hit the bottom of this entire world.  Then things started working in my favor, I found some people that could help me find an apartment and a landlord that would take a chance on me because my credit is awful. I was so thankful to even get a place to live.   But even this place also had its issues. The biggest one the elves totally fixed was the urine smell in my kid’s room.  I would not even let them sleep in there. We were all sleeping in my room. Thank you elves!

I feel like my hope has been restored. I always have to worry about something and look for something, but not right now. I have everything. . I have clarity and not my battery is not on low.

The last time I had a HOME with everything – I mean everything I need – I have NEVER had a whole home. With rugs on the floor, paper in the cupboards, silverware, pots, pans, and you can keep going down the list- NEVER.  Right now I even have everything I need to make cupcakes WITH sprinkles or maybe you would like me to cook you up a ham dinner.  It is crazy round here…

Most people never have a good thing like this happen to them. I would never have imagined this life and where I am right now six months ago. I could not see this life at all. This is one of those big God talks, where you just have to listen and enjoy it.

I love the decorations, that everything is matching, and the set up and I feel like I walked into a hotel suite. Everything was in order and I keep finding gifts here and there. The laundry was amazing!  I have never had all my clothes clean at one time PLUS all my sheets and all my towels.  The kitchen was so impressive even my food looked pretty. The little simple stuff was what impressed me the most. The hallway closet was totally organized, I have been longing for this.

In a group home you never learn about home organizations or putting together a home. So the ability to SEE how a house is set up was totally informative.  I love the two tables, now we can have a table to eat on and a second table to do family games, homework, or anything we want. We can all color together and play play-doough or have a meeting at the table.  

I almost forgot about the whole Mall thing! Mike at crave was such an angel and hemade us feel so loved.  Then he gave us passes to the park and I had to check-in on my poverty thinking (would we have enough time to make it worth it? Should I save them for another day?) I knew what Mickey would say and I just let it go. We just went on having a great day. That pass was such a joy and these were the happiest kids in MOA.

I don’t know if you all understand how this entire gift brought back the innocence to my kid’s childhood. Kissi never gives hugs (and I am not a hugger) he came and over and hugged me right away. He keeps hugging me every day. He is so happy. He loves the keyboard and he has wanted to play an instrument.  Now he can now be a child again, and both he and his sister have private space to be in.  He loves to be in his room. It is like someone turned his life into a the right spot and he could wake up and be himself again.

Quan Yin was so excited and she did not know what to touch first.  The fairy wings were a hit she look at me and squealed “I can be a butterfly!” and then added “and wear a flower skirt!” She makes me re-make her bed to look like “The princess way” the way you all set it up. That was a lot of pillows by the way.

I love my bedroom and the kids already drooled on my fancy pillow. I also love the baby crib matching my bedding- that is off the hook crazy. I get in that bed and I feel like I have my “Queen” area and then the kids are the in their own prince and princess spaces. I have not slept in a bed not on a floor that I OWNDED since 2007. And I have to shout out- I LOVED THE LAPTOP!   

Sitting in a peaceful space that BELONGS TO ME, I now understand how stressful my life is. How everything I am worried about, being behind, being a bad parent, being late. It’s just gotta go.

This is apartment in finally a space worth staying in. I do not know how you did it, but my place feel so warm and I feel automatic peace when I open the door. I do not want to go anywhere; I want to just stay here. I left the table set up just that way you left it. I am not done looking at how fancy it is.  I wore my new pants and I was able to check myself out in my new mirror and I was like: “ Carmita is back!”

I have always asked God to help me find a better place and this place is a real place. I am not crying because I am sad. I am crying for joy.  What I am feeling is so deep and I keep crying in the shower so the kids don’t worry- but I just feel this so deeply.  Never before have I felt like someone had my back before.  Every little thing was thought of. I mean EVERYTHING.  

You were such a blessing. Thank you. 

Carmita and family


It’s wonderful!  It was everything I was hoping for.

I am speechless; I have everything I was wishing for and more. I did not think they could revive this space.  It smelled different- like I was living somewhere nicer. I did not think it could be done. I really thought it was impossible for this apartment to look this good.

I will admit I was anxious, I was worried that maybe these strangers would take things away, that my neighbors would get up in my business and steal my stuff, or that I would not like the changes. I was afraid to think big because it would hurt if it was a letdown.  I had to put down my fears and just say “variety is the spice of life” I had to try something new.

I knew the Elf Project was unique but I kept this to myself and did not tell people this was happening. I actually lied to the neighbors and said these people were my mom’s friends.  But I had a good feeling about the people I met I said to myself “I trust these people” and I had a feeling this was some of Gods doing. I rolled with it, uncomfortably.

This has been by far one best times of my life and for sure it was Little Anthony’s best experience.

The last time I had a Christmas that was about Me -in any way, well that has not happened since I was a little kid. Having that feeling that someone was looking out for me -I have not felt that since I was really little, probably my son’s age. That hurts a little to even admit.

Just thinking about that day puts a smile on my face. I can still see everyone waving and saying Merry Christmas, it was so nice and everyone was polite and civil, and treated us like we were somebody that was worth loving and with so much respect.  I got a great vibe from the team and I kept thinking in my head “these people are just so nice”. They were the best people I have met in a long-long time.  It was like being in a TV Movie.   I got this special feeling when I first met Peggy and I even gave her a hug. I must have been delirious, I don’t hug people. Everyone flashed me a for-real smile, not a fake smile.  I felt like I was recognized. I still feel like I was in a dream and I was king.

I have not moved a thing in the apartment.  I don’t want to screw it up and I do not want to move stuff out of place. I did not think the way they pulled it together could be better. The picture of me and my son when you walk is amazing.  When I look at that picture when I open our front door, it feels like we OWN this apartment.

These gifts were not too much and not too little. I like the shelves, and the shoe holders, and the team knew exactly what they were doing. It was just perfect. They were so precise and accurate and they were on point. It brought life into the apartment and everything had a shine and glow to it. I still have room for other stuff.

The blinds were so awful before. I can’t believe how hard these people worked on my house.  I looked at the blinds and before when I rubbed them and it would leave a fingerprint from all the nicotine and now they are actually look NEW. And how they got up to clean the top of the fan is beyond me.  The storage closet is put away all organized and you can see everything. I have been finding little surprises everyday.

The neighbors are asking to see it and I do not want to let them see it. I want to keep it all to myself and little Anthony and I want to just hang out in our special space.  I don’t feel broke in a place this nice and clean.

 I have not left the house except to go to the store since you did it. I did not even move the brownies on the table.  I put a paper towel over them to keep them moist. I just do not want to move a thing.  I like the dog statue protecting the table. Nice touch. The mirrors are gorgeous and I like the way the setting was put together, there is actual life in that gross kitchen.  These lamps look like they came out of some mansion. My mom would love these lamps.

I get compliments on how the apartment looks. Everything I did not have – I have now. I liked the telescope in the living room and to have a clean window to look through. The painted the rooms, and so much more space.  I like that we can be together in every area.

My favorite parts are Anthony’s room. It is so awesome that is my most important area.  He was really shocked and surprised. He just did not know what to say. He loved all the maps, the books, the toys, and the exploration stuff.  Even though we have so much more stuff the room looks way-way bigger. The cubby’s behind the door and the organization was incredible. It was accessible I could find all my medicine and clothes. It made this small place transformed and we can actually breathe in this space. 

Little Anthony went to visit his mom on Christmas and she called and said he wanted to come back early to be in his new room.  His room is like a play land and it is so coordinated. Everyone really took his dreams and made it a reality. It made me proud and glad I took a risk

The Crave experience was hats-off the craziest thing I have done with food in my life. The people were so gracious like I was a movie star. They said “enjoy yourself, get what you want, and don’t hold back” and then they started piling plates on our table. The kids were like off the charts crazy. It was like man vs food experience for us. I brought my son’s mom and our family had never experienced anything like that.  Add Nickelodeon on top of that. We were “in the house”. We took pictures and laughed all day.

This whole experience it makes me feel like somebody and that I was worthy and like I was part of the world and for once in my life -I felt like a human. I am a single father and getting up is not easy when you are physically hurting. Every day I promise him that I would not give up.  I am glad I hung in there.

That bike in the living room! I did not know a bike would fit in this living room. I rode that bike right away up to the store to used the money you left to get a lock for my storage locker.  The bike was adjusted right to my height and I got on it and took right off. It was made for me

I got up Christmas morning and rode that bike. I have not had a bike for at least 15 years since I was a little kid.  I like that it’s MY bike and it’s not stolen. I am not worrying when I see the police when I am on this bike because I am not on a stolen bike and hey- I got it for Christmas- it’s legit. I was like a little kid.  Amazing freedom experience all over again and I feel like a little kid in an adult’s body.  I woke up with so much energy. I rode that bike like I was not sick or out of shape. I treasure that bike it was just perfect and it felt like nothing was left to chance.   

Riding that bike was like God answered some of prayers.

I went to put my coat away in the closet when I got home to find a really nice NEW coat in my closet, and jeans, socks, shirts, and clothes just for me. I have not had NEW clothes from a NEW store in so long. I also cannot believe all the clothes for Little Anthony and they are so nice. I am also looking forward to using my crock pot and I want to use it for News Years Day.  I already cooked the ham.

I loved the greeting of hope that people left. Reading those kind words- that was when I lost it. It all just got very emotional. More than a few tears came that moment and I was glad little Anthony was already in his room.

Having this experience – It makes things a lot easier for me.  It was just something that I could not do.  I look at this apartment all day and I did not know where to begin, there was so much to do and so many things to fix. It is not easy getting up everyday taking a bus 45 minutes each way to get to my son to school and some days that is all I got in me.

Your encouragement made me feel so special and I will rub that off on him.  He is just discovering everything in his room. It is like you people took so much time to find just the right stuff, and NICE stuff. Whoever put together that little box of treasures that he can look at with his magnifying glass was so thoughtful -like we are at our own museum. Now we have all these maps, and we get to see all these things around the world.  I am hoping to get out and see some of it for real.

So, say thanks to the team and let them know that it was everything that little Anthony wanted and it was so much more for me as a person. I needed the push.  It gave me ambition. It was so nice for you all to take the time to assess how much we needed and then took the time to get to know US as people

The space is my style and I did not know I had a style, and it looks classy.

We did a lot in that one day. A day we will never forget. Thank you

Join the CRAVE Team! CRAVE delivers on one thing: fresh and innovative cuisine along with an impeccable wine and cocktail selection brought to life in a chic, casual, vibrant atmosphere complemented by passionate, personalized service.

The Restaurant Manager provides leadership and assistance to the General Manager to ensure that all team members are guest-focused and team-focused. The Restaurant Manager will exercise knowledge of restaurant operations, manage staff resources, provide counsel, develop and coach team members and help to build sales and profits while maintaining operating standards.


  • Provides exceptional guest service and maintains great relationships with guests
  • Manages the human resource function in the restaurant ensuring recruitment, selection, orientation, training, scheduling and performance management functions meet or exceed company specified criteria.
  • Ensures the daily execution of the Mission Statement and Core Values.
  • Complies with company policies, practices and procedures and communicates all changes to team members.
  • Ensures overall food quality and handling, safety, security, service and cleanliness standards are met.
  • Assists with catering, marketing and group sales events


  • High school or GED
  • Minimum  3 years of upscale casual restaurant management experience, 2 year of high volume corporate restaurant environment preferred
  • Knowledge of the retail environment, ability to manage the workflow in a fast-paced environment, multi-task, and delegate
  • Ability to supervise and motivate others while acting as a role model, knowledge of supervisory practices and procedures
  • Financial and general business acumen
  • Strong customer service experience, knowledge of customer service techniques and high quality consciousness.
  • Effective communication, problem solving, planning, organizational, and creative skills; desire to contribute with innovative ideas
  • Open availability, ability to work a 50 hour work a week
  • Knowledge of Compeat software is a PLUS!

CRAVE is an equal opportunity employer offering:

Flexible Schedules
Insurance Benefits
Paid Vacation Days
Thorough and Ongoing Training

To apply, please send your resume to CRAVE Human Resources Manager Mikhail Kopylov at

I signed up for a contest on Facebook, for a free dinner for 2 and 2 tickets to a NYE party at Aria at the Juene Lune.
I won- WOOHOO!!!


My husband, Steve and I decided to get a sitter for the evening and rent a hotel room, downtown Minneapolis so we could really celebrate.  The night began a little on the hectic side.  To start, we were late leaving our house (as a 9 month old will easily keep you) then we got lost in Minneapolis, trying to find our hotel.

After finding it and checking in quickly, we ran about 4 blocks to get on the tram and just missed it, we literally watched it drive away!  After waiting 20 minutes, for the next train, we were  finally on our way to CRAVE at the MOA.
We are at the mall, yay!  But, we’re on the complete opposite side as CRAVE, booo!  We start running through the mall (me in 4in heels and a dress) and FINALLY get there at 7:45pm (mind you our reservations were for 7pm).  I kindly ask the hostess if we are still able to get in for dinner (in my head I’m begging her) and she says absolutely, and happily, immediately seats us, with not even a little grumpiness.  As a matter of fact, every single person working at CRAVE, that we met on NYE seemed to be in a great mood.  Everyone had a smile on their face and were joking around with each other.  You don’t see that a lot, it certainly made us in a better mood as I’m sure it did others.
Melinda, immediately comes over and takes our drink order, a St. Germaine Martini for me and a glass of Hess Cabernet for Steve.  As she’s getting our drinks someone must have told her the situation and that dinner was on CRAVE.  She comes back and says we are going “all out” tonight and insists we start off with a bottle of champagne. Hey, it is New Years Eve, right?  I don’t know what kind of champagne to get so Melinda chose the Gloria Ferrier Rose champagne for us and it was PERFECT!!  BTW- Melinda, is the best waitress I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!  So outgoing and a genuinely fun person to be around, she made our night a perfect 10  🙂


We ate what seemed like a ton of food.  To start we had the Sumo roll (my fav) and the Tuna poke.  Then we each had a cup of the seafood bisque.  For dinner, Steve, had the lobster crusted filet mignon and I had the sea bass with risotto.  Oh, we also had a bottle of the Hess Cab, with dinner but didn’t get very far through that bottle.  Not because it was bad, it was really good but because we were both a little buzzed after the bottle of champagne, not a bad thing either!  For dessert, we had a huge piece of chocolate cake and Shong, the sushi chef brought us some more sushi.  I’m not sure what it was but it looked and tasted magnificent!  We also each had a shot of espresso, to keep the night going, we had awhile before midnight!


After CRAVE, we got back on the tram, to take us back to downtown Minneapolis.  We met a couple a friends and headed over to Aria at the Jeune Lune.  It was crazy busy there!!  The food was also catered by CRAVE and looked delicious but we were too full to try any of it.
We danced, we drank, we kissed at midnight…. and we ordered pizza at 3am.  It was a great night and it’s all thanks to CRAVE, T.J., Melinda, Shong and everyone else at CRAVE, that night!  CRAVE at MOA ROCKS!!!


This was not the first time we have eaten at CRAVE, nor will it be the last time (especially since we bought gift certificates. Hope we helped Mike’s team a little).  We have not had one bad experience or one bad meal.  Everything has always been DELICIOUS!!!


Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much for such a memorable evening!
Tina Poser (Guest Blogger)

I had never heard of Crave and much less that it had opened in Merrick Park two weeks ago. Luckily for me, my boyfriend had mentioned it when I was trying to think of places to go to dinner with my friends. After some research into the menu I realized this was a small national chain with a diversified menu similar to Cheesecake Factory (minus the cheesecake). The menu offers a lot of continental/new American dishes as well as a decked out sushi bar and wine list. One of my friends had visited one of their Minnesota locations and raved about it, so we decided to give it a shot. Once at the restaurant you realize how enormous it is. The outside dining area is bigger than most locally owned restaurants, venture inside and you are slapped in the face with a gargantuan space that screams, “Viva las Vegas!” The décor reminded me a lot of the Bellagio, with Chihuly-esque glass structures hanging from the ceilings and walls.

While we waited for my friends, we tried a couple of appetizers and drinks. I kept it simple and ordered their edamame. The edamame is tossed in a sriracha soy glaze that gives it a nice kick and by the time I was done, my lips were burning and tingling. The edamame was perfectly cooked and very well seasoned; luckily for me, my date was too busy with his food so I didn’t have to share.







My date had two appetizers; he started off with their Sunomono Salad (a fancy way of saying cucumber salad). The salad is really light and refreshing with cucumbers, daikon and carrots tossed in sweet rice vinegar. The presentation was also very simple and colorful with the bright greens, orange and yellow hues popping against the contrast of the white dish. The rice vinegar tasted great and was a good compliment to the thinly shredded daikon and cucumber.









Up next, my date had their Grilled Ceviche. I know what you’re thinking, “Grilled Ceviche, isn’t that a total oxymoron?” and you’re absolutely right. That’s actually what intrigued us about the dish. The menu has a simple description for this dish that states, “Shrimp, scallop, kimchee, mango and cilantro.” What we got was a bowl filled with shrimp, scallops, chopped mango and minced cilantro with 3 orange segments and 3 slices of avocado. As you can see in the photo, the avocado had some slight brown spots, but nothing that was too unbearable. As some of you may know by now, I’m allergic to shrimp, so I couldn’t try this dish and have to rely solely on what my date’s thoughts on the dish were for this post. He said that the freshness of the ingredients wasn’t top notch, but none the less it was a good dish with a great combination of fruits and savory flavors. Whether the name GRILLED Ceviche is 100%befitting is still to be determined, but it was a flavorful dish none the less. I will comment, I’ve noticed that my date’s consumption of shrimp has skyrocketed exponentially since it’s become clear that I’m allergic… coincidence? I think not.







When my friends joined us, we dove straight into our entrees and everyone ordered completely different types of cuisines. The menu is all over the place, like Britney Spears when she hasn’t had her daily Lithium dose. My friend Manny went with their sushi, his wife and my date both had pasta and I had a pizza. I’ll start off my talking about my friend’s sushi. He got two different rolls, their Sumo Roll and Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll. The sumo roll is a tempura roll with a combination of spicy salmon, mango, cilantro and asparagus with a drizzle of sweet eel sauce over the top. The Crunchy Spicy Tuna roll comes with Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, seaweed salad, crunchy flakes, and sweet sauce. My friend was a concentrated sushi eating machine. He did at one point mention that the sushi did taste good and the fish was fresh. The fact that he inhaled his food and didn’t look up much during dinner was a positive sign.







My date had their Shrimp and Andouille sausage pasta (another shrimp dish, I smell a conspiracy!). The dish comes with linguini, sautéed shrimp, andouille sausage, spinach, broccolini, tomato and fresh parmesan all tossed in a slightly spicy vodka cream. I was unable to taste this dish, but the vegetables were all brightly colored and my date did mention the dish had a nice kick to it that went well with the sausage and shrimp.







My friend Jen is easily one of the pickiest eaters in America. I know as she reads this she is probably saying out loud, “I AM NOT!” I still love you Jen, but you are picky…don’t be mad at me! Although she was debating over two different dishes, at the last minute she decided to have their Roasted Chicken and Penne pasta. The pasta comes with roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, goat cheese, pine nuts, minced basil tossed in a romesco sauce. She enjoyed the red peppers and the fact that they were still al dente and firm. The Chicken tasted fresh and the pasta was also cooked al dente. The romesco sauce gave it all a great, slightly spicy flavor that tied together all the ingredients nicely. You can imagine our amazement when she left all but 5 pieces of pasta behind. If the picky eater of the bunch ate her whole plate, you know it can’t be bad.







I ended up having their Grape and Apple flatbread pizza. I was in a vegetarian friendly mood that night and this dish seemed relatively healthy. I really enjoyed this dish, the crust was really thin, and almost cracker like around the edges (I realize some people don’t like this kind of crust, but given the toppings it worked well for me). The pizza came topped with a ton of blue cheese crumbles, thinly julienned red apples, halved seedless purple grapes and drizzled with honey and minced parsley. The menu mentioned that the pizza comes with rosemary, but my pizza had no rosemary in it whatsoever. None the less, this giant flatbread was really tasty and the red apples and grapes went well with the blue cheese. And don’t let this dish fool you, it is actually very filling yet it doesn’t leave you asking the waiter for a wheelbarrow and stretchy pants.







My friends decided to try a couple of their ‘Crave Miniatures’ also known as dessert shots. My friends went with their Tiramisu and Salty Caramel Mousse shots. The Tiramisu was delicately layered almost like a miniature trifle and topped with a generous dusting of cocoa and a chocolate decoration to give it some extra pizzazz. My friend Jen inhaled her shot and was kind enough to grace her husband with one tiny spoonful before devouring it. Her husband ate the bulk of the Salty Caramel mousse shot that looked airy and light as a mousse should. The presentation of this shot was less decadent and fancy but it looked delicious. I was too stuffed to try either one of the desserts, but both of my friends assured me they were very good.









All in all, our meal and experience was a favorable one. Our waitress was jovial, helpful and eager to assist us with suggestions. The food was good and the restaurant was definitely busy for a Thursday night. If you’re looking for a large place to host a party or a restaurant that is a notch above the Cheesecake factory, then give this place a try. The menu does spread itself rather thin with so many various options and cuisines. As with several chain restaurants that have so many options, it doesn’t particularly excel or wow, but they execute their dishes well in an above average manner. This is their second outpost in Florida, with their first located in Orlando, and I expect more locations to pop up in South Florida.

– FatGirl Hedonist (Guest Blogger at CRAVE)