By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 09, 2022 at 11:01 AM

Crafty Cow is launching new menus at all of its locations (Oconomowoc, Wauwatosa and Bay View) on March 10. But the change is about more than just adding new options for diners.

“We’ve taken a good hard look at our menu,” says co-owner Devin Eichler, “And we’ve made an effort to really zero in on the elements that we do well.” 

That means refocusing on producing some of the best burgers in the city, along with more items that accommodate vegetarian and "flexitarian" diners. But it also means being transparent about a variety of operational practices, ingredient sourcing and sustainability.

“In recent years, I’ve grown to appreciate what I do in a very different way,” says Eichler. “And I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of things we’re doing that we’ve never talked about. And, thanks to conversations with staff and customers, we’ve decided to share more about the way we approach operations at Crafty Cow. So we took the time to flesh out the things that were important to us.”

The Crafty Cow menus will now list the brand’s commitment to sustainability, including the use of compostable and recyclable containers, the use of antibiotic, hormone-free, vegetarian fed, humanely raised Black Angus beef from Creekstone Farm, and all natural chicken. 

It also addresses the restaurant’s commitment to community, including their aim to create inclusive spaces and foster community and positive neighborhood impact.

And – maybe most significantly – their commitment to their employees, which now includes paid time off for both part-time (20 hours or more) and full-time employees, along with health benefits gleaned through a partnership with Everside Health, which are paid for in full by Crafty Cow.

New menu items

Loyal guests will also notice multiple changes on the menu, including the addition of numerous vegetable-based dishes like a vegetarian loaded burrito with taco seasoned quinoa, poblano pepper medley, pepperjack cheese, avocado, greens, edamame and chickpeas in a chickpea cilantro wrap ($14.50); and a fried cauliflower po’boy featuring aleppo pepper battered cauliflower, marinated tomato, greens, cilantro mint chutney, pickled red onion and cucumbers ($14.50).

Fried cauliflower po'boy
Fried cauliflower po'boy (Photo: Crafty Cow)

Guests can substitute a Beyond Meat patty on any Crafty Cow Burger for $2. However, there’s also a new burger crafted with a Beyond Burger in mind. The I Feel Like Giannis features a Beyond Meat patty with pickled red onion, artichokes, marinated tomatoes, whipped feta, and cilantro mint chutney served up on a pub grain bun ($15).

New craft burgers include the Pump Up the Jam stuffed with applewood smoked blue cheese and topped with blueberry jam, greens, red onion, bacon, jalapeno and garlic aioli ($15).

Pump Up the Jam
Pump Up the Jam (Photo: Crafty Cow)

At Wauwatosa and Bay View, guests can also order up the Kimchi Krusher featuring two house patties, Bulgogi beef, pepperjack cheese, caramelized kimchi, scallions, cilantro, Korean BBQ sauce and roasted jalapeno and garlic aioli ($15).

Kimchi Krusher
Kimchi Krusher (Photo: Crafty Cow)

Also, if you notice that the basic Juicy Lucy burger is missing, you’re absolutely right, as it’s been replaced with a tastier, more customizable burger: The Classic Cow, which features two smash-style brisket patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and special sauce ($12.50), plus bacon and/or avocado for +$3.

Classic Cow
Classic Cow (Photo: Crafty Cow)

There’s also a new chicken bowl featuring chicken shawarma, root vegetables, quinoa, edamame, chickpeas, marinated tomatoes, cilantro mint chutney, artichokes, greens, naan and whipped feta ($16.50).

Chicken Bowl
Chicken Bowl (Photo: Crafty Cow)

Oconomowoc diners can also enjoy the new triple bacon BLT with pulled pork belly, bacon, bacon jam, marinated tomato, greens and truffled garlic aioli on brioche ($15).  

Sides at all locations have also been revamped to include mac and cheese, snap pea and broccoli slaw, maple cinnamon fire grilled peaches, buttermilk biscuits with blueberry jam and honey chipotle root veggies ($5-$8).

Guests can also order tater tots or sweet potato waffle fries with dipping sauces ($7). Sauces include kale pesto aioli, garlic parmesan, Kansas City BBQ, ranch, white BBQ, chipotle aioli, Korean BBQ, honey chipotle, Buffalo, cilantro aioli, jalapeno and garlic aioli or sambal aioli.

Eichler says that Crafty Cow guests at all locations can also look forward to some additions to the brunch menu starting March 19.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.