For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
A new takeout restaurant called Crave Cafe opened this weekend at 3592 N. Oakland Ave., in the space previously occupied by Runaway Meatball.
The cafe’s focus is primarily on burgers, and you can find a number of standards including the classic hamburger, cheeseburger, mushroom and Swiss, and "The Standard," featuring cheddar, romaine lettuce, tomato, pickle and house-made Thousand Island dressing. The cafe’s signature Crave Burger includes Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and white truffle aioli ($8)
But the menu also features numerous internationally inspired offerings like a Korean BBQ burger with Korean barbeque glaze, American cheese, spicy mayo, kimchi and cabbage slaw ($7). The Japanese Katsu burger features tonkatsu (Japanese breaded pork cutlet) along with American cheese, garlic aioli, cabbage slaw and katsu sauce ($7). There’s also a soft shell crab BLT featuring two soft shell crabs, bacon, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli.
Sides include traditional french fries, along with ranch, cheddar, barbecue and cajun fries (small and large orders, priced $2-3.5). There are also side salads, including a tonkatsu salad ($7) and grilled mushroom salad ($7).
Crave Cafe is owned by David Wu, a Shorewood native whose family has operated the East Garden Chinese Restaurant at 3600 N. Oakland Ave. since 1983. Wu took over the business several years ago, making improvements to the restaurant and simplifying the menu to refocus it on more authentic Chinese fare.
We first connected with Wu in August 2015. At that point, he was awaiting a conditional use permit. In the time since, Wu has worked to bring the restaurant in alignment with Shorewood codes, rectifying multiple zoning and building code violations, remodeling the restaurant’s kitchen and improving the look and feel of the exterior facade.
The 1,450-square foot space has indoor seating which accommodates 12, as well as a small patio space.
Crave Cafe is open open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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.