UPDATE: Cookie Cravings Bakery has changed their name to Cravings Carryout Cafe! See photos of the new branding and menu here. [February 2014]
Cravings Carryout Cafe (Facebook / @CravingsCafe614)
227 E. Third Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
Open Tues-Fri, 10a-6p; Sat & Sun, 9a-3p
Accepts cash & debit/credit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
Let’s just get this out of the way and say that Cookie Cravings is aptly named. We made our first visit for a Saturday breakfast of iced coffee, crepes, sandwiches, and cookies, and already we’re craving more, especially those sandwiches and crepes. Cookie Cravings is a one-room setup in Italian Village, down a little side street off the main artery of Fourth Street. We live nearby and travel up Fourth frequently, so it’s dangerous knowing what craving we can satisfy at Cookie Cravings. The shop is run by Lindsay and Matt Tewanger, who are putting together their years of experience in the restaurant industry to go it alone in their own small bakery space. They started with cookies (hence the name) and have been slowly expanding their menu to include sandwiches and crepes of both sweet and savory varieties.
The small location gives you close-up view of the baked goods. I love it when bakeries present their products in such a way that they just sell themselves. I mean, come on – you walk in the door and are faced with puffy chocolate/cherry brioche…
There is some seating in the shop – one tall cab table and a narrow counter, plus a couple picnic tables outside – but right now it’s geared more toward the grab-and-go crowd.
They’re serving Thunderkiss coffee – both iced and hot – and are amongst a growing number of places offering growlers of iced coffee. Growler fill-ups are a popular trend for craft beer these days, and I love that it’s turned to iced coffee as well. It’s a cost-effective way to purchase cold coffee drinks. We saw two or three people stop by to fill up their growlers.
The other fun thing about Cookie Cravings’ one-room space is that you can watch Matt and Lindsey at work. Matt works some crepe magic with two crepe pans and a single burner.
It’s always fun to watch crepes being made. There’s a certain mystique to seeing the thin batter spread across the pan.
And when Matt starts adding the ingredients to the crepes, you find yourself saying, “I’ll have one of those, and one of those…”
Cookie Cravings’ crepe line-up will change from time to time. On our visit they featured four savory and two sweet. The savories include things like huevos rancheros (what?!), the Market (pictured above), and the Frenchman.
I chose The Cuban crepe, with pork cheek, gruyere, dijon mustard, and pickled vegetables. It’s a super rich and tangy. The pork cheek (from Bluescreek Farms in North Market) was very tender, while the dijon and pickled veg added a nice bite. This is one of those meals that has me salivating as I write about it and stare at the picture. The other thing about the crepes is that, while they may seem thin when spread out on the pan, they’re a sizable meal when all rolled up together.
The crepe was amazing, but even better than that was the special of the day, essentially a grilled cheese sandwich on house-made brioche with brie, caramelized onions, and cherry compote. What a spectacular combination of flavors, all crispy on the outside and creamy inside.
Suffice it say that we loved our experience at Cookie Cravings, and we plan to become regulars there. The food was remarkable, Matt and Lindsey were welcoming, and space – with its brick walls, wooden floor, and big windows – is very inviting. But one of the best things (of many) about Cookie Cravings is the sense of the small neighborhood bakery. While we munched on our crepes and sandwiches and cookies, a steady stream of locals stopped in to grab coffee and a pastry or a couple hand-held crepes. Here’s hoping the place will become an institution.