A couple of weeks ago I had my first taste of what’s on the menu at Crave, a relatively new restaurant on a section of Vancouver’s rapidly-gentrifying Main Street.
Chef/owner Wayne Martin used to be the executive chef at Vancouver’s Four Seasons Hotel, but this is not a hoity-toity place by any stretch of the imagination, also the food definitely qualifies as high quality.
*disclosure: I was part of a media dinner held on the back patio, so I did not pay for this meal and the rest of the restaurant was closed, so of course all service was focused on this dinner party.
Wayne told us that the next step in his career would have been some other corporate position with the Four Seasons chain, or he could strike out on his own and do whatever he wanted in his new place. Great decision!
Crave is a real comfort food kind of place, but there are still a few items on the menu that harken back to Wayne’s roots at the Four Seasons, like his ahi tuna tempura roll and Dungeness crab cakes.
Where the dishes shine include Wayne’s take on some classics such as the Cobb Salad, which in this case was composed in colourful rows of the salad ingredients topped with his buttermilk batter-fried chicken. I also enjoyed some excellent barbecued pork ribs along with a pulled pork sandwich. If it’s a nice evening make sure you ask for a table out back on the patio, which has been nicely landscaped and is a real unexpected oasis on that stretch of Main Street just north of King Edward.
That Main and King Ed neighbourhood was part of my old stomping grounds when I lived on the East Side, and I kind of miss not only the old stalwarts there, such as The Reef, Windsor Meats and Jasmine Halal Meats and Deli, but new entries such as Crave. Take a stroll in that area and you’ll see what I mean. It’s no longer fair to call it Vancouver’s Antique Alley, as the modern bistros and shops are starting to eclipsing the old second hand stores and antique shops.