Crave Cantina -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH



On Tuesday, May 23 Crave Cantina opened in Cuyahoga Falls. You might recognize some familiar touches from Akron's longtime staple Crave located on E. Market street -- Crave Cantina is owner Aaron Hervey's second concept restaurant focusing on pan-Latin cuisine. Dave and I made a reservation for May 24 and were able to get a spot on the second day that Crave Cantina was open.

One thing we struggled with was parking, note that Crave Cantina is located on a pedestrian only street -- we parked on Riverfront Parkway which runs parallel to Front Street. Parking is also available in the Red and Blue Decks which are owned by the city of Cuyahoga Falls.


On the inside of Crave Cantina, there are subtle touches connecting the two restaurants, for example the artwork at both was created by Akron native George C. Roush II, and the signature handblown glass lights from Crave have been reimagined by the creators in Crete for the new location. After the cosmetic similarities, the two locations diverge into two distinct restaurants.

The cocktail menu at Crave Cantina focuses on rum and tequila cocktails -- some drinks are made with locally owned and created Portside Brewery and Distillery rum.

I selected the Bing Cherry Caipirinha made with "lime infused cacha├ža rum, muddled bing cherry + lime and brown sugar." I've only had a caipirinha once before when we mixed them up at home prior to the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Brazil (fun fact, the caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil). I enjoyed this drink, it's not too strong, you get a good feel for what all of the ingredients are in the glass, and I appreciated that it's a twist on the classic.

  
 

Dave ordered the Pineapple Express from the margarita menu made with "terremoto churros tequila, licor 43, pineapple puree, lemon, cinnamon, simple syrup, smoked cinnamon + paprika (pimenton) rim." We both enjoyed this drink as well, the margarita is delightfully mixed, I thought the smokey rim really made the cocktail. I usually see mango and a smokey or spicy rim, never pineapple.




In our quest to taste something from almost every category we ordered a guacamole and a salsa for our appetizer. Pictured is the small portion of each, all guacamoles and salsas also come in a large size, and trio option.




When the Crave Cantina menu was first released the Watermelon, Mango, Habanero, Basil, Mint Salsa was one of the items that I was most excited to try. The combination of ingredients is refreshing and pairs nicely with the saltiness of the tortilla chips.




We also ordered the Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Guacamole made with salsa verde, poblano, and radish. We liked the guacamole, but preferred the salsa this time. There are three other vegetarian guacamoles, so we'll need to order a different one during our next visit.




The menu mentions that a lot of items can be made vegetarian upon request, but we decided to try everything in it's unaltered glory. Our meal was the two vegan tacos available on the menu -- the Vegan Chinese BBQ Jackfruit and the Nashville Hot Tofu Tacos. All tacos are served on your choice of flour or corn tortilla.

The first and third are the Vegan Chinese BBQ Jackfruit Tacos served with Beijing slaw, scallion, and fried wantons.The second and fourth are the Vegan Nashville Hot Tofu Tacos served with Bahamian slaw, house pickles, and shaved radishes. 

My favorite was the Nashville Hot Tofu Taco, the tofu was nice and crispy, the sauce was flavorful, and the pickles helped tie everything together. Dave felt the same way because the corn tortilla we had it served in was superb.

   

Nashville Tofu.
  
BBQ Jackfruit

On the side we enjoyed an order of Mexi Corn traditional street style with mayo, cotija, chili salt, butter, and lime. I wish we had ordered two of these, it was exceptional. The blackened corn gave a great depth to the flavor profile.



The best dessert I've had to date is at Crave, so in order to round out our experience we ordered a Waffle Cone Choco Taco -- Dave kept insisting that it tasted like the Choco Taco which was a popular ice cream treat a while ago, I think it tasted just like a Drumstick. I almost wish we hadn't shared this, because it was that good. It was a fun way to end the meal while keeping with the theme of the restaurant.

   


Overall we left full and happy, if it wasn't a work night we probably would have had a few more drinks. The server kept walking by with drinks for other tables that looked spectacular. If you're not into tacos, Crave Cantina has several salads, sandwiches, and entrees on the menu. During the construction taking place on Front Street Crave Cantina will not be open for lunch, just for dinner and weekend brunch. Once construction is completed there are plans to create a lunch menu and to open up a rooftop patio. 

Make sure to make reservations! This space only holds 100 guests and it is going to be packed, especially once the weather is nicer. I loved Crave Cantina so much last week, that I already have reservations again for next Friday to meet a friend after work. Dave and I cannot wait to check out the brunch menu and to follow along as Crave Cantina blooms into a powerhouse in Cuyahoga Falls, just like Crave is in Akron. 

My rating for Crave Cantina:

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