Crave: As close to ‘treif’ as kosher can get

Crave is not cheap, but it seems to have found the sweet spot between fast food and fine dining

Crave  (photo credit: EDEN MALLER)
(photo credit: EDEN MALLER)
I actually visited Crave the week it opened in October 2016. We had some foodie friends visiting from the US who wanted to take us out, and I had heard about this interesting new place in Mahaneh Yehuda. It was the first time I had eaten a kosher bacon cheeseburger, and it was delicious!
Now, more than four years later, Crave is still going strong. On a recent evening I convened my tasting panel (aka my family) to test a series of menu options that were delivered.
“Eat it now while it’s fresh,” the delivery guy urged us.
I was happy to see the delivery included a 200-gram rodeo burger (NIS 78), the bacon cheeseburger I remembered from my previous visit.
“The [lamb] bacon is made with maple siracha, and to compensate for the sweetness we add jalapenos and an onion ring,” co-owner Tzvi Maller said in an interview. “It’s pretty much olam haba [the world to come].”
When I asked Maller what his favorite dish on the menu is, he said, “There’s something about a Reuben that’s just incredible.”
Crave’s Reuben (NIS 65) has NY-style pastrami with vegan mozzarella cheese, kimchi, pickled onions and siracha truffle mayonnaise on toasted rye bread. There’s a lot going on here, and it’s all very good.
As you can see, Crave is not cheap, but it seems to have found the sweet spot between fast food and fine dining.
Perhaps the most interesting section of the menu is Munchies, which includes dishes such as duck frites (NIS 55), a large portion of fries topped with shredded duck and chicken confit, vegan Parmesan and garlic mayo. Another popular item, although I wasn’t crazy about them, is animal fries (NIS 36) – fries topped with vegan cheese sauce, animal sauce (not quite sure what that is) and lots of sautéed onions and jalapenos. You can even get a side order of lamb bacon (NIS 35), which I highly recommend.
I also enjoyed the Crispy AF Chicken (NIS 64) from the Fun In a Bun section, which had crispy dark meat chicken, coleslaw, pickles and barbecue sauce.
“The sauce is a little sweet for me,” said my feinschmecker daughter.
“I disagree. I think it’s perfect,” said my ever-hungry teenage son.
Like restaurants all over Israel, Crave has pivoted to delivery, in bright yellow shopping bags. The food was packaged well and was still hot when it arrived. The menu is quite extensive with even a few vegan options, like the beer battered portobello sandwich (NIS 49).
If life ever returns to normal, there is a wide selection of Israeli craft beers as well.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant
Phone: (02) 627-2830
Kashrut: Mehuderet Jerusalem
1 Hashikma Street, Jerusalem
Hours: 12 noon-10 p.m. Thursday night, a little later; Saturday nights, also later. Not open Fridays.