Minneapolis skyway dwellers, lend me your ears! Guess what’s suddenly popped up in that stretch of second floor between Crave and the YMCA? A new concept from Crave called Crave Fresh To Go. Or Crave, Fresh, To Go. It wasn’t entirely clear—counter staff told me this is only their second week of operation, and they’d know the punctuation for sure when the to-go menus arrived, which would happen once they figured out what would go on the menus.
So far, what’s on the menu is a blend of greatest hits from Crave, the restaurant, like pizza and sushi, and some new options too. I tried:
1. A spicy tuna roll: Fresh, just-made, with good rice and a bit of romaine that gave the rolls crunch, for $7.25. As far as skyway sushi goes this was among the very best, right up there with the Kikugawa outpost, (120 South 9th St.). Not a great value for money, but if you add the generous pint-cup of fruit salad for $3.50, that’s about as good a healthy lunch as you’re going to find in the downtown Minneapolis skyways.
2. Great grain salad, $5.95: Another healthy option! A crunchy salad made of almonds, edamame beans (out of the shell), cranberries, a cabbage-and-carrot Asian slaw, quinoa and wild rice, this salad seemed like the fresh vegetable equivalent of a granola bar—in a good way.
3. A roast beef sandwich, $7.25: A swing and a miss. By the time I got it this sandwich was foodservice dry, with cardboard-like dried edges of beef poking out from rubbery, long cooked cheddar cheese. Oh well, that’s why you’re supposed to give new restaurants a couple weeks to get their systems in place. I look forward to trying their Cuban —is this the same Cuban that’s on Crave’s menu fifty feet west for $11.95? I don’t know, but that’s the kind of question that can make Skyway lunch just a little more interesting.
Overall, I’m giving Crave Fresh to Go a too-early review of: How bored are you by your current skyway options? If your answer is “pretty bored,” run, don’t walk! If your answer is “what are skyways?” give it a miss. In case you happen to be reading this from Mars, or out of town, most of downtown Minneapolis is connected in Byzantine ways by second-floor corridors which leap through enclosed walkways over the streets, allowing you to leave your downtown desk job and take a two-mile walk while leaving your coat behind. Unfortunately, most of the food in the skyways leaves a lot to be desired, so gourmands are forced to race between far-flung outposts like Good to Go, the Tea House, Kikugawa, the Greek Grill, Brothers’ Deli, the Bombay Bistro, and Zelino. And now Crave Fresh to Go.
Crave Fresh To Go
Open weekdays, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-5170
(In the LaSalle Plaza building, between Hennepin and LaSalle, and 8th and 9th streets.)