As you know from my Sara’s Kitchen posts, I’m a carnivore — well, really an omnivore. However, unlike many meat eaters, I don’t turn up my nose at the idea of vegetarian dishes. By eating (almost) everything, I love vegetables, and occasionally strive for a “no meat Monday.”
From the moment I heard about Crave & Co., located quietly between The FireHouse Restaurant and Aleco’s on Second Street in downtown Harrisburg, the reviews were all positive. Vegetarian food that was interesting, tasted good. Immediately I knew I needed to check this out — at the very least because I’m often asked about where people can find good vegetarian or vegan fare. As an added bonus, I’ve found a healthy lunch option for myself.
New on their menu are vegetarian tacos — and not the boring kind either. Choose 3 from a menu of about five daily. Yesterday, I went with the crispy black bean (which I realized later I’ve actually made before), brussel sprout kimchi (my favorite) and spicy Korean tofu. They were delicious, flavorful and filling. In fact, I had trouble finishing my third taco.
The other reason for yesterday’s visit was to try the Kombucha flight. If you’re anywhere near a healthy living blog or health food aisle of your grocery, you know that this fermented bev is all the rage right now. I’ve been hesitant to spend money on a bottle from the store without knowing what it would be like, so I was so excited to see Crave & Co. offer not only their own Kombuchu, but in multiple flavors.
Choose a full glass for $3.95, or get a flight of all four — original, lime, rose and chipotle — for $7.95. Flights are great for sharing, and I had a hard time choosing a favorite.
I’d never had kombucha before, but I knew it was a fermented beverage chock full of probiotics (good gut bacteria) that was considered not only healthy but to have some detoxifying properties. Celebs chug it for hangovers, but it also would make a great non-alcoholic alternative for D.D.s, pregnant women or anyone else backing off the sauce for any reason. It’s flavorful — but not overwhelming, has the teensiest sparkle from the natural fermentation, and as displayed at Crave & Co., available in multiple flavor profiles.
Though this was my first time having kombucha, I loved it, and Crave & Co. owner Kristin Messner-Baker told me that many people — who have had kombucha before — say that hers is the best.
I think I’d choose lime on my next visit, but it may depend on the tacos I select. Rose was also lovely, and I know — you’re thinking, “But Sara — chipotle! Your pepper obsession!” Chipotle also was good, more smokey than spicy, and it especially would be great as a cocktail substitution. Frankly, the original was satisfying enough on its own, too.
Since I’ll be fermenting vegetables for pickles this year, I’m probably going to try my hand at homemade kombucha, too.
I asked if people ever use kombucha, which does contain trace amounts of alcohol due to the natural fermentation, as a mixer for cocktails, and well — the internet never disappoints:
This summer, Crave & Co. will be adding evening hours Thursday through Saturday, so stay tuned for that update. A nanobrewery also is in the works, but look for that in 2016.
In the meantime, visit them at 614 N. Second St., Harrisburg from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.