Iced Coffee from Colorado River Coffee Roasters
Ham & Cheese Kouign Amann
Maple Bacon Cronut
Pork Carnitas Omelet – Cage-free Omelet stuffed with slow braised Pork, Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa, Cotija Cheese, Lime Crema, Micro Cilantro
Bananas Foster Pancakes – Buttermilk Short Stack, Brown Sugar and Orange Rum Glaze, Vanilla Whipped Cream
Buffalo Chicken Loaded Fries – ‘Chicken & What’ Bites, White French Dressing, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Shaved Carrots and Celery
CK Monkey Bread
Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf
Lemon Raspberry Loaf
Pecan Sticky Bun
Now more than a year and a half in business, the crowds still present even as other nearby restaurants have come and gone, CRAFTkitchen from Jaret and Tami Blinn proved a near-ideal stop en route from Las Vegas to San Bernardino for a concert, the 220-mile drive and 9-hours in 101°F temperatures with little shade fortified by new items from the Weekend Brunch menu plus several Pastries, a restaurant that already sets the bar high finding an extra level rather than resting on its laurels.
Already visited several times for both Breakfast and the recently launched Friday Happy Hour, the food which has been universally excellent despite remaining broadly appealing a testament to Chef Blinn’s skills honed at Red Rock prior to taking a chance on the space previously inhabited by Bread and Butter, it was with the Chef taking a needed break to coach his boys’ traveling baseball team that two old friends sat down at one of the windowside booths, locally born n’ raised Manager Devin keeping an eye on one of the most consistent off-Strip waitstaffs in all of Las Vegas or Henderson.
Improving the restaurant soundtrack with each visit, Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So followed by Phil Collins’ That’s All playing lightly overhead as the menu was perused, it was with the first of several Iced Coffees from Colorado River Roasters that choices were made, a trio of new Pastries sent out in the form of two lightly fried Cronuts plus a Strawberry Pop-Tart that continues to one-up artisan versions elsewhere by way of being crisp like the Kellogg’s original, but stuffed with naturally sweet Fruit without trending over to Toaster Strudel territory by getting over-frosted or soggy.
Recently adding a savory option to the ever-changing list of Kouign Amann, the laminated layers holding up nicely to Ham and Cheese that could have benefitted from just a touch more Salt, it was next in two Brunch specials and a previously unnoticed Omelet that $10.95 to $13.50 was invested, the house-braised Pork intensely spicy inside the fold of three Cage-free Eggs but mellowed by Tomatillo Salsa, Cheese and Lime Cream while the fried Chicken found itself tossed amidst Buffalo Sauce, vinegary white Dressing and Blue Cheese atop thin-cut French Fries and shaved Vegetables that tasted great, and was assuredly portioned sharing.
Happily tucking into the can’t miss CK Monkey Bread and Jaret’s Bananas Foster Pancakes, an improvement on whatever Jack Johnson may have been singing about thanks to the addition of Brown Sugar and Orange Rum Glaze plus house-whipped Cream to the fluffy stack covered in sautéed Fruit, it was along the I-15 that a box of to-go Pastries was investigated, all of these items old favorites and highlighted by the softly spiraled Pecan Sticky Bun as well as Sin City’s best Carrot Cake, whether in a full Birthday Cake portion as it was in April or here, made bite-size.
FIVE STARS: Better with each visit, and now proving to be just as well CRAFTed even when the Chef is (rarely) absent, anyone who has not been to CRAFTkitchen owes it to themselves to stop in for Breakfast or Lunch, the whole menu offered seven days a week and far better than anything found at The Cracked Egg , Babystacks or Egg & I.
RECOMMENDED: Pop Tart, CK Monkey Bread, Pecan Sticky Bun, Pork Carnitas Omelet, any of the Pancake Specials, Plain Cronut.
AVOID: N/A, though a touch more salt on the Ham & Cheese Kouign Amann would have made the flavors pop against the buttery Pastry.
TIP: As always, keep an eye on @craftkitchenLV on social media for menu updates, weekend specials and happy hour offers.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.