Port Wine Fig Kouign Amann
CK Monkey Bread
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scone
Gluten Free Maple Pecan Muffin
Savory Pancakes – Fire Roasted Corn, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Chives, Mustard Syrup, Bacon Jam
Vegan Coconut Chia Pudding – Blackberry Compote, Toasted Coconut and Almond Granola, Fresh Blackberries
Sweet Potato Fries – Maple Bacon Aioli
Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Waffle – Fresh Blueberries, Lemon Zest, Freshly Whipped Cream
Vegan Classic French Toast – Vanilla Bean Batter, Blueberries, Vermont Maple Syrup
Creme Brûlée Stuffed French Toast – Vanilla Bean Custard Filling, Caramelized Sugar, Fresh Whipped Cream, Vermont Maple Syrup, Strawberries
Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Crunch Shooter
Carrot Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting, Pecan Brittle
Chocolate Raspberry Macaron
Now a regular member of the #supportlocal lunch rotation in addition to its long-term candidacy for the 702’s best Breakfast it was as a party of three that another trip was made from the west side to CRAFTkitchen, a drive down Fort Apache Road passing right by the likes of Café Breizh, Toast Society, Neighbors and Panera before hopping on the 215 East for Jaret and Tami Blinn’s little spot in Henderson serving “Food with personality delivered by people with passion.”
At this point no longer a local secret, anniversary number three upcoming in October and weekends still featuring lines a testament to the sort of community CRAFTkitchen has fostered through good old fashioned hard work and word of mouth since day one, it was after a few moments wait at the podium as familiar Staff circulated that a four top beneath paintings by the Blinn’s daughter was readied, an #everchangingbrunch now in its 141st week again offering all sorts of new enticements alongside old favorites.
Taken care of by a previously unseen waitress, though an assist from Troi who is now back in action plus a woman who introduced herself as the new “dining room manager” helped overcome a few small gaffs, it was with Coffee poured and kept brimming that Breakfast began predictably with Pastries, Jaret’s Valley-best Monkey Bread as compelling as ever thanks to crunch adjacent fluffiness beneath molten Cinnamon Frosting while the day’s Kouign Amann featured layers of its own laden with Butter and topped with dollop of housemade Port Fig Jam.
Clearly signaling the end of Summer with the arrival of Pumpkin, Beth Ryan-Small’s impeccable Scones previously sold at Mothership here a bit smaller but every bit as worthwhile thanks to a crumbly texture that is never dry, it was as diners were finishing up a springy Maple Pecan Muffin that course two began, Jaret’s Savory Pancakes from July brought back by special request almost certainly worth cancelling alternative weekend plans for when they return as the tall stack of five walks a tightrope balancing bits of Corn and Bacon against Maple, Cheese and Tomato.
Next taking spoonfuls of CRAFTkitchen’s oft-praised Chia Pudding, an ingredient whose sometimes challenging texture is here made smoother by Coconut Milk before adding Granola and Berries for contrast, it was as fresh-cut Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Bacon Aioli were being enjoyed that more Berries joined the mix, a fourth Gluten-Free item fresh from the Waffle iron featuring crisp edges and plenty of Blueberries in their juice with freshly Whipped Cream and light hints of Citrus.
Unintentionally testing Vegan waters next with “classic” French Toast, the 100% Pure Maple Syrup helping add moisture to Bread that is fine but certainly not comparable to that made with Eggs or Milk, it was with most of this set aside that attention turned to Chef Blinn’s Crème Brûlée-stuffed version, each bite rich and comforting thanks to thick-cut slices of Texas Toast seared golden before filling with Vanilla Bean Custard and topping with a Cream, Syrup and a layer of Sugar that’s been torched.
Never receiving a requested Crab Cake Benedict, the server almost certainly flustered by six loud Nurses taking full advantage of Bottomless Mimosas one table over, it was instead here that new and old Desserts quelled any remaining hunger, the Gluten Free Cookie actually outperforming its delicious sibling thanks to chewy Oatmeal while a Milk Chocolate “Shooter” was also enjoyable, though it would be pretty difficult to steal the spotlight from either a Chocolate Raspberry Macaron or CRAFTkitchen’s fine-dining level Carrot Cake.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Having undergone a few recent staff changes with noticeable impact one hopes that service issues will be remedied quickly because with Autumn approaching and the patio likely soon full CRAFTkitchen’s Food and the almost limitless creativity in both Sweets and Savories deserve a front of house equal to the Women and Men in the Kitchen.
RECOMMENDED: CK Monkey Bread, Port Wine Fig Kouign Amann, Savory Pancakes, Vegan Coconut Chia Pudding, Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Waffle, Crème Brûlée Stuffed French Toast, Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Carrot Cake.
AVOID: Only ardent Vegans need consider the “classic” French Toast so long as the Crème Brûlée version is offered.
TIP: With the Holidays coming up consider CRAFTkitchen for both off-site catering and buyouts, because at least one night in December is already spoken for.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.