CRAVE is well-known in Houston for its neatly-iced cupcakes in a rotating menu of flavors like carrot, mint chocolate and Nutella, but these aren't necessarily the most interesting things at the newest location in The Woodlands at 2501 Research Forest Drive.
The new location is more spacious than the original in the Galleria area. As a result, there is room for more offerings. Take, for example, the full-fledged coffee and espresso bar, where V60 drippers in gleaming copper are used for pour-overs with freshly ground coffee from Costa Rica, Columbia and Rwanda.
Also unique to this location are the savory breakfast offerings, a fledgling foray into a world that will hopefully be expanded as time goes on. The unique take on a sausage kolache made with puff pastry and with a little bit of heat to it is a conceptual success that proves that the bakery is capable of kicking more than just sweets out of the kitchen. Joining the savory lineup is a rosemary scone studded across the top with nubs of browned goat cheese.
Perhaps later down the road, some light salads and sandwiches will be added to the menu. They would fit in nicely as morning gives way to afternoon.
The health conscious might even be happy enough running in for a cup of coffee and one of the new protein bars laced through with oats and chocolate chips. They're neatly wrapped in wax paper and sturdy enough to slip into a purse or bag, making them an ideal grab and go option.
For breakfast, though, if you're not going to go for that Italian sausage kolache and you're not behaving, it's hard to say no to a breakfast cupcake with walnuts, maple icing and a smattering of bacon across the top. Cake donut fans might find a friend in the cupcake rendition here.
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CRAVE now sports its own big airy croissant now as well, with a big, round, crunchy golden exterior.
This is, of course, still a bakery, so the scales still tip to the sweet side. A tart with layers of pear are laid across the top puff pastry rectangles. Almond slices garnish the top in a generous layer, overall making it the stuff that afternoon tea dream are made of. It's a fine temptation for grownups looking for a bit of sophistication.
There are some one-stop-shop considerations in-place, too. Crave has started offering a few greeting cards with original, cupcake-themed artwork, single cake candles in muted colors, as well as sets of candles that spell out "Happy Birthday." Those little amenities make it really easy to run in and get supplies and treats for a last-minute celebration
The new CRAVE is an easy spot to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon and is a sweet touch to The Woodlands dining landscape.