Crafted The Art of Street Food - Casual Dining RestaurantsFood ★★★☆☆ Ambiance ★★★★☆ Service ★★★★☆ Creativity ★★★ ★★ Value ★★★★★meal for 2 $25 -45 plus drinksFull Bar
Crafted The Art of Street Food is a VERY popular restaurant in downtown Greensboro. There is a very small parking lot, but it is easy to find street parking with a short walk to the restaurant. Expect to have long waits on the weekends and they are a first come first served restaurant. This is another difficult to classify restaurant as they serve food from anywhere. There were many small plate offerings, so I have place it under the small plate category. Not the best, but close enough..
I had very high expectations for this Crafted Restaurant as I happen to love international street foods. I have eaten street foods in South Korea, Thailand, The Philippines and Indonesia. Some of the best things you can eat are on little carts selling food. They are also great values. My take is try it if the place looks clean and if you don't like it you only wasted a dollar or two. Crafted the Art of Street Food has a menu with various international flavors and American flavors too. There is plenty on the menu to keep you interested.
The interior of the restaurant is very pleasing and eclectic. They spent a lot of money on the interior to make it look like they did not. The restaurant shares a glass wall with the microbrewery next door. Food goes can go to the brewery, but nothing the other way. This is not an issue as Crafted the Art of Street Food has a good size beer list on tap.
The tables are VERY close and there is a large communal table in the center of the restaurant. If you are going to eat street food, you are going to be in a crowded location, right?
The food is why you come. The menu has small and large plates. We choose 2 "snacks" and 3 small plates which was too much food for 2 people. But with most items at well below $10 each with many in the $5 range, how can you not try lots of different items.
We started off with the lobster Tacos. I was a bit hungry and forgot to take a photo.... Crafted's Lobster taco had fried lobster, white sauce, and a corn relish served on a soft corn tortilla. 2 Tacos to a plate. This dish was OK, but I was expecting a bit more lobster. The main flavor was the corn relish. Overall good, but I felt they could have been much better.
Next, we had Crafted's Bhel. Puff rice. Cilantro. Tomato. Onion. Mint chutney. Lime. Indian spices. Onion chutney. The Bhel is an Indian dish that I have never had and that is my loss. This dish was fantastic. A perfect balance of citrus and Indian spices and a fabulous texture. This is a must try dish!
Next, we had Crafted The Art of Street Food's Shrimp Sambal. Shrimp tossed in a Thai chili and coconut sauce. Rice. Scrambled egg. Mango cucumber relish.
The waiter warned us that this is a very spicy dish and that it maybe too spicy for some. I personally like Thai hot and had not issue. Thai hot is hotter than American hot, so be warned. The sambal was the worst dish we had tonight. The flavor was plain Thai chili sauce. A sambal should have shrimp paste or fish sauce with garlic and sugar, lime juice. Thai sauces are typically very balanced in sweet, sour, salty, savory and herbal. This sambal tasted like Thai chili paste with a touch of coconut. Really a disappointment as I had a sambal in Indonesia that was INCREDIBLE!
Next we had Crafted's Korean Meatballs.Meatballs, with kim chi and a white sauce served over rice. That is their description, not mine as you can see the sauce IS NOT a white sauce. No complaints from me as the sauce was very tasty. The Kim Chi was VERY crisp and had a mild Kim Chi flavor. A Korean would be disappointed with the Kim Chi, but I think 90% of Americans would be much happier with the mild fish and ferment notes of Crafted's Kim Chi. The sauce was savory and slightly sweet and it balanced out well with the Kim Chi and the meatballs. Good Dish.
Our last dish was Japanese Ramen
Beef broth with pickled radish and carrots. Mushrooms. Cilantro. Pork belly. Tea egg. Jalapeno. Scallions.
I felt the broth was wonderful. Rich, meaty, savory and very hearty. My wife felt that the Jalapeno overpowered the broth, but she is not a pepper head like me. If you order this, maybe ask for the Jalapeno on the side... The pork belly was incredible. Crunchy yet tender and great flavor. This dish is not an easy one to share, but I would add this to the list of must tries.
Overall the food was good but not great as it could have been. I see huge potentials in Crafted the Art of Street Food in the creativity of the chef. I love the concept and I love the menu. One dish was fantastic and one disappointing with the rest being in the good to very good range. We had a huge amount of food, 2 beers and a cocktail and the total was $60 (plus tip). It is rare to find a restaurant that you can get a sampling like this with drinks for $60. Fantastic deall!