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Crafted Block and Brew- Orlando

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3 out of 5 sprouts

Well we tried. We really wanted to like this place. We were excited when a new eatery opened in the Metrowest Shopping Village, only a few miles from our house. It wasn’t going to be one of those greasy chain restaurants along Kirkman, this place was going to be clean and modern with a unique and inspiring menu. Crafted Block and Brew opened last summer in the old space that was last known as Taquitos Jalisco, and before that a couple of different Italian places. Sure, the space seems cursed. The only thing consistent in that entire shopping center is the Publix. But I digress.

Crafted Block and Brew Greek Salmon Salad Beauty and the Beets

We really hoped we were finally going to have a nice local eatery, a place to meet friends for lunch or enjoy a Sunday brunch. What we found was a place to leave with a wallet that was $70 lighter and a stomach that was still hungry.

Artisanal Cheese Dip Crafted Block and Brew Beauty and the Beets

Three of us met for a business lunch and since it was work related we chose not to indulge in the beer. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe we just need to enjoy a beer. Instead, we ate lunch. First of all, my disclaimer, Crafted caters to meat eaters and meat eaters only I believe. We found ONE Vegetarian entree on the lunch and dinner menu and it was a salad. Oh joy. The ol’ Vegetarian restaurant salad. We had at least hoped for maybe a veggie wrap or something. There were a few more options for Pescatarians but they were few and far between on a menu stuffed with burgers and pork belly. Again, they don’t claim to be a healthy veggie-type place and really that was only a small contributor to the overall issue.

Artisinal Cheese Dip Crafted Beauty and the Beets

We started with the Artisanal Cheese Dip– four cheeses melted together and served with tomato jam and crisp flat bread. The garlicky taste of the dip was great, the tomato jam was meh and the lavash crisps were nicely toasted and seasoned.

Crafted Orlando Grilled Mahi Tacos Beauty and the Beets

With the menu lacking any other decent choices we all three decided to order fish. Two of us ordered the Grilled Mahi Tacos and they were disappointing. We were each served two soft tortillas filled with mahi, lettuce and a drizzle of Tzatziki. A small flour tortilla can only hold so much mahi- a third taco may have been perfect. The menu also promised Aegean relish of which I have no idea what it is because our tacos didn’t have any. On the side we had two more of those lavash bread crisps and a small dollop of hummus. We basically paid $14.95 each and we left still hungry. It just wasn’t enough food, especially for the price.

Greek Salmon Salad Crafted Orlando Beauty and the Beets

The third entrée we ordered was the Greek Salmon Salad and it too was sad. Also priced at $14.95, it was a lot of lettuce, a few capers, cucumbers, roasted red peppers and feta cheese. Again, the menu promised Aegean relish and I can only assume it’s that little dollop of whatever was on the salmon. Whatever it was it added nothing to the dish. However, the salmon was plump and juicy, seasoned very well and cooked perfectly. But the portion was not proportional to the price. I just  feel that three people with an appetizer and each their own entrees should have left somewhat satisfied. We fondly look back on that lunch as very expensive snack- the kind you would find at a high end resort in a private cabana by the pool. Only, we had no resort, no cabana, no pool…not even a poolboy.

Grilled Mahi Tacos Crafted Block and Brew Beauty and the Beets

So the bad– the portions are small, the prices are high and the menu is limited if you refrain from beef and pork (again- Crafted makes no claim to cater to non-meat eaters.)

The good– nice open, clean and modern space with lots of light. Great patio for enjoying the weather. Good service. And the food we had was good. Three out of five sprouts from this still Hungry Sprout.

Crafted Block and Brew website

 

Helen Corbin

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

Too bad :-( Not even a pool boy, huh????????????