In the heart of Hillcrest, right after the sun has set, you can start to hear the flickers and pulses of the neon lights turn on and feel a different energy flowing through the neighborhood.
Whatever your night is calling for, a romantic stroll, an indulgence in delectable tastes, a night you want to toast to and never remember, a place to find mr/mrs right now, dinner and a film for one, or in my case... comfort in fried chicken and a cozy conversation with friends, this neighborhood will open its arms and welcome you in.
Crest Cafe with it's South Beach Miami'esque flare, elephant mural and vibrant neon sign, has been iconically lighting up Robinson ave, for as long as I can remember.
My good friend Amanda invited a group of us out one night, to her event at Crest Cafe, to catch up,
have a couple drinks and try a bunch of things on the menu, while getting to know the owners and the history behind the long rooted neighborhood restaurant.
The food is familiar, the portions are hearty, the prices are great and there is an abundant variety of almost anything imaginable. But even now, weeks later, though the other tastes were good, I have trouble painting a picture of anything else but that fried chicken (which also came with waffles, more on that in a second).
Like how the restaurant so vibrantly stands out against many of the other surrounding buildings that come up and go over time, this fried chicken was unexpectedly delightful. I'm usually not a fan of boneless style chicken, but the crispiness, sweet flavor and texture of the meat was quite good.
While always good with butter and syrup, the waffles felt like a novelty pairing to the chicken, as opposed to being a standalone item, that I would order individually. If you're looking for the Belgian style, deep square, light crispy outside and fluffy inside waffle, this isn't it. But if you're into something that's better than eating your chicken with a biscuit, this definitely is that.
While the menu has healthy alternatives, as a few of the friends were looking for, it's very apparent that the steamed veggie and salad concoctions satisfy more so the sustenance aspect of eating, and not necessarily the comfort or enjoyment side.
I always feel the answer to most food predicaments lies in a pan with more butter, but I also understand that's not everyone's kinda thing :P
Crest Cafe is like that friend you don't often think of or see, but on that late working night, or catching up, they're there like a warm hug.