This article is brought to you by our friends at Rochester Manor+Villa. Visit them on Facebook by clicking here

Crave Mexican Grill is the new “fast casual” restaurant that opened recently along 3rd Street in Beaver. The fast casual-style restaurants have taken the country by storm over the past 5-7 years. If you’ve never heard of this term, you’ve surely been to a restaurant that’s in this category: Panera, Chipotle, Shake Shack, Wahlburger’s, Fuddruckers, Five Guys, etc.

Any time a new restaurant pops up in Beaver County, let alone one that resembles a Qdoba/Chipotle-style spot that most Americans are obsessed with, the hype gets pretty real. Crave has only been open a couple of weeks, and I wanted to give our readers an honest review about a place with a ton potential. I’m going to break this down into “the good” and “the bad.”

IMG_8331

IMG_8333

The Good

The interior space of Crave is modern-looking with a few tables and chairs inside and outside. It’s small but spacious. When you first walk in, you enter the beginning of the line where you place your order. I got a chicken burrito bowl, my go-to order when I visit Chipotle. The portion size was enormous. The heaping piles of rice, meat, and toppings were more than enough. The prices are also very reasonable. My burrito bowl was less than $8, and for the amount of food I received, I consider that a good value. I also used some of the Two Rivers olive oil they have to complement my bowl. Persian lime and lemon. Good stuff. The staff was very friendly and interior was clean.

IMG_8335

IMG_8338

The Bad

I’m going to give Crave the benefit of the doubt, but the common theme I’ve been hearing among diners there, and what I experienced myself, is that the rice and meat are very bland with little to no taste. This is something that can be easily corrected by the management or whoever is cooking the food at Crave. I actually had to use the Two Rivers olive oils, salt, and Tabasco sauce to add flavor to my food. This restaurant wants to be Chipotle/Qdoba, and it can be. It just needs to add some seasoning to the chicken and rice. I really wanted to give this place a good review, but the food is going to hold it back unless it gets fixed. Other than that, I really had no complaints. But if a restaurant like this serves bland food, people won’t be back, especially with a host of other quality restaurants in downtown Beaver.

IMG_8336

I wish Crave the best of luck. Once it works its kinks out, it’s going to be (and already is) a nice addition to the food scene in the County. We’ve been “craving” a Chipotle here for the longest time, with the closest ones being in Robinson and Cranberry. The menu is solid with a nice variety of choices in which to choose. The staff is friendly and welcoming. The portions are large. And it’s in a great location.

If you visit Crave, let us know what you think!

Marc is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. A 2001 graduate of Center High School and 2005 graduate of Point Park University, Marc is employed by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and officiates high school and college football. Follow Marc on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @marcgrando