My friend Eric told me about Crave. He texted me an incredible looking dessert picture and said the coffee bar owners were from Kosovo and made all their pastries in house. Tucson doesn’t lack for coffee bars or handmade pastries but something about the picture and his enthusiasm stuck with me.
Months later I drove by Crave and on a whim I stopped for lunch . The interior is cold and clean and bright with lots of metal and glass.
Tucson coffeehouses typically run to the warm, comfy, bright and funky, the kinds of places you can spend a whole afternoon. Crave offers a very different kind of vibe. In a different city there would be people ordering shots of espresso and slamming them while standing at that steel bar and reading the front page of the NY Times before running off the jobs in high finance. Tucson doesn’t have many people that need that kind of stand-up-rush-through-outta-my-way -I-have-stuff-to-do kind of coffee experience so I’m not sure where Crave fits into the Tucson’s coffee culture. But I do know that the coffee and the dessert are worth a return visit.
I ordered lunch, something they called a panini but was more of a wrap/quesadilla hybrid with smoked salmon, boursin, lettuce and tomato in a tortilla type flat bread.
The fresh flavors were great but the whole thing was hard to eat. Too flimsy to pick up without everything falling out and sort of odd to eat with a fork. I hope they repackage this idea because I almost love it.
Then I got a honey biscuit to go
Imagine a giant shortbread cookie soaked in the nut flavored honey they use on baklava and you have a faint idea of the delectable nature of this honey biscuit. A little cursory googling on Kosovo desserts reveals that baklava is pretty popular there so I don’t know if that’s the inspiration for this honey biscuit or if it just has a similar flavor for me since I’m relatively unfamiliar with Eastern European desserts. Either way, I’d go back to Crave simply to order another of these biscuits.
I actually ate half of it in the cafe and then had to call on my inner adult and put the rest away or I’d have finished it and ordered a second one to go.
Crave is an unusual addition to Tucson’s coffee houses. They’re a little out of the way, the shop is small and you won’t want to stay long. But their coffee drinks get rave reviews on line (I got the drip coffee and it was good) and I think the honey biscuits are spectacular. They do have a drive through, so maybe that’s the best solution.
So here’s your ideal late afternoon scenario. Ready? Ok then.
Go through the Crave drive thru, get a coffee and a biscuit to go and take it somewhere scenic. Perhaps Gates Pass to watch the sunset? It’s quite a drive over there though so you might want to get two biscuits because I promise that one will be gone by the time you arrive.
Hey, no problem! Please enjoy. You’re welcome.