| CRAIG CHADWELL & MIKE MOFFO
We take quite seriously our duty to keep you informed of the best and newest local eateries in Columbus. So when the doors to Cray Eatery & Drinkery opened to the public at noon on Friday, August 8, who pulled up and parked at 11:48 a.m. in order to be the first ones in the door? Why, your Taste Buds here, of course! When the doors were unlocked, we were welcomed into this unique and amazing space by owner Crystal Park and her friendly staff.
We went on opening day, hoping to find something wrong with the experience. Not negatively , but because we like to watch a local restaurant grow and, over time, get even better. Cray cannot possibly get better.
Kasi, our server, brought us our menus and treated our Mini-Taste Bud Cassady as if she were another adult sitting at the table. Cass is our lovely (almost)15-year-old daughter, but she looks much younger and is often “little girled” by servers and restaurant staff. Not here. Not by Kasi. She told us that we were her first customers, and this was her first time ever serving. She could have told us that she had 20 years of experience, and we would have believed her.
We ordered a beer from the nice selection of draughts and then looked over the menu. This menu is comprised of sliders. All sliders. And to the gluten-free among you, have no fear: every slider has a gluten free option! There is truly every kind of slider you can imagine and absolutely amazing sides, which, we found, are perfectly prepared.
For sides, we chose the Sweet Potato Tater Tots with Marshmallow Sauce, Applewood Bacon Seasoned French Fries and Fried Green Tomatoes. Begrudgingly, we all shared, but we didn’t want to. These little bundles of deliciousness absolutely blew our minds. They were each prepared with such detail and care. They were presented beautifully in a small cardboard bowl. The slider buns did not get soggy, which is basically impossible to achieve. The temperature was flawless. Everything was perfect.
At the end of the meal, we received our check and were pleasantly surprised. For the quality of the food, one would expect to pay a lot more.
The best part of the meal was seven hours later when we craved going back, so we tried the desserts. Honestly, though, we couldn’t do more sliders as we were still a bit full from lunch. But seriously, folks – who can say “no” to a Mini Key Lime Pie? Not us. Not ever. And we weren’t disappointed.
In typical #TasteBuds fashion, we, along with Cassady, give Cray six very excited thumbs up! We cannot wait to try the food and drinks offered at their weekend brunch, and we’ll certainly be back often to see what comes next from Crystal and her outstanding staff.