Review: The Crafthouse Gastropub
The Crafthouse Gastropub is open and is ready to show Lubbock what a gastropub looks like.
Simply put, a gastropub is a pub that serves quality food. The term originated in the U.K. has become popular in the U.S. in recent years. Now, Lubbock has an opportunity to check it out in a place that is known for having great food.
The Crafthouse Gastropub is the creation of Jason and Kate Diehl who owned and ran Home Cafe from 2006 to June of 2012. Home Cafe was known in Lubbock for great food and a fun atmosphere. It was featured in Texas Monthly many times and was a huge hit. Home Cafe had a great run and built a loyal customer base, so it surprised many when it closed. Sometimes, change can be good and with The Crafthouse, I believe the Diehl's have another hit.
The Crafthouse is located at 3131 34th Street in Lubbock. Construction isn't that bad, so don't be scared off by thinking that it is. Even if it was a pain, it would be worth it. The Crafthouse is open Tuesday-Thursday 11am-10pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-12am.
One of the things that you must remember about The Crafthouse is that it is supposed to be a pub. Don't expect the ambiance to be that of a fine dining restaurant. If you do, then you are missing the point. Gastropub's are supposed to be a place that is fun, relaxed, and as The Crafthouse puts it on their website, unpretentious. The Crafthouse nailed it on this point.
When you walk in you immediately notice how open the place is. The walls are yellow and have pictures and
TV's on them. A huge chalkboard announces the beer specials to the right when you walk in. To the left, a bar that shows off the many beers on tap along with wine, and fine liquor. It's very welcoming with a great layout and plenty of seating, if you arrive before 7 or 7:30. Word of caution, if there is a wait and the bar is full, be prepared to stand. As of right now there are no benches or places to sit and wait. Those that I saw waiting though were not waiting for very long before a table opened up.
The staff is friendly and outgoing. They want you to be relaxed and feel at home. Again, this is all part of that pub type atmosphere. The Crafthouse wants to give a sense of community and the waitstaff shows it. They don't hurry you to make a decision, and they don't want to kick you out either.
The Crafthouse has many beers on tap and most likely, you haven't heard of them all. Beer choices include, Ace Pear Cider, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, Brooklyn Lager, Deschutes Inversion IPA, Dale's Pale Ale, many selections from the local Wicked Beaver Brewery, and many more. I tried the Alamo Golden Ale and enjoyed it quite a bit. Most of their beers sale for $5 dollars a glass. The Crafthouse also sales beer in cans, many for $4 dollars.
Now onto the other part of The Crafthouse Gastropub, the food.
I wasn't sure what I was going to order when my wife and I walked in on Friday night. I was in a burger mood, but decided to try something else that caught my eye. I ordered the Chargrilled Salmon on a bed of roasted beets while my wife ordered the All-American Burger. If you order the salmon, the waiter will ask how you would like it prepared. Good restaurants do this, so I was glad that The Crafthouse asked. I ordered the salmon medium. The food is made to order and the kitchen isn't huge so don't expect your food to be out within 10 minutes. The Crafthouse wants you to have a good dining experience, so just sit back and enjoy a beer or glass of wine.
Our food arrived and it smelled so good and the presentation was great. My wife ordered the burger which was a 10 oz. sirloin burger, juicy, and served on a chaballah bun with twice fried fries. The burger came with homemade ketchup as well. I tried the burger and at first I thought it was going to be a little too well-done, but it was thick and juicy and had a great taste. The fries were excellent and I would absolutely recommend the All-American Burger to anyone looking for "bar" food when dining at The Crafthouse. The price of the
All-American Burger? $13 dollars.
As I had said earlier, I ordered the Chargrilled Salmon. Not grilled, but chargrilled much like a burger. The salmon was fantastic. The beets and the pumpkin seed oil gave the fish a slight sweetness that mixed well with the chargrilled flavor on top of the salmon. The flavor was something that I would describe as very West Texas. A modern twist with the beets but with the great flavoring of something that had been on a grill outside. One edge of the salmon was charred a bit too much for my liking, but the fish underneath it was great and bursting with flavor. I haven't seen salmon prepared like this anywhere else in Lubbock, and I highly recommend the Chargrilled Salmon if you are looking for something a new twist on salmon. The Chargrilled Salmon was priced at $13 dollars.
Yes, The Crafthouse does have dessert if you were wondering and they have a good selection to choose from.
We chose the Milk and Cookies and we were not disappointed. Cookie milk ice cream and 3 large warm chocolate chip cookies is what was brought out to us and it was so good. We couldn't finish dessert because the entire meal was very filling, but we sure did try.
You can view the entire menu from The Crafthouse on their website.
The Crafthouse Gastropub delivers when it comes to a relaxed and fun atmosphere with great, quality food. Remember, you aren't paying for a quite, dark atmosphere with white table clothes. You are paying for amazing food in a place where you can be casual or dressed up. Have some fun and see what a gastropub is. It might take you a little while to "get it", but once you do you will be impressed.
I highly recommend The Crafthouse Gastropub.
The Crafthouse Gastropub: website
Location: 3131 34th St.
Hours: Tues-Thur 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am
Price: $10-$17 dollars for Entrees