Slightly deflated, I stabbed at my companion's pork schnitzel, a thin slice of pork that had been breaded and fried, then served with a warm potato salad full of tart pickled cabbage and capers. The seasoning of this dish was perfect, and it was delicious paired with a crisp Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat and lemon (which had also been used to deglaze the pan).

Even though those recommended pairings had been successful — the Orville is now off the menu, replaced by Boulevard's See You Later Doppelbock as a suggested mate for the cassoulet — on a return visit, I just decided to order whatever beer interested me on the list. A lot of things looked interesting, and our table was soon filled with glasses. We ordered a round of sandwiches to absorb some of the alcohol. The best was the steak au poivre: thin slices of sirloin topped with sweet caramelized onions, spicy horseradish mayonnaise and a savory, creamy au poivre sauce, stuffed between two halves of a soft, airy roll and served with a pile of pencil-thin crispy fries. Though I wouldn't pit it against versions from traditional barbecue joints, I also liked the whiskey BBQ chicken sandwich, which took shreds of the bird and bathed them in a tangy barbecue sauce, then put them on a baguette and added creamy coleslaw and cheddar cheese, which melted over the warm meat. But the turkey sandwich, served with out-of-season avocado and tomato on a waxy pretzel bun, just didn't fly.

To console myself, I drank some more beer.

Location Info



1530 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202

Category: Restaurant > Comfort Foods

Region: Downtown Denver


Snack plate $11
Cassoulet $13.50
Schnitzel $13.50
Steak au poivre $9.50
Whiskey BBQ chicken sandwich $8
Fresh pretzel turkey Baja $8.75
1530 Blake Street
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday (when the kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)

I know I'll return to Freshcraft, drawn by the prospect of sampling a world-class brew in the company of friends. But dinner will be optional.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

do not view the slideshow of freshcraft if you plan on eating here. two pictures of a cook holding a pretzel bun touching a dirty kitchen towel. the kitchen is disgusting. flat top is horrendous. none of the kitchen surfaces are clean. what is with the gloves? hands are easier to keep clean. any kitchen i've ever worked in would let this shit fly. also in the head line picture; the flat iron sauce or jus on the plate has evaporated. i bet i could get a more presentable plate at dennys. if they had the time to rent clean white chef jackets for this review they could have spent time deep cleaning the fucking kitchen.


I've read this review, the Sachi Sushi review, and the Barolo review.

Reading a Laura Shunk article is like sitting on the crapper after one eats a bad mollusk.

It stinks and it makes my stomach hurt.


I would agree with the fried pickles review! I was really disappointed. They were so thin you couldn't even taste the pickle...just fried breading.

Also the Pan Bagnat was so oily that I couldn't taste the rest of the ingredients. The bread ended up drenched in oil and fell apart.

Good beer, but disappointing food :(

Been there
Been there

I've eaten there several times and have always had great food and attentive service. The list and range of beers, and the knowledge of the staff thereof, are extensive. Laura can barely eat her way out of a breadbox let alone a restaurant, as stated below, fire this idiot!


I feel that something important was missed here. One of the fundamental parts of this restaurant is their beers with 5.5% (or less) abv served in a 10oz glass. This is somewhat of a European approach which would suggest that one could have a beer at lunch and then return to work guilt free.

I'm also sorry that you found the wings bland as I find them to be my second favorite (non Buffalo style) in the city. I would encourage you to try them again. I liked that the skin was perfectly crisp with a sauce that offers little heat, but strong flavor.


Please fire this idiot and replace her with someone who can critique food.


Laura: What exactly do you mean by an "out-of-season avocado?" There are numerous varietals grown in Mexico, California, Chile as well as other countries that overlap prime harvesting season so that in-season avocados are available year around. Could you perhaps mean that Freshcraft's suppliers can't source the right varietal of avocados in January (at the right price) or that you were served an unripened avocado? Is it fundamentally a bad turkey sandwich or just a bad avocado? Or maybe its just mystery cheap 'avocado pulp' served from a Sysco plastic bucket?

Also, what exactly do you mean by 'traditional' cassoulet ? As the food critic, did you ask the Freshcraft folks, a "more casual than fine-dining, but more upscale than a sports bar" type of place, if they prepare their version by the traditional peasant style in a proper cassole earthenware pot or if they go the haute cuisine route and cook ingredients separately then combine them as you suggest?

Lastly, can the readers get a bit less of the waiting-for-waiters-writing and get a bit more of toothsome, lively and inspired descriptions of the actual food from a food critic that viscerally captures the senses rather than tired pedestrian examples like "sweet, pungent honey mustard," "extra sweetness and bite," "sweet caramelized onions," "spicy horseradish mayonnaise," "savory, creamy au poivre sauce" "soft, airy roll," "tangy barbecue sauce" and "creamy coleslaw?"

What unique insights should the readers take from your review that can't be figured out by just looking at a menu?