Freshcraft's vegetarian selection and beer list hits the spot

Freshcraft, which opened in 2010 on Blake Street, has earned nods from us for having a fantastic bottled beer list, and we've been looking at the myriad vegetarian options on the menu for quite some time, but we only managed to make it to the craft-beer-and-fresh-food joint this past Monday night. The bar was full, and a screen displaying a basketball game dominated the back part of the restaurant; we were perfectly comfortable at a roomy booth for four.

Apart from several salads that can be converted into wraps, there are a few vegetarian-friendly appetizers on the menu, plus a veggie burger, quinoa cakes and the mole bello tacos, pictured above. Instead of fully grown portobello mushrooms, these tacos used succulent baby bellas (aka criminis), which were delicious with the cabbage and grilled corn tortillas. The tacos had a distinct lime flavor -- a definite plus for citrus lovers.

On the appetizer front, the house-made pretzel bites (paired with honey mustard or four-cheese sauce, so not okay for strict vegans) or the fried pickles (with Cajun aioli, which contains egg) are both good choices for veggies. We especially liked the fried pickles, done Southern style, with cornmeal.

A pickle slice was also served with the tacos and the house-made veggie burger, served like a veggie burger should be, with hand-cut fries and avocado. (Vegans can nix the provolone cheese.)

All of the above were paired with a Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat or Oskar Blues G'Knight, both always on tap at Freshcraft.

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