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Summer at Crossing
This was the second time I’d been to Crossing. The first time was during a pub crawl, Cinco de Derby, that gave two excuses to drink, Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. I didn’t have the best experience during the pub crawl, which included three Four Corners Tavern Group’s bars. That says more about me than the pub crawl, however. I’m too old and cranky for pub crawls, especially on holidays.
I’m not too old for a lovely meal and tasty cocktails in a comfortable and well appointed outdoor space. Crossing definitely provided all of that. I, along with a friend, were invited to partake in food and drink at Crossing, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
It was a warm evening so the patio was a perfect setting to be treated to Crossing’s hospitality. Signature Summer Cocktails, which begin next week, included the Blueberry Fog – blueberry flavored vodka based with blueberry garnish – and the Moscow Mule – the classic served in a copper mug.
In addition, there are light cocktails. These are drinks made with light – low calorie, but not low alcohol – vodka so even the dieter can get wasted. Er, have a drink or two. The Pama Cooler clocks in at 145 calories but I swear it tasted like 200 calories, or whatever number of calories is in a non-light cocktail. The Diet Creamsicle tasted like a Creamsicle, but better because it had alcohol in it.
Our meal began with Pizza Rolls. I don’t think the name fits, but I can’t think of a better name for pizza ingredients inside deep fried wonton wrappers rolled into an egg roll shape, so Pizza Rolls it is. My dining companion liked them more than I did. They were tasty, but if I’m going to eat something that’s deep fried I want it to be so good that I don’t care how fattening it is, and I wasn’t there with the Pizza Rolls.
I might have gone there for the Buffalo Rolls, which had Buffalo-style chicken and blue cheese inside, but my dining companion isn’t a fan of blue cheese so we didn’t try them. Of note is that the Pizza and Buffalo Rolls are made in-house, not bought frozen to be dropped into a fryer, as much pub food is.
Next, we took a trip to the kitchen where we got to make our own pizza. The average diner has to wait patiently for her pizza to arrive, but we got to find out first hand how it was done. My dining companion and I have been making pizza at home for several months, and I worked at Round Table Pizza when I was in high school, so we’re not new to the pizza making game, but the chefs at Crossing taught us a few things. Let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator before using it, and use a mix of all-purpose and semolina flours.
We returned to our table with our Prosciutto Pizza in hand. We made a fine pizza, but we didn’t do all the work. The oven set to 650ºF, the garlic-infused olive oil brushed on the crust when it came out of the oven, the lemon-olive oil dressing on the arugula, and the fine prosciutto and parmesan worked together to make a tasty pizza.
There were only two of us so we couldn’t try everything on the menu without letting a lot go to waste, but we allowed ourselves to try two more dishes, Arugula & Honey Goat Cheese Salad and Salmon Tacos.
The salad was quite tasty. The contrast of the peppery arugula and the sweet Asian pear was a nice touch. The red wine vinaigrette worked well. The honey goat cheese was provided in little fried balls of yumminess, and since my dining companion doesn’t like goat cheese I got to eat them all.
The Salmon Tacos were … salmony. I’m not a fan of salmon. Why, if I don’t like salmon, would I order salmon? Salmon is one of those things that I really want to like. It’s got all those Omega-3s that are supposed to make people bulletproof, or something like that. Every restaurant serves it, and sometimes it’s the only fish they serve. I love fish tacos so I thought Crossing’s Salmon Tacos, served with spicy ranch (yum), cabbage (yum), and Chihuahua cheese (yum) would somehow make the salmon taste less like salmon.
I am a fool. If you like salmon the Salmon Tacos at Crossing are for you. I don’t like salmon but I still ate a whole taco because the tortillas – flour with a nice bite to them – and everything but the salmon was delicious. The accompanying cilantro rice was quite good.
I’m glad I gave Crossing another chance. I won’t go back when there’s a pub crawl or major sporting event, but for a pleasant outdoor meal, I’d be glad to return.
If you are the sporting type, Crossing has big screen televisions absolutely everywhere. You’re thinking, But they can’t have big screen televisions outside. Yes, yes they can. And do. There is nowhere you’ll miss the big game at Crossing. If the University of Kansas is in the big game, all the better since Crossing is the official bar of that fine institution.