In a classic 100-year-old kitchen filled with frying pans, food processors and practically every kitchen gadget imaginable, chefs Cindy and John Panian have cooked up eight years' worth of hors d'oeuvres, buffets and desserts under their catering company Crabcakes Creative. For a period, they even made the food for an old next-door neighbor, World Cafe. But at the time, they always dreamed about what they'd do differently if the coffee shop was theirs. In mid-March, the dream became a reality when the opening of their new restaurant, Corvid's Cafe (5001 Mardel Avenue; 314-481-1522), filled the vacant space.
If any of the cafe's menu items could be considered a specialty, it'd be "the Crabwich," our server insists. John Panian adopted the name "Johnny Crabcakes" while hand-making hundreds of thousands of crabcakes as a gourmet caterer in the late '90s and, needless to say, the name became a family institution. "The Crabwich" features the couple's signature crabcake with spicy ancho sauce, oven-dried tomatoes and fresh arugula on a Companion pretzel croissant.
Other sandwiches on the menu include a variety of paninis, a grilled portabella burger, tarragon chicken salad and a vegetarian club made with housemade hummus, goat cheese spread and more. The menu also includes appetizers including roasted red pepper feta dip and savory cheesecake. Also available are a selection of salads, a soup of the day and cheesy nine-inch pizzas with customizable toppings and housemade sauce.
Potato-lovers can enjoy the bright sauce on a "Pizza Spud," one of several options of "Super Spuds" -- baked potatoes loaded up with the works. Our pick came with provolone, mozzarella, pepperoni and chives, served with butter and sour cream. Traditional toppings including bacon and broccoli are also available.
For breakfast, select from frittata and waffles. Alternatively, grab a pastry and either an espresso drink or Tea Forté brand whole leaf tea to go.
Corvid's Cafe's current hours are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For the menu and more information, visit the Corvid's Cafe website and Facebook page.
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