I don’t go to Narragansett often. Other than the beach, I didn’t visit the town at all. But my in-laws kept raving about a place called Crazy Burger. They insisted, about two times a day every day we saw them for five years, that my husband and I try it.
There’s always that place that isn’t quite local but close enough to visit easily that just doesn’t get visited. I have a lot of those on my bucket list. So one day I declared that we were just going to cross this one off the list. Or was it that we just wanted to tell my husband’s parents that, yes, we had tried it?
My in-laws described Crazy Burger as a tiny, hole-in-the-wall place with gourmet burgers and vegan burgers. Despite the traffic, parking difficulty and long waits, they said, it was well worth it. They were not alone in thinking so: Guy Fieri tried it for the episode “Stacked, Stuffed and Loaded” on his TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Even though it’s named after the burger and pays tribute to the beloved sandwich more than twenty different ways on the menu, Crazy Burger is so much more than a burger joint. It also serves breakfast, salads, pizzas, appetizers, specials and dinner entrees not to mention fresh juices and smoothies and desserts.
The best feature on the menu, however, is the vegan options. I am not a vegan (I can’t give up bacon.) but at times in my life I have found it convenient for my diet and my kids’ diet to go with vegan options. However, it is not easy to find a place that offers vegan dishes. Crazy Burger has more than the one obligatory vegan dish; about half the menu is vegan. The best part is, the offerings are so tasty, I do not miss the meat. It’s true. During one lunch, I ordered a nut burger and my husband ordered a turkey burger. I had a bite of his but did not envy him, even though his was delicious.
It almost made me want to go vegan completely. Almost. But I settled for ordering a different vegan burger each time I went. One of my favorites is the Chana Masala burger. Besides Indian inspired, there are Italian and Mexican inspired foods. Ethnic inspired or not, each dish is served with a creative blend of herbs, spices and sauces.
I haven’t met a Crazy Side I didn’t like but I love to get the sweet potato fries so I can dip them in the homemade ketchup. It tastes a lot like apple sauce – with just a hint of tartness – which, as you might imagine, goes great with the sweet in sweet potato.
Our favorite appetizer is the Sweet Risotto Corn Fritters with the Maple Carrot Reduction. The name speaks for itself!
I go to pieces for a slice of the vegan carrot cake. It’s the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, with Pastiche’s carrot cake only coming in second. (A close second, but second nonetheless.) Sometimes I want to go there for that not-too-sweet, spicy, nutty carrot cake alone. Of course, I will go and order a vegan burger as well but that’s besides the point.
The powerful allure of the best carrot cake that happens to be vegan is enough. Enough to wait the hour and a half it usually takes to dine at Crazy Burger even. I can’t speak to the parking, as I have only been in the off season. I’m sure it’s ridiculous during the summer. It is a bit small, so it’s not good for large groups, but it’s not like you’re within spitting distance of your neighbor’s food. The waitstaff is completely used to and nonplussed by the crowds and very accommodating to children by offering high chairs and even puzzles.
Don’t wait as long as I did to try Crazy Burger. I’ll be there, with my in-laws, having my cake and eating a burger, too.