Spice up your life at Crushcraft Thai Eats in Dallas, Texas

Crushcraft Thai Eats is a Thai food casual gem – a small family neighborhood eatery bringing top-notch ingredients and high-quality authentic Thai food at a great price – it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth! 

Crushcraft Thai offers a fresh, made-from-scratch menu using authentic ingredients in a creative way. This is the real deal – if I didn’t know better, I would imagine I was back in Bangkok gobbling down excessive portions of delicious offerings from the street-food cart vendors.

Opening in 2013, Crushcraft was quickly recognized as one of the area’s top 10 best restaurants and has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with celebrity chef Guy Fieri.  It opened a second location at the Star in Frisco in August, 2018.

Locations: Uptown Dallas – 2800 Routh Street, Suite 150, Dallas, Texas and at The Star in Frisco – 3675 Gaylord Parkway, Suite 1105, Frisco, Texas

Menu:  Crushcraft stays true to traditional Thai recipes and techniques with a multi-faceted menu that offers Thai street food alongside takeout staples like pad Thai as well as more chef-driven fare.

Rice-based dishes such as Kra Pao has a nice kick to it with a well thought out balance of tender, seasoned ground pork, flavorful jasmine rice, green peppers, onion, basil and capped with a beautiful sunny side up egg – this dish is authentic Thai cuisine.  Celebrity chef Guy Fieri from Food Networks “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives” said the Kheo Wan green coconut curry with chicken and jasmine rice dish was “one of the best curries I have ever had” after tasting the green curry dish prepared during the taping of the show.

Another standout on the menu is Phat Ke Mao or Drunken Noodles, a wok-fired dish with chicken, chunks of tofu, wide rice noodles, and more Thai goodness on a bed of lettuce with a serious heat that builds slowly.  

You know you’re in good hands if you start with the signature green papaya salad. This crunchy and tangy masterpiece was the inspiration for Crushcraft’s distinctive menu.

I recommend going for the sharable size portion – it is so delicious that the smaller side salad leaves you yearning for more when you reach the bottom of the bowl. It’s ultra-fresh, with a combination of assertive flavors that include fine-shredded, crisp slivers of papaya that shine through the tartness of the salad laced with lime juice, the sweet-sour complexity of tamarind, the umami flavor of fish sauce, and the almost-but-not-quite scorching heat of Thai chilies. 

I couldn’t leave without trying the Thai spring rolls and they did not disappoint. These crispy egg rolls are prepared vegetarian style so everyone can enjoy them and paired with a made-from-scratch sweet and sour sauce. The best part, they come 5 to an order!

Thoughts: Born and raised in Thailand, owner Jack Nuchkasem brings the quality and love of ingredients that abound in his Thai homeland to Dallas in dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. It is a family business that was built on Jack’s mother’s recipes from Bangkok. He sets the standard for a mind-bending spice infused menu, importing all ingredients from Thailand to uphold his vision of embracing American culture while staying true to the food of his childhood. 

The core menu plus rotating offerings allow you to explore the staples of Bangkok and to push your palate with dishes you’d rarely find outside Thailand. It fills a niche for those who have an appreciation of fine food but are less interested in formal dining, and like to stay out late. Crushcraft is open till 3 am on the weekends which gives the club crowd a chance to fill up on (good food) after the bars close.

Executive chef, Kay Ridgway knows that designing a visually appealing plate is just as important as the love and ingredients that go into preparing them. Ridgway says in part “We take a handmade approach to our cooking and create Thai food with a twist”.  “Great food should be accessible to everyone, and I think this is such a big part of the neighborhood and be the go-to place for simply great Thai food”.

Uptown’s Quadrangle location has a great atmosphere, lively setting, and friendly staff. The vibe is casual, with the menu choices posted on brown kraft paper rolls mounted on a wall of natural wood slats inside the entry. Order at the counter and take a seat. Crushcraft exemplifies the future of fast food with utensils that are biodegradable, fresh ingredients and the customer gets high quality food for a low price.

Its sleek, modern façade gives way to a space that’s bright and airy with a glass topped circular atrium that’s festooned with strings of colored ribbons and splashed with bright colors and Southeast Asian accents – not to mention a nice outdoor patio.  The walls are covered with cardboard boxes printed with the distinct Thai alphabet and huge bags of imported rice are scattered about, contributing to the effect of a street -side Thai marketplace.

As presented on their website “At Crushcraft, we take integrity seriously every step of the way – from growing or sourcing our own basil leaves to hand smashing our chili peppers.  Our food is daring but approachable, colorful and consistent – come by and experience Crushcraft”.

I say Amen to that.

Price range: A fast food concept with a menu that’s refined yet approachable and affordable.  Entrees range from $7-10, appetizers and sides from $2-5, craft greens and salads $5-9. Alcohol: a half-dozen or so local craft beers and Thai beers, $4-5.

Reviewer bioSharon Kurtz is a freelance travel writer and foodie based in Dallas, Texas.  Her passion is to travel the word and write about her experiences. She looks for unique places off-the-beaten-path to experience the local culture and create lifetime memories.  Follow her travels on Instagram @Shar_kurtz and on her Facebook page Sharon K Kurtz @sharonkkurtz

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