HF Crave focusing on being farm-to-table restaurant

ELMWOOD, Neb. (KOLN) - HF Crave is having its grand opening, Friday, August 16 at 11 a.m. with a ribbon cutting. The Lincoln restaurant has been open in Lincoln for 8 years, but recently moved to the 48th and Holdredge location.

JR Hollenbeck, owner of HF Crave, sources food from his own farm.

HF Crave has been in soft-open mode since May. The new location brings with it a new focus on farm-to-table food. Many would classify the restaurant as using "local food," but owners JR and Nikke Hollenbeck say it's more than that. It's home-grown food from their Elmwood family farm.

The beef starts out in a pasture 36 minutes outside of Lincoln.

"They eat what they want and not really force them to just eat grass, or just eat grain," said JR Hollenbeck of his cow herd. "They have access to everything their whole life."

Walk out the pasture and head just a quarter-mile down the road and you'll find the Hollenbeck garden.

"We do onions, tomatoes, our veggie patties are made from squash and zucchini that are from the farm," said JR. "We were hoping to get some sweet corn for the sides, but our sweet corn patch kind of fizzled out."

JR and Nikke own the farm and HF Crave. JR said the personalized attention that their cows and produce get make all the difference. Said JR:

"If you use good ingredients, the end product is going to be good."

But, the food has more purpose than to just be enjoyed. The food itself is supposed to share the Hollenbeck's story.

"We want to sit down and have supper with you," said Nikke, of the new style they're taking on at HF Crave. Nikke said they've trained all the waiters and staff to be able to tell the story of the origin of the food.

The menu can be boiled down to this: Nebraskan beef and Nebraskan vegetables. If the Hollenbeck's can't supply it, then they source it locally from farmer's markets.

"We just care about people and we care about what they're eating," said Nikke.

Farm-to-table is something that the Hollenbeck's hope to keep growing. Ethan, their 15-year-old son, wants to take on the challenge some day, and he's starting that project soon.

"I'm probably going to start a herd this following summer," said Ethan.

HF Crave, as Nikke described, should be a familial experience, and she said she hopes it can make your Husker football Saturdays even better.

"We're looking forward to Nebraska having a really good year," said Nikke. "Burgers taste better and beer tastes better when Nebraska is winning."