by Kat Robinson
Change at The House is as inevitable as the changing of the seasons. We’ve seen many incarnations of the menu there, from burger bar to gastronomic American pub fare to something resembling collaborative menu fusion… so going the other day I was fully expecting to see yet another completely new menu.
But that’s not the case. And that’s good.
The House has adjusted a lot of things on its menu to make the items more affordable and more lunch-friendly. Mandatory sides have been un-married from sandwiches, and now you can get half sandwiches and such.
Went in the other day with the hubster and girlchild for a lazy lunch. We started off with the House Nachos ($9), a remained version of an item already on the menu. The chips have gone from simple blue corn to a combination, all freshly baked and thin. Gone is the goat and jack cheese. Now there’s Fontina. The black beans are all over the place. My husband, who has digestive issues with beans, was able to find quite enough cheese and chicken to make him happy. Hunter and I happily munched the chips and soft black bean. The roasted green chiles on the nachos aren’t really spicy, but they and the cilantro and lime give the nachos a nice Caribbean sort of taste. I liked the chips, even though they were a little charry. The flavor was a little smoky but it worked well with the dish.
The hubster went for a Turkey Burger (The House Classic Burger with beef, turkey or veggie burger $8.75), a departure out of curiosity. The burgers come with the traditional accoutrements of lettuce, tomato, sweet red onion and herb mayo. He omitted the mayo and added Fontina cheese and pickles (50 cents extra for each). He says he liked the leanness of the turkey breast patty, and that the bread and veggies seemed to complement it quite well. It was served up on a warm and soft white bread roll with a side salad. He’s not a fan of raspberry vinaigrette but liked this version. The salad or a side of fries or sweet potato fries comes with the burger.
By happy accident, I received the wrong sandwich. I wasn’t paying attention, and was surprised to find my sandwich had chicken on it. I’d received the CA Chicken Club ($8.75, $6.50 half), a very juicy breast of chicken served up on nine-grain bread baked in-house, along with thin slices of avocado, cucumber, tomato, lettuce and Fontina cheese with that herb mayo. I mentioned the mix-up to the waitress, but didn’t get out the statement “but that’s all right, this is pretty good” before she’d started down the stairs to the kitchen. The pretty sandwich is a great contrast of textures with well-blending ingredients. I also liked the sweet potato fries I’d ordered on the side ($1.75)-- cut waffle-style with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and a little curry powder. Hunter liked them, too.
Our waitress came back with the corrected sandwich, the Continental ($8, $5.75 half). I have to admit, it didn’t look like much at first. It’s flat. But it certainly doesn’t taste flat. The meaty texture of the zucchini (I love zucchini) and the sweetness of the caramelized shallots with the saltiness of the Swiss cheese would have been enough to win me over. But the sweet tomato jam was enough to make me fall in love. The sweet jam adds another layer of flavor and softness to what could be a pretty chewy sandwich to give it the feel of a complete meal in a sandwich.
The big evening favorites are also represented on the menu, Ahi Tacos, Diamond Bear Beer Battered Fish and Chips, the gumbo and of course the Thai Green Curry Bowl that’s been gaining a lot of notice around these parts. And the same desserts -- “The Best Key Lime Pie,” Chocolate Pot do Crème and Flourless Chocolate Cake -- are all available. We’ll be back.
You’ll find The House at 722 North Palm in Hillcrest. They do call-in orders at (501) 663-4500. And they have a pretty good Facebook presence.