Whether you’re vegetarian, pescetarian, or gluten-free–House of Blues Restaurant & Bar serves up something to suit any dietary restriction.

Hippo Campus

Bread Pudding

As a vegetarian, I often get the short end of the stick when it comes to eating out. My non-veg dinner dates have numerous entrees to choose from while I sadly munch on a house salad. In this month’s Dinner & a Show, I put House of Blues Restaurant & Bar to the “veggie friendly test”–a test I made up which determines whether or not I can order anything other than lettuce. I have to say, they passed with flying colors.

I started my meal off with the Keep on Smilin’, a gin cocktail with muddled basil, cucumbers, and lemon. I definitely kept on smilin’ until the very last drop, savoring the fresh flavors of crisp cucumbers and savory basil. It had the right amount of sweetness as well, making it palatable for individuals that aren’t into gin (and trust me, there’s a lot! Drinking buddies have often belittled my gin and tonic as an “old lady drink.” Nothing’s wrong with old ladies or gin, my friends.).

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar prides themselves on their Southern inspired cuisine. This restaurant serves up modern twists on hearty Southern classics with unexpected flavors. Knowing this, I chose a Southern staple as my appetizer: The Jalapeño-Cheese Cornbread.

Our waitress brought out our Cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a side of honey butter. Immediately I dove into the pillowy, warm bread, enjoying both the spiciness of the jalapeños and the sweetness of the melty butter.

For my entree, I selected a vegetarian option: Southern Mushroom Tacos. I admired the towering stack of cilantro, cut corn, smoked-jalapeño relish, lime-crema, feta, and roasted chestnut mushrooms cloaked in warm corn tortillas. I picked at the smokey and savory toppings with a fork until the taco was slim enough to hold in my hand. As I made my way through its layers, I was pleasantly surprised with the unexpected flavors from the feta and mushrooms. Also props for non-watery mushrooms! I’ve often ordered a sandwich or taco where the mushrooms are soooo watery that they broke apart the bread holding them in.

There were plenty of other vegetarian meals on the menu, fellow veggie friends. Some others popped out to me like the Pimento Cheese Dip, Foothills Flatbread, and Vegetable Muffaletta. I can’t wait to go back and try those!

My dinner date selected the Grilled Chicken Sandwich as her entree. This sammy had a good portion of grilled chicken with spices, topped with refreshing and creamy remoulade slaw and bread and butter pickles on a sturdy brioche bun. I sneakily stole a couple of her fries, which were salty and crispy–exactly what you expect out of a french fry.

The restaurant director, Ben, came out to introduce himself and make us feel welcome. He suggested the Bread Pudding for our dessert, a signature at House of Blues and a Southern classic. Since I’m a newbie to the magic of Southern food, I took him up on his recommendation.

Our Bread Pudding came out as two loaves of pudding sitting in a pool of sweet sauce and topped with a sweet butter-like cream. This dessert was warm, fluffy, and melted in your mouth–I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! We weren’t able to make much of a dent in this decadent dessert as we were still full from our entrees. The loaves went into a doggy bag along with one of the veggie tacos I couldn’t finish.

If you’re planning on paying a visit to House of Blues Restaurant & Bar, the best time to do it is when you have a fun show to see at their venue afterwards. I suggest making a reservation for Thursday, January 25th–Hippo Campus and Sure Sure are playing House of Blues! Hippo Campus is an indie-rock band out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Landmark (2017) is their debut full-length and album they’re promoting on their current tour. Gotta say, this album is fiiiiire! See for yourself–listen to “Way It Goes” from Landmark below.

For ticket information, click here. As per usual, ListenSD will be doing a giveaway for Hippo Campus on our Instagram. Follow us for your chance to win!

Photos and review by: Lara McCaffrey