Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Houlihan’s – Richfield, MN

While driving around on Saturday afternoon, nothing seemed to look appetizing. Were we in the mood for Italian? Mexican? Ethiopian? We kept driving and eventually came upon Houlihan’s. I wasn’t sure what this place was, but Gerd was apparently very familiar with this place. She described it as a nicer Bennigan’s. Sure, why not?

Parking was hilarious. Here’s why: Haoulihans is in a building with a hospital and other businesses. All of the parking signs were for the hospital and you kind of have to go through the hospital to get to the restaurant – yeah, weird. We found it eventually though. The hostess who greeted us bounced over to us and skippily asked us how we were doing. Gerd hated her right off – you know how girls are. She wasn’t offensive to my eyes in any way, which meant I couldn’t tell you a single thing she said to us after that. We got seated though – I remember that much.

Gerd remembered them having a pretty good girly drink list, so we reviewed that immediately. It was decent – not great, but decent. I got a martini flight (three martinis of my choosing) and Gerd got a diet coke (lame). Since I like ‘em girly, I got a Blue Moon (blue), Guavatini (pink), and Chocolate (brown and sugary). I rule. The blue one didn’t taste like medicine like I assumed it would and ended up being the best one. The other ones were decent though.

Gerd ordered a salad and chicken strips and I got a Tuscan salad and the fettuccini alfredo. Gerd’s salad was a standard Caesar salad with really good croutons (remember, I’m a crouton connoisseur). The chicken strips were better than average, but not even in the same class as the Village Tavern in Carol Stream, IL – just so you know. My salad was amazing – white beans, tomatoes, balsamic reduction on a bed of baby spinach. The alfredo was above average, but not stellar. It was smooth and not lumpy like some places, which means they put some effort into it, but it didn’t have any zing to it.

There were very interesting people in this restaurant, in case you decide to go there. We saw a troupe of dwarves, a family celebrating dad’s birthday all crazy dressed up, a waitress with one leg shorter than the other, and nuns brandishing swords (this last one I made up when I realized I had only seen three unique groups of people – my apologies). I won’t discuss the aforementioned hostess wearing a low-cut shirt smiling at me as she bent over very low to wipe off a nearby table FOUR times. I know better than to even bring it up.

Top 5 things about Houlihans
1. The menu had really good things on it – again, better than Bennigan’s
2. Tuscan salad
3. Chicken strips
4. Martinis
5. Alfredo

Bottom 5 things
1. Getting TO the restaurant
2. Couple of d-bags in the bar portion of the place
3. Gerd made numerous catty comments about the hostess - hilarious
4. No Monte Cristo like Bennigan’s
5. The tables must be difficult to keep clean – that girl wiped the table off four times,


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