President Obama gave his State of the Union last week and even though he says we’re getting stronger, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. Hell, even the weather seems to be uncertain these days.
Know a perfect remedy for uncertainty? Comfort food. When I was a kid and dad was out of town for work or on a hunting trip, mom always made scrambled eggs and pancakes for dinner. And what teenaged girl hasn’t pondered the question of whether some teenaged boy liked her over a good pint of ice cream?
Our bodies are good at telling us when we need these comforting treats — we just need to start tuning in and paying more attention when they do. Here’s hoping the next time your body sends up the comfort food red flag it will be a Tuesday and you’ll be near Honey in Northside so you can order off their $10 Comfort Food menu.
Shoshannah and Doug Hafner opened Honey in 2005. They’ve always been into serving fine food in a casual atmosphere. On any night you’ll be greeted by a friendly staff and probably a soundtrack with lots of local artists in the queue. If you order from the regular menu (which is still available on Tuesdays) you might want to start with an order of smoky, spicy tomato soup ($4) followed by pan seared pork tenderloin with apple and house-cured bacon bread pudding, wilted greens and an apple compote ($23). Or maybe a simple salad ($5) along with sweet pea ravioli in a Riesling-laced chicken broth topped with mascarpone and crispy pancetta ($19).
On Tuesdays you can also choose from between five $10 menu items: chicken stewed with vegetables and mushroom and potato dumplings; meatloaf with mashed potatoes, greens and red eye gravy; a savory strudel with Mediterranean vegetables and a roasted red pepper sauce; and fish and chips or a burger on an onion bun with a side of Honey fries.
If you’re of a suspicious nature you might be thinking, “Sounds good, but what are the portion sizes like?” To answer your question I call upon that fairytale favorite, Goldilocks — not too big, not too small, but just right.
For a recent dinner at Honey I had the strudel and husband tried the burger. The strudel came as two phyllo dough pockets stuffed with a mix of spinach, roasted red pepper, garbanzo beans, a vegan cream cheese and eggplant. (Our server said the vegetable mix changes every week.) I sometimes feel that Honey can be hit-or-miss on the vegetarian entrees, but this one was spot-on. The strudels came with a side of greens and a cumin-laced, spicy roasted pepper sauce that tickled the back of my throat in the most pleasing way. The burger was served with lettuce, tomato and red onion and came with a side of Honey fries — a mix of Idaho, sweet and Yukon gold potato strings. The burger, cooked medium, was lean and the fries were, as always, addictive.
We also ordered an appetizer from Honey’s new bar menu, which features items that range from $4-$9 and includes choices such as a cheese plate ($6), chicken satay with peanut sauce ($7) and Binkle fries ($3), which make a regular appearance on Honey’s brunch menu, as well. The bar menu also features a $2 glass of Guinness or $3 glass of Dogfish ale. If wine is more your style, there’s a red and a white for $18. More adventurous drinkers might try one of the specials: Hot in the Hive, the Bee’s Knees, a Yellow Jacket or Fleur de Bee. (You’ll just have to try one to find out what’s in it.)
We’ve also tried the chicken satay on the bar menu and the chicken and dumplings on the $10 menu. Both are solid choices I’d recommend to anyone, but if you’re just over a break up, you also may want to stick around for dessert or have the bartender pour you another Yellow Jacket.
Go: 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m-2 p.m. Sunday
Entree Prices: $15-$23; $10 menu on Tuesdays
Accessibility: Steps at entrance