We ate at Houlihan’s for two days of the Con. On the first night, we had meant to go to Hard Times Café and were confused by the similar, next-door awnings. I was glad for the confusion. Houlihan’s has an innovative menu and more upscale fare. However, despite an extensive menu with all kinds of choices, I had a hard time finding a dish I wanted. I’m limiting carbs, especially white carbs like potatoes and white rice, but almost all dishes were breaded or mixed with rice.
I settled on a grilled tilapia and vegetables. The entrée was very good and the service by Yvonne was understated but present.My fellow dinner guests liked the place so much that we went back for a second night. This time, I had a chance to sample some beer on tap. They had a limited selection, but the seasonal wheat put my homebrew to shame. The Guinness was good but not fresh (wow I miss Ireland). I didn’t sample the mixed drinks, but the menu looked promising. I was sitting next to a vegan and wanted to be respectful and order a non-meat dish. Recall that I could only find one item that wasn’t full-o-carbs on the whole menu…I was stuck ordering a grilled asparagus appetizer that was *sigh* breaded and fried. So much for the health-kick diet.
My vegan guest could not find anything else he could eat either, though he was not limited by the white carb thing I’m following. So we both ended up with plates of asparagus. The asparagus was delicious. Maybe part of the reason it was so good was that it was the first fried food I’ve had in months! The ends were a little tough, but the horseradish cream was a delightfully unexpected twist.The service was really bad. Our server (Shannon?) was thrown into being triple-seated. Drink orders were missed, the vegan’s dinner came with cheese on top, dinner salads were forgotten. Shannon was extremely apologetic and offered free dessert to the whole table. I would have expected such a gesture, but was still pleased that she did so. Throughout the ordeal, she remained pleasant and did not display her stress to us. She then took it out on herself and reduced our tab by 20 percent! I could tell that this was not her normal level of service.
She was so accommodating that I would certainly go back there and request her as a server. My only real complaint is that for such a seemingly full menu, and I’m not a picky eater either, I was hard pressed to find a choice that was right for me.
Atmosphere: [rate 3]
Beer Selection: [rate 3]
Wine Selection: not rated
Food: [rate 3]
Service: [rate 3]
[…] Saturday, exhausted and happy, I made my way downtown for more of the fun. I walked the floor again, watched as the delicious boys of Edhellen Armory put on more displays of brute force. For a fee, any crazy person who feels like being hit by foam-covered weapons can fight people trained in fighting. Why do people pay for this? I don’t know. Adrenaline, I guess. I do love to watch, though. The best are when two fighters from the Armory actually do the fighting themselves. The action is a lot faster and the blade strokes are more elegant. King Arthur usually swings a battle axe, but I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing him pummel his opponents this year. Similarly, Blue Eyes (Lancelot? No, leather armor is not the right era I think) didn’t fight much…I guess he broke his pretty nose falling down one night. This year’s Gamer Olympics featured not just medieval fighters, but Romans in full armor also. It was really cool to see the strategy when four Romans would fight four gamers: the Romans knew how to switch targets for faster, backstabbing “kills.” I would like to see one of their full-scale battles sometime.Am I still on Saturday? Geez. Maybe I should separate this into two posts.So we attended the costume contest. It was a little disappointing compared to last year, with winged girl and Red Death both being jaw-dropping amazing. I didn’t stay for the winners, opting instead to head to dinner. We rounded up the houseguests and headed to a downtown eatery, Houlihan’s. It was one of the most fun meals I have had in a while. It wasn’t really about the food (read my review for that, though), it was a table of six very diverse people. Deipnosophy, here I come!!! Before all of the guests arrived, a very sweet 50something woman approached our table. Oz was in costume, I was wearing a corset, and my brother was carrying games. She politely asked why so many people were costumed downtown. She had never even heard of Gen Con! We smothered her with information, told about our non-gamer sister who loved the convention, mentioned the Monopoly and Bridge tournaments, and in general deserve a kickback from the Con for our positive press. She was so sweet and accepting. After all of the negative press by folks in Indianapolis, it was nice to talk to someone positive. After everyone arrived, we talked LARPs, gaming, game mechanics, food, beer, traffic, everything. I was bathed in the excitement of new people, new topics, and good cheer. […]