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Restaurant review: Houlihan’s offers casual American cuisine, friendly service

The margherita flatbread at Houlihan's is $9.50. Credit: Kim Dailey

The margherita flatbread at Houlihan’s is $9.50. The restaurant is located at 3150 Tremont Road. 
Credit: Kim Dailey / Lantern reporter

Looking for a place to wine, dine and feel sublime? The search ends about four miles away from campus.

Houlihan’s restaurant and bar, an American casual eatery, is located at 3150 Tremont Road near the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington.

Meeting my sister for a bite to eat in between school and work, I entered the dimly lit restaurant, impressed with the décor of the display kitchen, paintings surrounding the walls of photographs of trains and cutlery and a bar area decorated with televisions, bottles of liquor and a fireplace. I was offered a seat on the patio, a normal or a high-top table or a regular booth, and I opted for the high-top. Looking around, I noticed some of the booths had candles on them, which I thought added a nice touch to the atmosphere.

My sister and I ordered combo meals from the Nooner, or the lunch menu. My sister ordered the $9.50 half grilled cheese sandwich with fries and a bowl of rustic tomato soup. I ordered the $9.50 margherita flatbread served on a wooden slab with a bowl of the tomato soup as well.

The tomato soup was creamy and had somewhat of a bite to it, but not to the point where I was unable to eat it. Two fried mozzarella balls were in the soup, which made for a sweet complement to the bite.

The grilled cheese sandwich, made from sharp cheddar, American and pepper jack cheese was, as expected, very cheesey, but rounded off nicely with a buttered flavor to the bread. The three cheese blend had a kick to it, but this did not take away from the taste. The fries were seasoned, but were not overly seasoned but they didn’t require a napkin after every encounter.

The flatbread, made with marinara sauce, basil leaves, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and romano cheese, was disappointing. Although the bread was crisp, but not burnt, and the ingredients were fresh, the use of the basil leaves took away from the taste of the other ingredients due to the strong flavor. After picking the leaves off, I found the flatbread more enjoyable.

I found Houlihan’s to be a great place to relax and have a nice meal. The service was prompt and friendly, and although the prices are a little high, my meal was filling and I felt I got what I paid for.

Houlihan’s is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

The restaurant features a variety of center-cut steaks ranging from about $15 to $24, entrée salads ranging from about $11 to $15, sandwiches ranging from about $10 to $14, soups at about $4 to $5, appetizers ranging from about $5 to $10 and lunch combination meals that are served with the patron’s choice from a list of soups and salads ranging from about $10 to $13.

Grade: B+

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