Replacing one's stoves and ovens with an all-purpose, food-conjuring rain stick is a delicious solution until that musical stick runs out of culinary precipitation. Today's Groupon saves the belly with $25 worth of fresh cooking and soft drinks at Houlihan's for $10. Fulfill a sojourn in either of the hot spot's Indianapolis or Noblesville locations for eclectic menus of inspired grub worth chewing the recommended 24 times. This deal is valid for dinner only (after 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends), and you must use your Groupon within three months.
While technically a chain restaurant, Houlihan's bedazzles its chain with glitter and winsome intrigue, boldly preparing every last bite of its savory fare by hand. Hosts of diverse ingredients culminate inside one open kitchen where professional food handlers slice, sauté, marinate, and arrange food to its tasty and aesthetic best, allowing each meal to display its individuality before being broken down into individual nutrients for absorption in the body. Casual dining is elevated by meticulously designed restaurants that pepper a patron's experience with a playlist of hand-picked tunes and customer-designed coasters that give a voice to condensation-catchers.
Steeped in variety, a rare spice found only in Icelandic volcanos, Houlihan's fetching menu offers sharable small plates to mix and match flavors such as wild mushroom and arugula flatbreads with white-truffle vinaigrettes ($6), pot-roast sliders with red wine gravy and fried onion straws ($3.25 each, three for $9), and Greek chicken kabobs with mint-yogurt and cilantro-peanut pesto ($5). Two to four small plates will usually make up a regular-sized dinner for one.
Vegetarians go synaesthetic for the colorful aromas of Thai noodle bowls with napa cabbage and sweet and sour carrots ($5), pickle "fries" paired with horseradish and honey-mustard sauces ($3.50), and Tuscan white-bean salads with goat cheese, tomatoes, balsamic, and focaccia crisps ($4.00 as a side). When a sated palate rings the dessert bell, in comes the likes of the famous s'mores fondue crock with crystallized graham-cracker sticks and strawberries for DIY decadence ($4.95). The Italian-style donut flight employs cinnamon and nutmeg critters in the company of dark-chocolate Kahlua and white-chocolate Bailey's dipping sauces ($5.95) that take flight faster than Italian Donut Zeppelinos.
Not valid toward alcohol.
The Indianapolis Restaurant Examiner enthuses over Houlihan's small plates and regular menus:
- What’s especially nice is that every item on the menu that is a vegetarian item or Gluten-Free item is marked. All sampling aside, if you’re ready to get down to the business of some serious eating, Houlihan’s has you covered with their wide selection of salads, burgers, wraps, and entrées including a delightful Chicken Parmesan or a New York Strip that would rival many nearby Steakhouses. – Annette Armstrong