Ever had that feeling where you're too hungry to decide what to eat? Well, that's me most days, navigating the culinary conundrum that is dinner. And let me tell you, you haven't known true indecision until you've stood in the middle of Harvest Hall in Grapevine, Texas.
A somewhat veritable cornucopia of foodie options sprawled across a modern, industrial chic space that's just begging for an Instagram photo op.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as snarky and cynical as they come. A place that trades on its aesthetic might set off my 'style over substance' alarm. But at Harvest Hall, even my hardened palate can't deny the sizzling fajitas from a family-owned taqueria (I sampled them...very good!), the aromatic Mediterranean, or the decadent triple-chocolate gelato from the dessert bar.
Oh, almost forgot...a Santa Claus bar (What?)
So, strap on your culinary adventure boots and prepare to tread into a paradox of choice that’s enticingly delicious, and while you’re at it, why not check out some of the Grapevine main street food options in this gastronomic cornucopia?
Strolling past the minimalist wooden paneling and private dining rooms of Harvest Hall, one can’t help but notice Arepa, TX. Now if you're like me and your experience with Latin food can be summed up in a simple shrug of the shoulders, this could seem like another one of those trend-chasing culinary experiments.
The Sampling Experience
Picture this, after being lured in by a friendly smile and a free sample (I mean, who can resist?), you take a bite of your first ever arepa. And boy, it's good. In fact, it's more than good—it's a revelation. A crispy cornmeal pocket, stuffed to the brim with all manner of fillings. You've got your slow-roasted pork, shredded chicken, and if you're feeling particularly indulgent, a sinful combination of chorizo and queso.
Firebawks Hot Chicken: The Heat Is On
Well, well, well, look what we have next. Firebawks Hot Chicken. Now, I've got to confess—I haven't had the "pleasure" of testing my spice tolerance here just yet. But the word on the street, or rather, the word in Harvest Hall, is that this joint is an absolute must-try. Apparently, it's like playing a culinary game of chicken. How much heat can you handle before waving the white flag and reaching for a gallon of milk?
Firebawks has this way of piquing your interest. Maybe it's the giant flaming chicken logo, the smell of spice wafting in the air, or the line of seemingly fearless (or is it foolhardy?) foodies waiting their turn to test their mettle against the infamous heat scale. I mean, come on, even the toughest of us wince at the word "extra-hot".
Challenge Accepted, Soon...
I hear the trick is to start off small. Don't be the brave soul who orders the 'nuclear' on your first try. It's not about proving your spice-worthiness, it's about enjoying the flavors. It's a bit like going on a first date—start off slow, get to know each other, and then, if it goes well, you can consider turning up the heat.
Pizza by Luigi: Almost There, But Not Quite
Next stop on our gastric journey around Harvest Hall? Pizza by Luigi. Now, as someone who's consumed a fair amount of pizza in my lifetime, I'm always a little apprehensive about new pizza joints. And let me tell you, Luigi almost gets it right. But there's just one teeny tiny problem - a bit more time in the oven wouldn't go amiss.
Stepping up to Pizza by Luigi, the warm, toasty smell of fresh dough and melting cheese wafts around you. It's a comforting aroma that tugs at your nostalgia, reminding you of the simpler times. The display of the varying pizzas, glistening under the soft, warm lights, makes your stomach growl in anticipation.
The Taste Test
Once you take that first bite, it's good. The cheese is stringy and flavorful, the toppings are fresh, and the tomato sauce has just the right balance of sweet and tangy. But as you chew, you can't shake the feeling that something's off. It's the base. It needs a little more...crisp.
Getting it Just Right
And it's not just me saying this. Ask the guru of pizza reviews, Dave Portnoy, and he'll tell you the same thing - a pizza that's doughy in the center is a pizza that could use a few more minutes in the oven. It's like baking a cake - no matter how great your frosting might be, if the center of the cake is undercooked, it's not going to win any prizes.
Zatar Mediterranean: Lamb Kabobs for the Win
Now, allow me to take you on a mini vacation to the Mediterranean, no flight tickets necessary. Welcome to Zatar Mediterranean, Harvest Hall's very own oasis of flavorful Middle Eastern delights. And boy, do they serve up some good grub. Let's just say, if lamb kabobs and hummus ran for office, they'd get my vote.
The Lamb Kabobs: A Carnivore's Dream
Let's start with the lamb kabobs. Marinated to perfection and grilled just right, these juicy skewers are the stuff of carnivorous dreams. It's like someone took a cloud, made it meaty, and put it on a stick. Each bite is a perfect blend of tender lamb, fragrant spices, and that unmistakable smoky char from the grill. I mean, if this doesn't get your salivary glands working overtime, I don't know what will.
Hummus: Creamy, Dreamy Goodness
And the hummus? Oh, the hummus. It's creamy, it's dreamy, it's everything you want from a dip. Made from fresh chickpeas and drizzled with just the right amount of olive oil, it's the perfect accompaniment to the kabobs—or anything, really. If you ask me, this stuff should be a staple in every fridge. I mean, why reach for the mayonnaise when you could have a dollop of this heavenly goodness?
Pairing it Up
Now, imagine combining these two. A piece of that succulent lamb kabob, dunked in the creamy hummus, maybe wrapped in a piece of warm pita. It's a culinary match made in heaven, like peanut butter and jelly, or wine and cheese.
Holly Jolly Bar: Christmas in July?
Now, I know what you're thinking. Who in their right mind would want to celebrate Christmas in July? Isn't dealing with the festive frenzy once a year enough? Well, the folks at Holly Jolly Bar beg to differ. And after a visit, you might find yourself humming along to "Jingle Bells" under the scorching summer sun. Santa serving drinks might sound absurd but let's be honest, we've all seen stranger things.
Deck the Halls, or the Bar?
As soon as you step into the Holly Jolly Bar, it's clear that they take their yuletide spirit seriously. I'm talking twinkling lights, live music, tinsel-draped counters, live music and festive decorations that could put the North Pole to shame. It's like walking into a Christmas card, except this card serves alcohol.
Festive Drinks and Snarky Smiles
The drinks menu is as festive as the decor, with a twist of snarky humor that makes it just bearable. Think "Blitzen's Blitzed Eggnog" and "Rudolph's Raging Red Nose" – fun, tongue-in-cheek cocktail names that might make you chuckle, or at the very least, roll your eyes.
Shall we head over?
This concludes today's culinary carousel diatribe around the Harvest Hall, Grapevine's foodie wonderland. From Arepa, TX's delightful fusion to the sweat-inducing Firebawks Hot Chicken, Luigi's slightly underbaked pizza to Zatar's campaign-worthy kabobs and hummus, we've traversed continents and tasted treasures. Even dabbled in some out-of-season festive cheer at Holly Jolly Bar, because why should the North Pole have all the fun?
But remember, this snarky cynic's reviews are just that—quasi reviews. What really matters is your own palate. So, get out there, brave the lines, the heat (literal and figurative), the undercooked and the overdone. After all, it's your taste adventure, and who knows, you might just find your own diamond in the Harvest Hall rough.