Friday, February 5, 2010

Gastro Pub

What am I doing at a gastropub? Well, for starters, I'm not particularly interested in beer, it's just not my drink, and the closet gastropub to Irvine, is the one in Orange--about 30 mins north. So really, why go out of my way to a place that's not only far, but specializes in beer? THE FOOD!

I'm talking Haven Gastropub.

Forget about the average Joe food you find at ordinary pubs, we're talking GASTROpub, it's down home comfort food with a non-pretentious upscale twist.

Let me start by saying..."Mmmm...Steak Frites!" The butcher back in France who decided to keep the hanger steak all to himself was a genius! Haven's version of this French classic makes my mouth water. They make a mean medium rare steak (my own preference ofcourse) with this rich, savory, chocolate sauce...O MY GOD...did I mention that this makes my mouth water? And their pomme frites are among the best I've had. I guess you could call them shoe string fries, but they're crisp and cooked to perfection and then sprinkled with salt, pepper, and rosemary AND it's served with their house made ketchup...which tastes like it has...applesauce (?) in it. SO good.

I got to tell you, their truffle mac and cheese is killer as well! It's like this rich, creamy, silky white cheese sauce topped with more cheese and bread crumbs. SO, you know what that means? Yup, stretchy cheese, creamy cheese, AND a crisp nutty top. I seriously ran my spoon across every corner of that bowl to get all the sauce I could. I would have licked it clean if I weren't in public...(ok so it WAS a pub...and you're usually allowed to be as crazy and embarrassing as you want, but the "gastro" that comes before the word pub means you have to hold back a little bit. But no one's stopping me from using my side order of pomme frites to sop up the sauce).

And, ok, get this...HELLO! it's affordable! A no brainer for me when I'm looking to spoil myself without dreading the bill.

Great food, extensive beer list (if you're a beer connoisseur), and great atmosphere! Spotted Pig, New York...HERE I COME!

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