Hondos has been a staple of the Innsbrook business lunch crowd for years. How we’ve driven past it and failed to review it for going on four years now is a bit of a mystery. For me at least, it has always felt a bit too formal for a casual lunch with coworkers. There is a place for formal though and the perception that formal comes at high prices turns out to not be the case for Hondos.
What we got last week was a pleasant and upscale experience. Our server greeted us with his name on a tiny easel. Our bread came to the table with whipped butter that was piped into a decorative shape. Definitely not the fast casual scene that dominates the West End lunch hour.We surveyed the menu and ended up with picks from the lunch specials. All were at reasonable prices, but you’re welcome to get in deep on an expense and probably tasty cut of steak too.
Ethan had the Prime Rib Sandwich with Fries. The prime was cut a little thick, but made for a great vehicle to deliver the sandwiches fixins. The horseradish cheddar and au jus made for a fantastic flavor combination. The only downside being the inconsistency in the sandwiches parts made it a fork affair. Slightly betraying the sandwiches prime directive. The fries, usually not worth mentioning at most establishments because they underwhelm, were actually the opposite here. The fries seasoning, too much salt and herbs, was a overpowering to be point of being aggressive.
I went with the Shrimp and Grits. A dish I love, but don’t find too often at lunch. Hondos version was a perfect of example of how to do it right. The portion was small, but the flavors were bold and everything was cooked just right. The grits were creamy, but not too smooth and the shrimp were springy and tender on the tooth. I’d order this dish in a heartbeat upon return.
Formal has a purpose. Unfortunately for me formals time is usually not lunch. I like a place with a little more vibrancy and noise for my noon time break. I’d return to Hondos on my own accord, more than likely for dinner. Ethan on the other hand appreciated the change of pace for lunch. He’d actually prefer lunch over dinner. In either case we both gave it a thumbs up. Our food was good to great and the service was thoughtful and surprisingly quick.