#ad Houlihan’s Restaurant Review + a Giveaway! #SoEatingThis

by Marcy on February 28, 2014 · 78 comments

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Houlihan’s via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Houlihan’s or Momtrends. View my disclosure policy here.

houlihans restaurant review giveawayUPDATE: This giveaway has ended. Winner is #57, Solducky.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take my family to Houlihan’s Restaurant and Bar in Upper Arlington, OH to check out their Lighter Fare Menu – with items less than 590 calories. I am trying to get back in to the swing of things with Weight Watchers and I love to try new restaurants, so this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up!

I was not familiar with Houlihan’s prior to this, so I did some poking around on their website to get an idea of what to expect. Houlihan’s was founded in 1972 and aims to bridge the gap between fine and casual dining. Houlihan’s dishes are made from scratch and they offer a wide variety of creative and diverse food items and cocktails. There are currently 83 Houlihan’s restaurants in the United States, 52 of which are franchised. You can check to see if there is a Houlihan’s near you here.

Now, on to our experience! After reviewing the Houlihan’s menu online, I knew that I would not have a hard time finding something to order! Houlihan’s offers  both a lunch and a dinner menu with everything from salads, to burgers, to steaks and seafood. There is truly something for everyone on the Houlihan’s menu – organic food, vegetarian food,  gluten-free. You name it and chances are good that Houlihan’s can accommodate you.

Prior to visiting, I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to take my kids (ages 3.5 and 8), but I found out that Houlihan’s does indeed offer a great kids menu. More about that later!

When we first arrived at Houlihan’s I noticed the sleek design of the building – both inside and out. The Houlihan’s location that we visited was both modern and eclectic, yet comfortable. I loved the two sided fireplace in the middle of the restaurant, and the soft, curved booth that we were seated in.

Immediately I was impressed with the kids menu. Houlihan’s offers standard kids’ fare, but it’s made from scratch food and just plain good. All kids meals are roughly $6 and include a plate of carrots with ranch dip, an entree and side, drink and choice of applesauce or vanilla ice cream for dinner. My girls gobbled up their dinners and inhaled their ice cream – which is quite a feat for my picky eaters. My husband and I sneaked bites of the vanilla ice cream and it was yum-o. Not your standard restaurant/kids meal ice cream. I was truly impressed at the quality of the food and how much we got for the money.

Here is a picture of my little one trying ranch dressing for the first time:

houlihans restaurant review

Personally? When it comes to taking the kids, I would stick to lunch or a weeknight dinner. Maybe that’s just me. I feel like Houlihan’s is a perfect date night or girl’s night destination, and I would want to go with just my husband on the weekends – especially to enjoy the cocktails!

My husband and I started with hummus and pita chips for our appetizer. They were delicious. I could have eaten the entire plate of hummus and pita chips for my dinner and gone home happy. If only I could figure out how to make hummus that delicious at home.

For dinner I ordered the Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken off of the craveable lighter fare menu. Here is a picture that I took before I ate the entire bowl full of food:

houlihans restaurant reviewThis meal reminded me of a light meal that I might enjoy in the summer – except that it was a bowl full of comfort that is perfect during chilly months. I think that the tuscan white beans and herbed broth are the components that made this feel like comfort food to me. The grilled chicken was tender and perfectly seasoned, and I even found myself enjoying the organic kale-spinach-chard blend and roasted artichokes! Small diced tomatoes rounded out this dish. At 550 calories, this is a dish that you can enjoy without the guilt.

My husband ordered the Salmon salad and ate every bite! He wouldn’t take a picture of his food (clearly he isn’t a blogger! ;-)) but he had only good things to say about his meal.

In the spirit of completing a true review of Houlihan’s Restaurant, I felt we had to order dessert to finish off the night (right?!). When we weren’t busy stealing bites of vanilla ice cream from our children, we were busy sharing this decadent Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Raspberries and Whipped Cream – also off of the craveable lighter fare menu.

In a word? OMG. Here is a picture:

houlihans restaurant reviewI love raspberry and chocolate together, so this was pretty much my dream dessert. I loved the presentation of this sweet little dessert. I loved the freshness of the berries and whipped cream. And the chocolate was rich and delicious. It’s the perfect dessert to share because just a few bites will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth (trust me, mine is GIANT), without being too sweet. It was a great way to end our meal.

On the whole, I loved the atmosphere of Houlihan’s, we had a great server who was amazing with my kids, the food was absolutely delicious and tasted homemade, and I can’t wait to go back and try more items on the menu! My super picky husband even commented that Houlihan’s was better than most of the places we go on our (rare) date nights, so I can see us heading back without the kids sometime soon.

WIN IT! I am super excited that the folks at Houlihan’s have given me (1) $50 gift card to give away to one lucky winner! Our meal (appetizer, 2 kids meals, 2 entrees and 1 dessert) cost just $59 before tip. I thought this was a phenomenal value for the quality of food that we received.

What am I giving away?

1 winner will receive a $50 Houlihan’s Gift Card (can be used at any Houlihan’s location in the US)

How can you win?

You can enter up to 5 times:

1) Leave a comment letting me know who you would take with you to Houlihan’s if you won. (Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post and click “Post Comment”. You must be on my site – you can’t do this through a reader.)

2) Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter:

#ad Enter to win a $50 @houlihans gift card @stretchingabuck: http://www.stretchingabuckblog.com/?p=75490 #soeatingthis

3) Fans of the Stretching a Buck Facebook Page. Just be sure to leave a comment here letting me know that you are a fan!

4) Subscribe to my feed or email newsletter and stay on top of all of the deals that I write about each week! If you already subscribe, please leave a separate comment letting me know that you are currently a subscriber (thank you!).

Who is eligible?

You must have a valid US address and be 18 year or older to be eligible to win.

When does this giveaway end?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 5 PM EST

The winner will be chosen via the random number generator at random.org and will be notified via email. Please note that if I do not hear from the winner within 2 days that another winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!


If you find this information useful, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or email newsletter. Also, be sure to check out Stretching a Buck on Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Note: This post may contain affiliate links. View my disclosure policy here.


1 Amanda Bybee February 28, 2014 at 11:26 PM

I would take my husband and daughter. We absolutely LOVE Houlihans!
I am also a facebook fan.

2 JoAnn Clark March 1, 2014 at 6:55 AM

I will take Ed………… :-)

3 Liz Anderson March 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I would take my husband!!!!

4 Mami2jcn March 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I would take my husband.

5 Mami2jcn March 1, 2014 at 10:24 AM

I like you on Facebook as Mary Happymommy.

6 Mami2jcn March 1, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I subscribe to your email newsletter.

7 Karen Hountz March 1, 2014 at 10:27 AM

I would take my husband!!

8 Jessie C. March 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I would take my family .

9 Jessie C. March 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/439813504132849664

10 Jessie C. March 1, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Facebook liker
jessie c,

11 Jessie C. March 1, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I am a subscriber

12 Rachel D. March 1, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I would take my husband!

13 Rachel D. March 1, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I am a fan on facebook.

14 Kristen March 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

I’d take my best friend.

15 Kristen March 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM
16 Jessica B. March 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I would take my husband.

17 Jessica B. March 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I subscribe to emails.

18 Jessica B. March 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I’m a fan on facebook. Jessica Beard

19 Katina Johnson March 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I would love to go with my girlfriend. We can get rid of the kids for dinner one night

20 Katina Johnson March 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

I’m a fan of the facebook page

21 Katina Johnson March 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I am a currently a subscriber

22 Kim March 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I would take my husband. I live about 5 min from UA, I had no idea there was a Houlihans there, or that you are in cbus. Small world.

23 Kim March 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I subscribe to your rss feed.

24 kelly D March 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I would take my husband and 2 kids.

25 kelly D March 1, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I like you on FB(Kelly D Saver)

26 kelly D March 1, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I subscribe to your email.

27 Teresa F March 1, 2014 at 9:01 PM

I would take my husband and our 4 boys. Thank you

28 Teresa F March 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

I already follow on Facebook.Thank you

29 Julia March 1, 2014 at 10:25 PM

I’d take my hubby and kids

30 Julia March 1, 2014 at 10:26 PM

I subscribe to emails

31 Susan March 1, 2014 at 11:08 PM

I’d take my family

32 Susan March 1, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I subscribe and I’m a Facebook fan.

33 Mary L Cottingham March 1, 2014 at 11:11 PM

I would take one of my gal pals from work… which happens to be across the street from the local Houlihan’s

34 Mary L Cottingham March 1, 2014 at 11:21 PM
35 Mary L Cottingham March 1, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Liked Stretching a Buck Facebook page (mlcottingham)

36 Mary L Cottingham March 1, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Subscribed to email newsletter

37 wild orchid March 2, 2014 at 4:54 AM

I would love to take my husband.

Thanks for the chance to win!
wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

38 wild orchid March 2, 2014 at 4:55 AM

tweet–https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/440062823897374720

39 wild orchid March 2, 2014 at 4:56 AM

I like you on FB — Wild Orchid
wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

40 wild orchid March 2, 2014 at 4:58 AM

I am an email subscriber!
wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

41 Laura Ari March 2, 2014 at 12:40 PM

I would use it for a girl’s night ou!

42 Amy O. March 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

My husband definitely! :)

43 Amy O. March 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM
44 Amy O. March 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM

I’m a fan of yours on FB – Amy Anne Ostella

45 Amy O. March 2, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I’m an email subscriber – okmama at gmail dot com

46 amber March 2, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I would take my husband

47 amber March 2, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I subscribe to your emails

48 Camiele March 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I would take my eating buddy – my boyfriend :-)

49 Camiele March 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Tweeted it on Twitter.

50 Camiele March 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I am a fan of yours on Facebook.

51 Camiele March 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I subscribe through a reader.

52 Veronica R March 2, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I would take my husband and daughters.

53 Giant Sis March 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

I’d have a date night with the hubs!

54 Giant Sis March 3, 2014 at 9:55 AM
55 Solducky March 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

I would take my husband for a date night!

56 Solducky March 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM
57 Solducky March 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

I liked you on FB as sarah solducky

58 Solducky March 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I subscribed to your email newsletter – soluckyducky at gmail dot com

59 rachel March 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

I would definitely take my husband! Maybe my parents, too :)

60 rachel March 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM

I also subscribe to your feed via Feedly.

61 Marie S March 3, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I would take my boyfriend with me

62 Marie S March 3, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Like on FB
Marie Shaff

63 raquel perez March 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I’d take my husband he loves steak :)

64 raquel perez March 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM
65 raquel perez March 3, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I’m a fan of your facebook page! Raquel Perez-Espinal

66 raquel perez March 3, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I subscribed to your RSS Feed! Thanks :)

67 Sadie B. March 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I would take my husband with me.

68 Sadie B. March 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM
69 tiffany March 5, 2014 at 10:57 AM

I would take my husband. I love Houlihan’s!

70 tiffany March 5, 2014 at 10:57 AM

I subscribe to your RSS feed as well.

71 natalie yeoman March 5, 2014 at 1:02 PM

i would take my mom and my dad with me to eat

72 Kathy Fleming March 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

My husband loves salmon, he’s from Washington state and used to catch them there. I am so excited that Miso Grilled Salmon is on the new menu. If I win, I’m giving him the card to use while he’s on the road trucking. The new menu could help him stick to his diabetic diet and lose the weight that truck drivers often gain.

73 Kathy Fleming March 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM
74 Kathy Fleming March 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I am a Fan of the Stretching a Buck Facebook Page as Kathy Fleming.

75 Kathy Fleming March 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I subscribed via email.

76 Crystal March 7, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I’d take my best friend!

77 Sara Phillips March 8, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I would take my husband!

78 Sara Phillips March 8, 2014 at 7:58 PM

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