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.
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:
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:
This 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:
I 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.