KOP Houlihan’s is nothing special

Daniel Davis


King Of Prussia Court

(610) 644 – 7200

Located across from Victoria’s Secret in the King of Prussia Court is Houlihan’s, your classic American eatery, full of burgers, steak, salads, drinks and every other grease-filled American appetite-filler.

An upgrade to TGIF and Ruby Tuesdays, Houlihan’s has better quality food, with a nicer, calmer atmosphere. However, it seems to lack the cordiality offered by a TGIF employee and the vivacity found in the Ruby Tuesday atmosphere. So depending on your preference, you may favor a more low-key restaurant, or tend to be partial to the upbeat happenings of a more “electric” restaurant.

I made my entrance into a well-designed waiting room for about ten people. However, the great design did not keep it from being rather small. The hosts also seemed too focused on their own conversation; it took them awhile to seat me.

A shot of déjà vu rushed to my brain as I open the menu. “Am I in a less ‘flavorful’ Ruby Tuesday’s or a less colorful TGIF’s?” I asked myself. No, this black-hued atmosphere attempts surrounding its customers with your “quintessential” bar setting, if there is such a thing.

Reading through the menu I found a disappointing range of choices; everything I would expect to see at competing restaurants. Mid-priced food screams to be recognized for its originality, and not by its lack of description.

A cluster of common appetizers and entrees fill this multi-paged, black “booklet.” You will find a banal range, appetizers in the $5 to $12 range, while the entrees vary from $9 to $20.

As I perused the menu several times over, I found a delectable item for around $7. Alas, it was the only item that managed to catch my eye, a unique dish I do not see often. Roast beef with au jus. Fabulous!

Oh, how I adore juices crammed into a tasty, scrumptious roast beef sandwich. What other item dare I try at Houlihan’s? Caesar salad is always a healthy choice; the real question is, can the boys at Houlihan’s do it correctly?

After placing my order, I gazed around my dim, yet lively surroundings, trying to get a good feel for what kind of restaurant this was.

I couldn’t help but garner evidence of grounds that hadn’t been swept for quite some time. Remnants of a thirteen-year-old birthday bash could be found underneath several tables.

As more time passed and as I sat in my seat anxiously awaiting my order, not-so-classy customers could not help but be as loud and as disturbing as possible.

My ice-cold water arrived after an extensive period of time, accompanied by my Caesar salad. Crisp lettuce, freshly grated Parmesan, soggy croutons and a light dressing comprised the precursor to the meal that lay before me.

Its overall satisfaction would have ranked low on any scale and the taste left a great deal to be desired. After disposing of the remnants of a weak Caesar salad, I sat in hopes that my remaining meal would not be as disappointing.

A “juiced” and toasted roast-beef sandwich compounded with loads of (what appeared to be) leftover, re-heated French fries occupied my plate.

The fries primly put were over salted and overcooked. Even an exorbitant coating of ketchup couldn’t rescue this side.

Onto the entrée that has had my mouth watering with delight and hope for over 35 minutes: the roast beef au jus. The first bite was absolutely delightful.

The preparation by the chef was not the entire reason for this phenomenal sensation in my mouth; I believe a good portion could be attributed to the build-up and lack of roast beef sandwiches I have had in my diet.

Nevertheless, the sandwich, dipped in savory juices, was utterly luscious.

Would I do it again? Perhaps. Again, I reiterate, this is interchangeable with TGIF, Ruby Tuesday or any other everyday, grease-packed American franchise restaurant.