Dining Deals

Blue Plate Specials at Haven

I was recently willing to brave the nightmare of construction at Kirby and 59 because I was told that Haven has daily lunch specials that are truly amazing. I was already fond of Haven's inventive salads, free-range deviled eggs, and insanely good desserts (hello, chocolate icebox pie), so I decided to go by one afternoon and see what all the fuss was about.

Each weekday Haven is offering a reasonable portion of a good, down-home-style plate of food for only $10. Monday is red beans, rice and andouille with jalapeno cornbread. Tuesday offers up Longhorn meatloaf with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. Wednesday is the above picture, which is a King Ranch Chicken casserole with grilled jalapeno pico and crema fresca. Thursday, my personal favorite, brings fried chicken with mac-n-cheese. And Friday features a deep-fried delight of shrimp and onion rings.

Like all of Haven's food, the King Ranch Chicken was made with mostly local ingredients, including farm-fresh chicken, veggies and dairy. I could taste the pillowy freshness of the chicken, and despite the relatively small portion, the entrée was so rich and creamy that it proved to be more than enough food. I have to admit it was perhaps a tad too greasy, causing me to go into a food coma that I couldn't shake for the rest of the day.

Thursday's fried chicken offering was surprisingly lighter than the casserole, but still abundantly filling. And there's something fun about having a different option each day. It makes me want to go back and explore all the dishes. And at only $10 a pop for Haven-quality food, I think I will.

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Geri Maria Harris