Bear Bites: Harp and Bowl La Bistro

Nick Wooten, Managing Editor

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In a city known for artery-clogging and processed fried foods, Harp & Bowl La Bistro brings a different kind of spiritual vibe and tune to the “Song and Soul of the South.”

Located at 520 Mulberry St. next to the iconic Jeneane’s location, the establishment opened its doors in mid-August. Owner Charlotte Etheridge touts Harp & Bowl as a stop for “organics and beyond.” One look at the various vitamins and minerals in a display case below the register makes the claim hard to dispute. We came through the doors wondering if this “eat local” oasis was just a mirage.

THE GOOD:

Ingredients:

Say what you will about the organic and locally grown food movement. I, for one, am a bit skeptical myself. Strip away the theories and take a bite, and it’s hard to deny Harp & Bowl’s quality. The chicken sandwich is crafted with care and delicacy of a well-versed artist. The antibiotic-free chicken was well-seasoned and lightly coated with mayonnaise and olive oil. The crispy lettuce was forest green with not a brown spot in sight. The tomatoes were sliced thin enough not to make a mess but thick enough to make their presence known. Fresh sourdough bread held it all together.

The house-made Thousand Island dressing and thin-sliced sauerkraut featured on Harp & Bowl’s Reuben set them apart. Unlike other establishments who skimp on the meat in exchange for more sauerkraut, Harp & Bowl constructs their sandwich around the prominence of their Angus beef. Their customers should thank them.

THE QUESTIONABLE:

Price:

Their chicken sandwich is the same cost as their Reuben. This doesn’t make much sense. Price certainly reflects quality, but college students may think twice before shelling out $8.50 for a simple, yet delicious, sandwich.

Limited Drink Selection:

While there is a juice bar for the more adventurous, water, tea, Hank’s soda and small glass bottles of Coke are your only beverage options. Water is not free, but refills are free. Still, you feel as if there should be more.

THE BAD:

Recycling:

To preach healing and health so heavy-handedly, it was disappointing to see trash cans where recycling bins should have been. The stereotypical wrapped-up plastic spoons and forks left you feeling like something wasn’t right.

Typos:

The sloppy menu layout and careless typing errors were a stark enough contrast from the well-crafted sandwiches to make a customer cringe.

What We Would Have Done Differently:

Order the Roast Beef Sandwich. I got the Raw Green Apple Pie for dessert. It was far too small. I should have gotten a smoothie.

OVERALL:

NICK 3 STARS

JUSTIN 3 STARS

 

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