WHAT HE GOT
The place: The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Parkway.
The dish: Grilled Eggplant Boxty.
The cost: $8.50.
I finally got around to ordering from The Honest Pint, and I wish I'd been by long before this.
For my takeout orders, I try to order either the most popular item or something out of the mainstream, depending on the place. If it's a restaurant with a fairly typical menu, I'll size up the house specialty. If it features unusual fare, I'll order something you might want to try but are unwillingly to risk not liking.
The Honest Pint's menu is far from traditional. The restaurant offers everything from Chicken Curry Stew to the Ditka, a stout-soaked grilled sausage with hot and sweet peppers served over crusty bread, then covered in cheddar cheese and ale mustard.
I went with the Grilled Eggplant Boxty, which is not only unusual but was on the staff-picks list. Because I love them and give high marks to any restaurant that offers them, I got the tater tots as my side.
My crack research team (Google) found that a boxty is an Irish potato pancake made with grated potato, mashed potato, flour, baking soda, buttermilk and sometimes eggs. For this dish, it was wrapped around red onions, red bell peppers, feta, eggplant and the restaurant's olive spread. It should also come with pepperoncinis, but I was informed at pickup that the kitchen was out.
One of the staff members tried to call me to see if I wanted to change my order, which I appreciated. They must have had one pepperoncini left, because I got one bite of one. It was delicious and really added to the dish. Not having more did not diminish a truly tasty meal, however.
Everything worked very well together. I especially liked the way the olive spread, feta and bell peppers interacted.
The tots were perfectly cooked, though I didn't need the extra salt or starch. I'll choose a different side next time.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...