By DARLA HIGGINS
On a recent comment card left at the Linden Public House, a guest revealed why the eatery was special to her: “I used to live here.”
The 102-year-old restored home, which opened its doors for dinner in January, retains its historic charm without feeling like an antique. There’s a nod to the past – a picture of the home’s original owners can be seen above one of the fireplaces – but when it comes to the food, it’s all about what’s current and fresh, straight from local growers.
While some of the pub fare stays the same – don’t miss the heaping platter of Loaded Nachos, made with slow-roasted pulled pork and homemade queso ($8.50) – the entrées are changed each week. We tried the Tex Mex Summer Squash Casserole ($5.49), served with cornbread. It was obvious that the squash was fresh, which made for an excellent entrée.
But it’s a good thing we came hungry; the owner asked us if we wouldn’t mind doing a little taste-testing on dishes he was cooking up for future menus. Oh, darn. Only if we have to.
The first sample was a tasty mushroom risotto with shrimp. Then he asked if we’d try a chicken leg that had been cooked for more than an hour in butter.
The chicken basically melted off the bone, and the butter added just enough seasoning that nothing else was needed.
“We have a feast!” I said to the owner.
“And that’s why you come to the Linden Public House!” he replied.
He didn’t know we were there to do a review; we just happened to be the lucky recipients of his culinary test run that night.
After dinner – which also included an expertly-made Vanilla Pecan Bread Pudding ($4), craft beer and locally-produced wine – we placed ourselves into a wheelbarrow to be hauled out. No, we didn’t, but it might have come in handy.
The Linden Public House is located at 401 E. Houston St. in Linden. Dinner is served beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Phone: (430) 218-8889.
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