Construction along Roan Street in the Boones Creek area makes it a little inconvenient to reach Our House Restaurant. After my first visit, however, it was clear that dealing with a bit of highway work is worth it to enjoy a meal at this recently opened establishment.
According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, Our House is owned and operated by Andy and Angie Tolley. The restaurant officially opened for business on Aug. 19, with a menu featuring steaks, seafood and traditional southern dishes such as Shrimp and Grits, Pan-Fried Trout and Meatloaf, all prepared by Executive Chef Seelye Coombs.
A friend and I made our first visit to Our House Restaurant on a recent Saturday afternoon. After being shown to a window-side table in the dining room, we were given menus, and our server, Aaron, took our drink orders and delivered a basket of House Crackers. This innovative bread course consists of saltine crackers brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cheese, herbs and spices, then roasted to a light, golden crisp. These crackers were as delectably addictive as they were inventive, and we found it nearly impossible to stop after just one.
The dining room is charmingly rustic and comfortable, providing seating at both tables and spacious booths. The walls are painted battleship gray. Curtains made from a black-and-white print fabric accent the windows, while the tabletops are draped with black vinyl coverings topped with craft paper. Wood floors, support beams and rough wood trim complete the rustic side of the decor.
Framed art by local artists is displayed on the walls, along with some interesting metal sculpture reliefs.
There’s a bar area downstairs designed to appeal to sports enthusiasts. There’s also an upper floor dining area available for event dining such as business meetings, rehearsal dinners and parties.
We began our meal at Our House by looking over the appetizer options, which included Hummus, Our House Wings, Squash Fritters, Kickin’ Pimento Cheese and Filet Bites, which consists of hand-trimmed smoked beef tenderloin that can be prepared country fried or blackened. We decided to share an order of Sweet and Spicy Meatballs.
This meal-starter featured eight meatballs served with a sweet-spicy glaze garnished with some dried herbs. These little morsels, perfect for sharing, provided a great way to start off the meal.
After finishing these, we were ready to move on to the entrees, which featured several house specials as well as steaks and salads. Some of the more tempting offerings included Prime Rib, New York Strip, Smoked Salmon, Pork Chop Dinner and the Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner, which consists of two chicken breasts, smoked and grilled, then served with a vegetable medley.
The menu also features several sandwiches such as Philly Steak, Shrimp PoBoy, Grilled Pimento Cheese and an Our House Burger.
The restaurant also offers a selection of a la carte sides, including French Fries, Sauteed Broccoli, Red-skinned Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Grit Casserole, Kickin’ Pimento Mac and Cheese and Vanilla Roasted Sweet Potatoes. The menu also offers an Our House Salad, Caesar Salad and a Southern Wilted Greens Salad.
My meatloaf came with a side of Red-skinned Mashed Potatoes, but I chose to add a Vegetable Medley as an extra side. My dining partner’s Chicken Cordon Bleu was served with Steamed Broccoli, but he chose to add the Vanilla Roasted Sweet Potatoes as an additional side.
We didn’t wait long for the food to arrive. The dishes were plated with some visual flair. My meatloaf was drizzled with a churro and tomato sauce. Making this classic comfort food even better was a stuffing of smoked cheddar cheese, that added another flavor to the mix. As promised, this was certainly not like my mother’s meatloaf, but was interesting all the same.
My friend also liked the Chicken Cordon Bleu, which consisted of a chicken breast with a crispy panko crusting and stuffed with ham and mozzarella cheese.
The sides were also good, especially the Vanilla Roasted Sweet Potatoes, which were cut into cubes and flavored with brown sugar, butter and vanilla before being roasted slowly in the oven. The flavor of the vanilla really enhanced this side.
I ordered a slice of the Bourbon Pecan Pie, but my friend indulged a sweet tooth with the Chocolate Torte. My dessert featured a pastry crust filled with a sweet pecan filling, topped with some pecan halves and drizzled with some vanilla sauce. I liked the delectably rich pie, but it was served cold and I felt that the flavors might have merged better if it had been heated before serving.
My friend enjoyed every bite of the decadent torte, which consisted of a chocolate ganache foundation topped with a chocolate mousse garnished with a raspberry.
We left pleased with our first experience at Our House Restaurant, which should benefit from a good location once the ongoing construction work is completed. There’s also a kid’s menu with some pint-sized versions of some of the items from the regular menu. If you go, let them know they came with a recommendation.
AT A GLANCE: Our House Restaurant, 4903 N. Roan St., Johnson City. 282-1555. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entrees range from $11-$29. Credit cards accepted. Carryout available. Full service bar available.