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House of Blues, Harvard Square, Cambridge

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House of Blues, Harvard Square, Cambridge

Limster | Jul 16, 2002 12:30 AM

A quaint little house is home to this funky music-centric eatery (check out the tributes to a whole bunch of musicians on the ceiling and the live music on the upper floor). With exuberant colours from the paintings and decorations, the vibe (to my mind) was more reflective of jazzy energy than bluesy melancholy.

The kitchen was definitely aiming for a southern slant, with heavy leanings in the direction of Louisiana, obvious in offerings like gumbo and jambalaya. They're not completely successful in conjuring the complex heartaching soulfulness of that cuisine. But the food was inexpensive and tasty, and I left feeling full and happy.

The gumbo did have some of the spicy dark flavors, but I'm always game for more stocky depth. There was also a tiny and nearly indetectable burnt edge to the roux. Not a serious problem, but there's always room to improve.

I loved the catfish nuggets for their clean flavor, firm texture, and tiny pin-pricks of piquance. The thin stripes of fried sweet potato in this dish were seriously addictive.

The ample, hearty meatloaf was easy to like, especially with its suave saucy moisture. Chunky nibbles of corn on the cob (two smallish cobs) were sweet and delicious.

Jambalaya was exceptionally tomatoey, and slightly more wet than I've come to expect. Heavy on tomato in the stock, but also lots of generous chunk of meats.

After about $20 or so worth of food (including taxes and tip), we were too stuffed for dessert. The bread pudding will come next time!

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