Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crossroads at House of Blues at West Side Downtown Disney

When I first sat down at the House of Blues and began to read over the menu, I started to panic. Where were the Crispy Catfish Nuggets served with sweet potato fries and spicy tartar sauce I loved so much? What about the crab and artichoke dip? Wait a minute...something looked totally different! I called the waitress over in a frenzy and as she eased my nerves she calmly replied, "This is the new menu put together by Chef Sanchez". I realized immediately who she was referring to: Celebrity Chef Aaron Sanchez, cohost of Chopped, Heat Seekers and other shows from the Food Network.

I decided to give this a chance. While I enjoyed several dishes from the House of Blues (now renamed Crossroads at House of Blues), I understood we should always have an open mind to change and welcome new opportunities (although I really wanted a mouthful of catfish at that point). I perused the menu and found it to be rather interesting. It was bold and classic yet contemporary; incorporating flavors from around the world. There were still many of the staple items such as the jambalaya, burgers, cornbread and pulled pork sandwich but I noticed there appeared to be some changes in the preparation of these as well.

Crispy Prosciutto Grilled Flatbread
New signature dishes such as the shrimp and grits, short rib meatball sliders, hand stretched grilled flatbreads, and street tacos caught my eye and made my ability to choose a bit more difficult. I finally decided to start off with the Crispy Prosciutto Hand Stretched Grilled Flatbread.  It was made with roasted garlic puree, blue cheese mozzarella, oven dried tomatoes, pine nuts and crispy fried prosciutto. It sounded out of this world and I was really hungry! Believe me when I tell you it was a very generous appetizer. I thought it would be a small flatbread but it really could've been an entree in itself. It was scrumptious, the ingredients were fresh and it was gone within a couple of minutes.

Lobster Mac & Cheese
Next I ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese. This was by far the most amazing dish I had. Imagine maine lobster meat in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with crunchy panco breadcrumbs.  Divine! The macaroni was tender, the cheese very creamy and there was a generous portion of lobster meat.

I also tried the Jambalaya.  Always finding it delicious, I was glad to see it remained on the menu. Full of flavor, you could taste  the marinated chicken, spicy andouille sausage, sweet peppers and roasted green onion in the traditional jambalaya sauce. However, I did notice the absence of shrimp. While it was still extremely tasty, and I especially love how the rice is completely immersed in the seasoning, making it achieve the color it does, I do enjoy shrimp in my jambalaya.

Since I find comfort in familiarity, I couldn't help but order a side of their famous Sweet Potato Fries. As always, they didn't disappoint. They were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, without  being too sweet.

Sweet Potato Fries
To my disappointment, I realized I was just too full for dessert. I guess I never expected the flatbread to be quite that size and the rest of the dishes came in generous portions as well. I did see one particular dessert that I plan to try when I return. It was the Molten Chocolate Cake. It looked tantalizing but unfortunately, I couldn't indulge this time. No worries... I grabbed a schedule of upcoming concerts since not only is there amazing food here to satisfy your cravings, but also music for your soul. I had a wonderful dining experience at Crossroads at House of Blues and I will come back again to try some more of  Chef Sanchez's creations; this time leaving some room for dessert.

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  1. All of these foods have caught my interest. Next time I'm there I think I'll try the lobster mac and cheese. Sounds divine...

  2. It was!!! You should definitely try it...and if you try the chocolate dessert before I do, please let me know if it's as good as it looks! :)

  3. The Jambalaya is a different recipe than the one they had before, but it is still amazing! I love Jambalaya!