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3rd Coast Foodie                             

HOUSE OF ROCK Corpus Christi, TX

OK, it’s lunch time in downtown Corpus Christi and you’re thinking you only have 40 minutes because you need 10 minutes to get to and from the office. So where do you go? Well, there are fast food places, but really, do you want that? Nope. There are a bunch of restaurants that serve the same old thing you’ve been eating forever, so no; you don’t want that either. How about some place new? Some place that you wouldn’t expect? Maybe get a salad, a sandwich, or pizza? Mm, yeah, Pizza!

Then let’s go to House of Rock! Yep, the same great place you head to for awesome shows, great drinks, and Beer School on Wednesdays. House of Rock! They now serve lunch and dinner into the late hours. Before you jump to the “oh, great bar food” conclusion, you have to look at the pictures! Mind you, they didn’t dress this up for us – this is how beautifully they serve it… always! And if you think it looks pretty, just wait until you get a taste! Casey Lain (owner) and Adam Rios (Kitchen Manager and chef) have taken every step possible to make your meal the best - from hiring a great kitchen staff to hand slicing the mozzarella and vegetables to getting locally grown produce daily to making meatballs from scratch. The menu makes choosing your meal quick and easy and the weekly specials give you a chance to try new items before they are added. You can also order pizza by the slice and these slices are huge!

We started our meal off with Little Smokes with Rooster Sauce which has a little kick to it and Meatballs with their in-house marinara. Believe it or not these are the first meatballs I’ve actually eaten more than one bite of in years. I have always been afraid, and usually proven true, that meatballs are just disguised meatloaf, but not so in this case. Adam’s staff makes the meatballs from scratch twice each day (and sometimes more) using their own recipe. The Little Smokes had that tasty little zip that makes them a favorite. Once you add the sauces you’ve got yourself a real treat! I can see why these are so popular.

Our salads arrived just as we were splitting the last meatball. The Caprese Salad was so pretty I wasn’t sure we should eat it, but that thought only lasted as long as it took to get my fork unwrapped from the napkin. The wonderfully creamy mozzarella and tomato slices were drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette reduction that really brought the flavors together. The Fresh Spinach Salad with goat cheese and bacon was topped with sweet sundried cranberries rounding out the fresh flavors.

Next they brought out sandwiches with a side of potato chips; we love potato chips! Again, the dishes were served so pretty that we didn’t want to dig in, however our growling stomachs won and we split them all! The Meatball Sub was amazing! Those great meatballs on a fresh hoagie roll with melted provolone and covered in marinara sauce. Absolutely tasty! Then we tried the Italian Grinder… this was the table favorite! Thinly sliced genoa salami, pepperoni, and capicola on a hoagie roll with romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, pepperoncini and topped with an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette reduction. My favorite was the weekly sandwich special – the Italian Stallion. Sliced hand-cased Italian sausage on a hoagie roll smothered in marinara sauce. Even now it makes me hungry!

This is the point when our eyes were obviously too big for our stomachs, because they brought out the final piece de le resistance… The Supreme Me Pie! And of course it was a large, so we shared with friends in the bar and still took a couple slices home. The crust, sauce, and five-cheese blend provide a flavorful base for the other toppings. Ours had pepperoni, green bell peppers, black olives, mushrooms, and red onions. According to my son the best test to pizza is how it tastes the next day (hot or cold) and the House of Rock’s Kitchen does a fantastic job!

My suggestion is that any time you are in downtown Corpus Christi and hungry head to the House of Rock! Oh, did I mention the Kitchen is open until midnight on the weekends and 11pm on the weekdays? And don’t forget about Happy Hour with drink and food specials!  So really, there is no excuse to be hungry.


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