Today I went to lunch with my former co-worker and Facebook friend Anne. Anne keeps the pulse on health care advertising and how brands are leveraging social media to keep in touch with their customers. We selected Karla’s in New Hope as our dining destination. I have been to Karla’s before and they offer a very nice set of lunch (and dinner) choices and my friend Ed, tends bar there.
For appetizers, Anne choose the House Salad with Thai dressing and I chose the French Onion soup, Au Gratin. Anne’s salad was pretty straight forward combination of greens, radicchio, tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions with a ginger based Thai dressing. Some fresh ground pepper completed the dish. The fresh crispy salad was a good start to the meal, not to heavy and a dressing to keep you interested.
The French Onion soup was very good. This classic was a standout because of the quality of the broth. Many French Onion soups end up being very salty because they use bouillon rather than beef stock. Karla’s version was perfect. The mozzarella covering the croutons was nice and stringy making it somewhat difficult to eat but that’s part of the fun. The generous portion was more than I wanted given I was looking forward to my luncheon salad.
One of the treats at Karla’s is their homemade fries. Anne and I decided to share an order and they lived up to their reputation. Golden brown pieces of potato goodness irregular in length and colour confirming these were made on premise rather than shipped in from some factory. Seasoned with kosher salt each fry was perfect in texture – not too crispy and not too soft and chewy. It would be easy to make a meal of these but I have been trying to cut down on fries. But if you are going to fall off the diet wagon the fries at Karla’s are worth it.
Anne’s main course was the chicken wrap sandwich. (shameless plug for taking the Sandwich Poll if you haven’t already inserted here.) Large chunks of chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and goat cheese filled the spinach wrap. The goat cheese was a substitution for Anne showing the fflexibilityof the wait and kitchen staff. A good test of a restaurant is how they deal with minor changes in the food and Karla’s staff passed with flying colours. The sandwich came with a dill pickle spear and a creamy carrot and cabbage coleslaw. A very filling sandwich that completed the meal for Anne.
I am not sure I have eaten so many salads in one week in my life before this but when the waiter described the Seafood Salad I knew I wanted it. The combination of crab, mango and avocado seemed like a natural and lord forbid this might be healthy for me. The crispy greens, tomato, red onions played a nice supporting role to the stars of the show the crab, mango and avocado. Usually I like hunks of crab meat that are almost sushi size but the crab was shredded into almost rice sized pieces. I was surprised as the shreds worked well. The pieces of yellow mango provided a sweet aromatic taste that matched well with the salty sweet crab. The crown jewel of the salad was the partially sliced avocado that topped the salad. The fresh avocado’s creamy texture was a good contrast to the crunchy chunks of mango, onions and greens. I thought this salad (shameless plug for salad survey inserted here if you haven’t already participated) was very will conceived, the combination of ingredients, the colours and textures make this a tasty and eye pleasing dish you should try.
A couple of other things you should know about Karla. Ed makes a great cocktail so even though we didn’t engage get him to make the Blue Hawaiian like he did for my 50th Birthday Party. Karla’s offers a Local’s Menu on Mondays where you can get an appetizer, entree, dessert and tea or coffeefor a price range of $14-$19. The choices are different each Monday so the price varies but always a good deal. Menu prices for lunch range from $6-$16 and $6-$30 for dinner. The last thing is that Karla’s offers a decent al a carte Sunday Brunch from 11-3 with great versions of Egg Benedict’s, Omelets and Pancakes. (Don’t forget Ed’s Cocktails).
Karla’s Bar & Restaurant, 5 West Mechanic Street, New Hope, PA, 215.862.2612