The Lunch Show
Admittedly, my timing's a few months off compared to everyone else's, but when I heard The Lunch Show offered handmade meat pies, my interest was piqued.
I know, it's summer and I'm supposed to be writing about barbecue and taking the ice cream parlor equivalent of the Pepsi Challenge, but this is the time of year that I can't bake without unairconditioned consequences spreading from my kitchen to the remainder of the house.
The Lunch Show, at 165 E. Main St. in Ashland, offers much more than meat pies. The menu is an ever-changing selection of scratch-made salads, sides, soups and sandwiches, all well-prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
The restaurant's environment is a fashionable mix of old and new. Crisp white walls, dark modern tables and antique lighting fixtures make the most of the downtown location's dining space, while local art pieces keep things from getting too stark.
It is open for business from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 5 to 8 p.m. the first Friday of every month. Find more information on Facebook or at www.thelunchshowashland.com.
I ordered a classic chicken pot pie with vegetables ($8.50), and an iced coffee ($2.50).
They had my coffee ready right away, served in a cylindrical glass with crushed ice. Organic cream sourced from Strauss Family Creamery was available behind the counter on request.
A few minutes later, my pie arrived in a metal tin on a plate, ready to be tipped upside-down the way my mom would serve me those lesser frozen pies when she needed a night off.
Thankfully, the little tin is where any comparisons to Swanson end.
The pie fell into the plate easily, and the crust had the soft, buttery consistency of phyllo. Housed inside the pastry were tender cut pieces of tender chicken and vegetables in a rich cream sauce. The ingredients had the fresh taste that only sourcing ingredients locally can provide.
Considering the pie's rich ingredients, the portion size was adequate for most, but I finished it wishing I'd ordered a side. When I asked if there was a side salad, they offered a half order of the entree salad. Instead I opted for one of the sides, the wilted kale with shallots ($3).
The dish was a warm medley of kale and shallots in a vinaigrette. The kale was soft without being overcooked, and the preparation brought out the best flavors of the greens. I would order it again.
A day later I made a second visit to see how their soups fared. I tried the Poblano Beef Chili Blanco ($5) with a side of bread ($2). The bread was a warm, substantial flour-dusted loaf with diagonal cuts, perfect for dipping into the white bean chili. The spices worked with the mild poblano pepper to create a flavorful chili off the beaten path, but it was the tender, locally sourced ground beef that truly set the soup apart.
With its mix of handmade items and locally sourced ingredients, The Lunch Show is another midday reason why Ashland is the Rogue Valley's dining destination for tourists and locals alike.
— Nick Morgan