Almost Home: a review

For some, Northwestern is only a short drive away from home, but for many of us, home is many arduous hours of travel away. When you are pining for a bite that will take you back to your roots, Almost Home is a great substitute for your mother’s hot, home cooking.

When you walk in, the crowd is about the average age of 60 and completely immersed in their own plates. Many of them are eating alone and referred to by name from the staff. The staff seem to be of one family as some are tending to children, while others to the customers and food. My favorite aspect of this is that you know the food must be good, because the whole family has their own plates displayed from the lineup.

Almost Home doesn’t have any bells or whistles to its menu. When you arrive, you’ll see a sign that lets you know that the special is one meat and three sides, unregulated and as much as you dare to load up. It’s pseudo-buffet style, where you serve yourself and you pick as you go. Grab as much as you can, though, because there won’t be a chance for seconds.

While I was loading up my plate, I was told I could sit where ever I liked. There are two distinct areas of the restaurant. One is a closed off section of seating near the buffet, and another with a large window that allows seating to view the lake. I sat in the area overlooking the lake and, well, it almost felt like being in someone’s home.

On that particular day, there were several meat options. I tried were the enchilada casserole and the hamburger steak with caramelized onions. You could tell everything was made from scratch with each bite. The hamburger steak was less-than-stellar, but I found the enchilada casserole to be especially yummy.

As for the sides, the selection is long, so prepare for some hard decisions. There are so many options, you could go cross-eyed. All sides are meatless, which makes it a great place for vegetarians to check out. In the end, I landed with the Southern classics of mashed potatoes, smothered cabbage, and cream corn. If I had to choose, I would say their smothered cabbage is some of the best I’ve had in Natchitoches. As a New Orleans native, I tend to get picky with my soul food, and this place seems to have it down to a science. That being said, I did have to add salt and pepper to pretty much everything, which left me wanting a little bit more in the flavor department.

Everything about the food at Almost Home is simple and to the point. There’s nothing fancy or “up-town” here, but the food is hearty and will hit the spot after a long day. Overall, a meal with a drink cost $12 and one without, $10.50. I’d definitely return to Almost Home, especially to check out and try more of their rotating options.

Rating: 3/5 Pitchforks

Anna Birbiglia

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