Chews Wisely: Salt Hill Pub

By Sam Forstner, The Dartmouth Staff | 11/2/15 11:02am

First of all, I’d like to apologize for and explain the lack of a column last week. I had the misfortune of coming down with a stomach bug for the better part of four days, which denied me my favorite hobby: eating. I lost roughly 15 pounds and experienced severe Collis stir-fry withdrawal. Nevertheless, after four days, I willed myself out of bed, down the stairs and across the 50 feet to Foco. After a few exploratory meals, I was ready to return to my solemn duty as Dartbeat columnist.

It had been a long Sunday, so I headed down Main Street and took a left on Lebanon to drown my sorrows at Salt Hill Pub. Alas, I’m 19, so I planned to do this by inhaling copious amounts of pub food. It was more of a live burial in carbs and grease than a drowning, I suppose.
The glassware on the table immediately stuck out to me. Our drinking glasses were mason jars, each adorned with a lemon wedge. But Sam, you say, how are you possibly cultured enough to remark on something as nuanced as the glassware at a restaurant? Let’s just say I’ve been to a restaurant where they give you two forks and expect you to know the order in which to use them — on multiple occasions. This ain’t my first rodeo.

I ended up straying from the pub fare path entirely when I caught a glimpse of the specials menu. I noticed the large green clover that adorned the menu’s header, signifying the establishment’s Irish roots, and perhaps it was this subliminal nationalistic message that led me to my ultimate gastronomic destination: jambalaya.

Before you disregard my choice of Cajun food at an Irish pub as ludicrous, consider the following. My father makes a mean jambalaya. My father has Anglo-Saxon roots. His family originally settled in Canada. One of Canada’s two national languages is French. Louisiana was once a French territory. Transitively, it all adds up.

I asked the waitress to confirm that it was a good choice before I did anything I couldn’t undo, and she said her manager was a fan. That was enough for me, so I took the leap. The dish did not disappoint. It was a huge portion of rice, vegetables, sausage, ham AND shrimp, blended with spices and served with a large slab of warm cornbread.

The portion was sizeable enough that I wasn’t the first person in my party of four to finish my meal. As for whether this was mostly a product of the actual size of the meal or merely my inability to shut up and eat my food, the jury is still out.

4 out of 5 stars.

Sam Forstner, The Dartmouth Staff