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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Sanchez, of Food Network’s Chopped, Chefs Vs. City and Heat Seekers fame, has become the newest addition to AC’s star-studded lineup of celebrity chefs. Aaron recently reinvented the Showboat Hotel’s casual signature eatery, and debuted Crossroads at House of Blues with its eclectic, dynamic menu — blending spicy Tex-Mex, Southern comfort and updated American classics.
“They needed to give the food portion of House of Blues a new identity and name. Crossroads is the meeting place of spirituality, music, food and art,” Aaron shared. “I was excited at the opportunity to create a menu influenced by other facets of art. Because for me, music, art and other creative outlets are extremely important because they give me ideas and inspire my food.”
My exploration of Crossroads cuisine began with juicy, slow-braised beef short rib meatball sliders simmered in fresh tomato sauce and sprinkled with cotija cheese, and a crisp hand stretched grilled flatbread layered with basil pesto, oven-dried tomatoes and sharp blended cheese. Next up were the street tacos, which packed chargrilled citrus marinated skirt steak and cotija into soft, palm-sized corn tortillas, served alongside pico de gallo and roasted tomatillo salsa. These were intensely tasty tacos — I could’ve eaten them all night.
Sanchez’s mains showcased a variety of regional influences, from the Big Easy to the Deep South. Spicy chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya with sweet peppers and green onions brought a gratifying kick of heat, while shrimp and grits offered a modified interpretation of the Southern staple. Instead of resting atop a pool of corn meal, plump shrimp sat on a base of crunchy fried grit cake and were smothered in luscious chipotle garlic cream. Other entrées included skin-on citrus chipotle grilled chicken breasts served with soft white hominy and fresh vegetables, and fork-tender chile braised short ribs on top of sweet andouille corn pudding with cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas — another standout of the night.
The inspired dishes at Crossroads are as diverse as the musicians that take the stage at House of Blues. And after this impressive meal, it was clear that the menu includes all the stuff I want to eat, too.
Next time you’re down the shore, catching a show at House of Blues or just in the mood for flavorful, satisfying food, be sure to check out the new Crossroads. Or you can belly up to the boardwalk beach bar for a sampling of casual eats off the regular dining room menu.
Many thanks to chef Aaron & team for an incredible evening!