On The Road
CABIN FEVER Call us affected big-city snobs, but we never thought we’d see Hawaiian lomi lomi salmon on a small-town East Texas menu. Actually, the cevichelike dish was a special on our first visit to the Homestead on 19th in Huntsville. A fine nut-crusted wahoo filet was another, as was a straight-from-the-oven macadamia nut layer cake—all were part of a Hawaiian-theme night, another twist we never would have predicted. But when in Rome—or Huntsville, as the case may be—we do as the natives do. On this occasion we ordered wine, donned a lei, and settled in at our front-porch table, a stone’s throw from where Texas revolutionary hero Sam Houston used to practice law. The scene isn’t always quite so surreal in this cluster of rustic-yet-elegant log cabins. Chef-owner John Eschenfelder, originally from Dallas, learned his cosmopolitan chops when he did a stint as executive sous chef at that city’s Mansion on Turtle Creek, and he runs the show with urban finesse. Periodically, though, he likes to throw in something unexpected. By the time the hula dancers arrived, we wouldn’t have been surprised if Sam himself had shown up to join the festivities.