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Feb 12, 2012 01:22 PM

Adagia > Free House (Berkeley)

Adagia has changed its name to Free House and has a new menu and a full bar, though the same owner. 5pm-midnight Mon.-Sat., lunch coming later.

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  1. I'm happy about the change. This is exactly what this area needs. I don't read the Cal but I liked the article. The responses are from obvious haters. .must be awful being them.

    1. I never went to Adagia, but Free House is not bad. Especially since I am right across the street at Boalt all day. I had their cassoulet one day, which was not great. I wanted it to be soupier/stewier, but it was more like the consistency of a....(this is a random comparison but...) stir fry. It also had a distinct offal flavor, which was not an ingredient.

      But then I had the vegan chili, which was pleasant. The mushrooms were probably overcooked, but overall it was nice.

      1. a bunch of us went last nite:

        service was... rudimentary (to be generous) but I think it's a result of their unanticipated success.
        mind you, it is NOT a destination. but it's very much a welcomed addition to the campus options. My burger was well-done. But I requested medium-rare. I would've requested a replacement, except it took a terribly long amount of time to arrive, and I didn't think they'd be able to handle the request for a substitute. Very tastey, nonetheless. theyr's clearly using good quality meats. And the thick cut bacon was fabulous.

        Full bar was fun, tho drinks seemed a bid skiimpy in size. Again, that coulda been just because they were all overwhelmed. large selection of beers on tap.

        2 Replies
        1. re: escargot3

          I noticed it had changed name. In what respect is is a "very much welcomed addition"? Not doubting you; just curious. Curious especially given yours and "pkt63"'s reviewss: to me a cassoulet with a "distinct offal flavor, whicjh was not an ingredient" is bad, not "not bad."

          1. re: MagicMarkR

            I just went to Free House with some fellow grad students. Our building is on the south side of campus, rolling distance. I had the buttermilk fried chicken wings (all drumettes, $8) which was a very large bucket, great for sharing. They were fried dark, like I like them, crunchy and perhaps even better than the fried chix I had yesterday at Brown Sugar Kitchen (more juicy, owing to the small pieces fried very hot). A pleasant blue cheese (which I thought tasted a bit like ranch) accompanied it as did fresh radish, which reminded me of pickled radish accompanying korean fried chix to add refreshment and cut the grease.

            All beers on tap were $5, including 4(!) IPAs, local Linden Street brewery selections, and even a couple of Belgian style pours. I had a fresh tasting Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. A friend had the veggie burger which she said likened to a flattened falafel ($10), not really a glowing review for a veggie burger.... Reports were that the vegan chili was satisfying ($8).

            To answer MagicMarkR, the Southside is want for laid back places to take in a pint with solid food without being overrun by undergraduates. Henry's (more expensive, beer selection pales in comparison, food middling) was really the only option that fit that. I'd been to Adagia, and while the food was decent, I much prefer this style and price point for a relaxed early dinner with good beers. Hopefully the quibbles from escargot3 and pkt63 are ironed out once Free House gets its groove.

        2. We've split a discussion of place with good beer selections to a new thread, so this one can focuson Free House; you can find the new thread here:

            1. re: The Dive

              Was just reviewed here: Her writing is always enjoyable, even if the subject bar isn't.