If Addison seems to you to be a soulless place — a vast parking lot flanked by restaurants and bars of no particular charm or character — you haven’t been to Neighborhood Services. Their newest outpost is a standout for its warm service, bluesy rock vibe and upscale menu. Dream of a date soon approaching, when the fall weather will bring a chiminea fire to the light-strung patio, the perfect atmosphere for relishing their butterscotch pot de crème. A crunchy scattering of caramel popcorn contrasts satisfyingly with the silkiness of the Maker’s Mark-finished custard. The wooden spoon is happy nostalgia for anyone who remembers ice cream enjoyed in the school cafeteria. Like NHS’ frites with voodoo sauce, this dessert is habit-forming.
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True to their motto, “honest food and drink in the American tradition,” you’ll find no shortage of elevated classics to love. True as well to chef-owner Nick Badovinus’ tradition of quirky bathroom decorating touches (like a pair of Levi’s hung at the original location as a nod to his dad), you will find … a sink full of ice. This may be to reduce splash, confuse tourists or for no apparent reason at all. Conversation flows easily in this relaxed environment, but should you experience a lull, take turns forming hypotheses. Not missing a bite, of course, of that pot de crème.