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$10 EATS: The Haul – Tacos Hit the Spot in Grants Pass

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The Rogue Valley has a bounty of dining options. At many of these establishments, it’s easy to drop $30 or more on dinner and drinks for a single person. However, eating well doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money. Enter our new column: $10 Eats. In this semi-regular column, we will feature dishes throughout the region that ring in at $10 or less so Rogue Valley-ians can save their money for important things: bills, beer, those stacks of parking tickets shoved away in glove compartments. Our guidelines are simple — the meal must be $10 or less and must constitute an actual meal. None of that small plate, finger-food here. We’re not on diets. Good eats. Great price.

Since entering the Grants Pass dining scene in 2014, The Haul has been a local hot spot. On any given Friday the joint is packed, and for good reason: the venue offers creative wood-fired pizzas, an exhaustive list of beers, and more often than not live bands on Friday nights.

While the pizzas can ring in at $15 a pop, it’s the $7 tacos that grabbed my interest. Give me some tacos and a beer, and I’ll be happy any day. The thing about tacos is they can be anything: pulled pork and radishes, beans and cheese, mahi mahi and mango slaw. At The Haul, there are several iterations; a chicken-based version, a chorizo and black bean version, and a seasonal one.

For winter, owners Jon Conner, Gabrielle Rysula and Chad Hahn chose a winter squash and black bean taco as the seasonal selection. The trio are passionate about using local ingredients. In the tacos, this means that the squash is sourced from Blue Box Farm and the fermented veggies are supplied by Ruby’s of Ashland.

On the chilly day I visited, the squash was a welcome comfort. The lightly caramelized, but still sturdy cubes were tucked into a white corn tortilla with pickled red onions and a zingy slaw. A creamy chipotle dressing was layered between the tortilla and ingredients, helping them stay in place while lending a hint of heat. My order came with two of these tacos, and a small side salad of crisp mixed greens, shaved carrots and a bright but balanced agave-Chardonnay vinaigrette. The meal was a perfect size for lunch. Had I also ordered a beer, perhaps a light ale or lager, I would have certainly been stuffed — and also unable to find the motivation to leave the bar.

For those not interested in the squash and black bean tacos, the menu has several other selections for $10 or less, including a burger, the two other types of tacos, soup, and sandwiches that change seasonally.

Owner Rysula says her favorite part of her job is “providing a space for people to hang out, eat great food that comes from local farms, and imbibe beer and wine that is made less than 20 miles away.” The Chicago transplant seems to be doing a fine job.

Have a local place you like to eat for $10 or less? Share it with us at info@roguevalleymessenger.com

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