Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Hilton Family Restaurant is a quaint, little diner, tucked away in downtown Hilton, NY. Despite being located in a town with otherwise unremarkable dining locales, the Hilton Family Restaurant proves to be a hidden diamond in the rough. While many will be tempted to disregard the Hilton Family Restaurant, due to its quiet, homely appearance, I strongly urge against this - this place is definitely worth checking out for their home-style meals and warm, casual atmosphere. Morgan and I find ourselves wandering out to Hilton every couple months or so, just because we find the place so incredibly comfortable.
On this particular trip, I ordered the Meatloaf Hot Plate - a simple meal, consisting of a meatloaf sandwich and mashed potatoes, smothered in brown gravy. Despite lacking a lengthy description, this was one hell of a meal.
The cooks at Hilton Family Restaurant proved to me once again that they definitely know what they're doing. The meatloaf was baked perfectly: the breadcrumbs and seasoning used tasted like a home-cooked meal; savory and hearty, but not too salty, or overbearingly rich. The bread was fresh enough to soak up the flavor of the beef gravy - which I found lacked the overly-salty, beef bouillon quality so many beef gravies possess - and managed to not get disgustingly soggy (not that this mattered, as this is a meal meant to be eaten with a fork and knife). The mashed potatoes were smooth, creamy, and buttery; combined with the gravy, they were easily on par with the quality of the sandwich.
This is a meal that will fill you up and warm your core: home cooking at some of its finest. If you're on a mission to find savory, rich, and hearty food, this meal is most likely right up your alley. If you're not a fan of mashed potatoes, the Hilton Family Restaurant has no problem subbing them out for one of their many other sides. For those looking for cheap eats, the Meatloaf Hot Plate, as well as many other items on the menu, come at incredibly affordable prices (just be sure to bring cash, or at least a debit card to use at their ATM). Those of you missing Mom's homemade meatloaf should definitely stop by the Hilton Family Restaurant and give the hot plate a try; you might be surprised at how genuinely it gives the old family recipe a run for its money.
Score (out of 10): 9
Location: 52 Hovey St., Hilton, NY 14468
Phone Number: (585) 392-4700
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Nathan's Soup and Salad is a quaint little take-out place tucked away on Park Avenue in Rochester. Morgan and I have never had a bad meal from Nathan's, and we love the assortment of unique, homemade foods. The menu changes each day, which may seem annoying to some, but in reality keeps the food fresh and the selection interesting. The prices are ridiculously inexpensive too, which is never a bad thing (just check out the website for a full menu with prices).
On this particular visit, I chose to try a pint of Nathan's Cheesy Pasta with Meatballs soup; Morgan got the Cream of Potato with Bacon, Onion, and Chives, and we both got a loaf of Cheddar Cheese Bread.
The Cheesy Pasta with Meatballs soup was delicious; I'm not quite sure what kind of cheese they used in the creamy broth, but it was rich and somewhat smoky and tangy in flavor. The meatballs were firm and flavorful, and the pasta complimented a perfectly hearty soup. Everything about this soup was right up my alley; the unique flavor might not be for everyone, but for those tired of bland soups, this might make your day.
The Cheddar Cheese Bread was freshly baked; the bread was fluffy, soft, and really awesome for dipping in my soup, while the cheese was perfectly melted inside, and didn't overpower the senses, despite being cheddar.
Score (out of 10): 9
The entrees from Nathan's are great, but the desserts definitely help complete the package. On this particular outing, Morgan and I shared a medium dish of Key Lime Sublime: a key lime-flavored whipped mousse, covered in graham cracker crumbs.
This dessert "soup" was light, fluffy, and wasn't so rich that it gave either of us that "too full for our pants" feeling. A must-try for fans of key lime pie!
Score (out of 10): 9
The only downsides to Nathan's are these:
-No table/chairs to sit at, except when the weather is warm: Nathan's is purely a take-out place in spirit and practice.
-Limited hours: 10AM - 6PM from Monday - Friday, 11AM - 3PM on Saturday, and closed on Sundays. Nathan's very much adheres to the lunch-rush crowd.
-Limited food availability: Nathan's soups are in high-demand and run out very quickly; fortunately they counter this with a large menu, featuring sandwiches, salads, and more.
Despite the limits of a small local business, Nathan's Soup and Salad is among my favorite restaurants in the Greater Rochester area, and is highly, highly recommended.
Location: 691 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
Phone Number: (585) 461-3016
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Note: I don't have a picture of the International Buffet's logo, nor could I find one online. If anyone out there has a picture of it or could take one for me, just shoot me an e-mail at BLongCA04@gmail.com. Much appreciated!
International Buffet is located in Greece Ridge Mall in Greece, NY, right by the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Much like its predecessor I Eat Buffet, International Buffet is a hodgepodge of primarily Chinese food, with a smattering of Japanese, American, and other international (go figure) cuisine. Dessert, including ice cream, is also available.
For my first plate, I chose some chicken with broccoli, sesame chicken, lo mein with vegetables, and a piece of pepperoni pizza (just to give the "American" food a try).
For seconds, I got a bowl of wonton soup (not pictured), and some more lo mein with vegetables.
Let me start off by saying that I would have eaten a larger variety of food, but I somehow became quite full after what I did manage to eat (my norm is somewhere around 3 - 4 plates).
For my first plate, I found the chicken with broccoli to be quite well-prepared, albeit a little more bland than I hoped for. The sesame chicken had a great flavor, but was unfortunately somewhat softer than it was crispy, from sitting under a heating lamp for so long. The lo mein with vegetables complimented the chicken with broccoli perfectly, and absorbed the flavor of the sesame chicken quite nicely as well. The piece of "American" pepperoni pizza was unfortunately not my favorite, but that was expected; crusty cheese and a lack of sauce made it fall flat in my opinion, but those looking for a piece of more familiar food might enjoy it. The wonton soup was great: the broth wasn't too salty, and the wontons were stuffed full of hearty and flavorful meat.
The food definitely had more pros than cons, and those cons were expected; this was a buffet after all, not a five-star restaurant. But for a buffet, I gotta say it ranks up there on my list. If you're exhausted from a day shopping at the Greece Ridge Mall, the International Buffet is definitely worth checking out.
Score (out of 10): 7.5
Location: 326 Greece Ridge Center Drive, Rochester, NY 14626
Phone Number: (585) 368-9988