Good | Worth a Return
Review by: Michael Stern
“Homemade pies, soups, and good ol’ American food,” is how the Cottage Café describes its repertoire on the back of the menu. A welcoming roadside enterprise with the raffish personality of a truck stop, it is a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and bakery with pull-tab gambling dispensers for pre- or post-prandial entertainment. We love the house watchwords emblazoned on coasters that come under coffee cups: “Like home for hungry travelers. Since 1935.”
You’d never mistake what is served for homemade. This is diner food for sure. The famous pies are heavyweight 10-inchers cut into large triangles that deliver undeniable satisfaction in a notably inelegant package. Cobblers are like that, too: vast bowls full of damp fruit and pastry that won’t win a state fair blue ribbon but surely will vanquish any appetite. Microwave-warmed cinnamon rolls are similarly colossal: reefs of bready roll enveloped in white frosting and topped with a glob of melting butter.
As you might expect in so trucker-friendly an enterprise, breakfast – served all day – is the meal to eat. Corned beef hash is delectably unctuous, glistening from its time on the flat-top, a well-balanced mix of briny beef that is alternately moist, crisp, and tender with just the right amount of potatoes to strike a mellow note. Chicken-fried steak is remarkably non-bready – a patty of well-worked beef with scarcely a veil of crust. Shredded spuds that come alongside are a hash-house delight.
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