$29 & Under: Town House Restaurant’s fare is reliable and reasonably priced

The Town House Restaurant on Rosa Road is one of those places with a faithful base of regulars, a fa
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The Town House Restaurant on Rosa Road is one of those places with a faithful base of regulars, a fact that becomes obvious when you notice servers addressing patrons by their first names.

On the day I visited, they also had a great Yankee bean soup, the kind that sticks to your ribs and warms you up on a chilly day.

This is the kind of place where you go when you want reliably good food at a reasonable price, on a par with the Blue Ribbon on State Street and the Glenville Queen. It’s not fancy, but you’re not paying fancy prices either. The costliest item I could find on the menu was a ribeye steak dinner and it was only $15.

We had soup, sodas and club sandwiches with generous sides of potato salad (you could also choose french fries) and the total tab with tax and tip was under $25.

Just right

The club sandwiches just seemed like a good idea for the era the place connotes. They were $7.95 and $8.95 and featured toasted white bread generously stuffed with, in my case, chicken salad and, my lunch mate’s, roast beef. The chicken salad was fresh and exactly what I was looking for — minced chicken breast, mayo and bits of celery. It was accompanied by fresh lettuce and tomato slices and crispy smoked bacon. I also enjoyed their potato salad, which besides potatoes and mayo had slivers of carrots and celery for extra flavor and texture. More important, it tasted fresh, which isn’t always the case with potato salad in a restaurant.

The roast beef sub was similarly presented and enjoyed.

The Yankee bean soup, accompanied by crackers, was a flavorful tomato-based broth with lots of navy beans, onions and celery. I had the cup portion and it was a generous serving, especially for about $2.

Radio music piped in to the place was from a soft oldies station, perhaps selected for its digestion-enhancing qualities. “Midnight at the Oasis,” the theme from “A Summer Place,” and Neil Diamond’s “I Am I Said,” were among the serenades we heard.

I kept the menu for a while so I could get a sense of what else one might find tempting and have to say that they offer just about everything, including a section featuring Greek specialties like gyros.

You can also order breakfast at any time, which is a good thing. Sometimes, you want breakfast even if it is 3 in the afternoon.

Dinner entrees include steaks and chops, chicken, a turkey dinner and seafood dishes. There’s the usual array of appetizers and, on the day we visited, two soups. The other was chicken noodle.

There are counter stools where you can sit if you like, but mostly there are various sized booths, all in a brown Naugahyde that said 1960s, or perhaps even ’50s. But that’s not a complaint. The seats were comfortable, the service friendly and efficient, the food perfectly fine and the cost most reasonable.

Now if I could just stop humming “Midnight at the Oasis,” I’d be completely satisfied.

NAPKIN NOTES

If there’s a nip in the air, there’s mincemeat on your grocer’s shelves. Actually, you can find it most of the year but it’s much more prominently displayed now that we’re heading into the season of holiday pie baking.

I know not everyone loves mincemeat as much as I do, and that’s too bad. It’s really a wonderful invention that combines apples, raisins, currants and fragrant spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and mace.

I think it gets a bad rap because of its name, which really is a misnomer in most cases nowadays. Not many people actually put meat — venison was a favorite — in their mincemeat, and certainly there’s no meat in the bottled versions you buy at the store, though sometimes there is brandy, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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