MECHANICVILLE — Homemade food is good food. Fancy or humble, it’s miles better than anything that ever came frozen. At Hildreth’s on North Main Street in Mechanicville they have that figured out. Homemade is what they’ve been doing for 53 years.
“It’s all homemade, right down to the applesauce,” said Ed Hildreth.
Hildreth’s Restaurant & Catering
WHERE: 201 N. Main Street, Mechanicville, 664-8511, www.hildrethsrestaurant.com
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $40 before tax and tip
MORE INFO: Wheelchair accessible. Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, Discover. Children’s menu. Parking available.
Hildreth’s is homey, with pine paneling and wooden tables and chairs, tile floor and a cheerful gas fireplace. It’s been a while since they’ve redecorated but it’s clean and it’s charming. More important, the food is delicious.
Tracy and I were won over by the nice folks, the cozy atmosphere and great meal.
We smelled the bacon as soon as we stepped inside at lunchtime. A server passed carrying an impossibly wonderful-looking club sandwich with french fries. I could see each layer of turkey, bacon, tomato, just-right toast, fat triangles surrounding a mound of golden fries. Lucky customer, I thought.
We were invited to take any table. The soup of the day was cream of broccoli; an open-face turkey sandwich and fish fry were the specials, the server said.
You can find almost anything you want: salads, sandwiches, entrees. Start with an antipasto for two ($11), move on to a burger ($11, with fries and pickle) or a hot sandwich like roast pork and homemade applesauce ($12). They’ve got Yankee pot roast ($17 with potato and vegetable, or pasta, and soup or salad) and chicken parm ($19 with potato and vegetable or pasta). They’re open for breakfast on weekends.
Tracy chose a small green salad ($6) with ranch dressing, an assortment of greens and pale Romaine, thinly sliced red onions, half cucumber slices, carrots and grape tomatoes on a chilled glass plate.
The cup of broccoli soup ($4) was hot and rich with bits of fresh broccoli. The small serving almost filled me up. It was very good, I could have stopped there and left happy.
But no, I wanted my own turkey club sandwich ($12) with colorful layers held together by long frilly toothpicks. It was so good, and here’s why: The turkey was homemade and thinly sliced and delicious, the crisp bacon had an assertive smoky flavor, the tomato was red and flavorful, the lettuce wrinkly and crisp, the white bread toasted just so, all adding up to a classic club. Lucky me.
Tracy ordered the fish fry sandwich ($12) with cocktail sauce and enjoyed it very much. “It’s light and airy, and the batter is really good,” she said. It’s your typical elongated flaky white fish portion on a hot dog roll, but Hildreth’s made it taste extra good. She had no trouble finishing it up.
We both gave the fries a thumbs-up. “They’re the crinkly, old-fashioned kind,” Tracy said, approvingly. They were golden and hot and we dusted them with salt and dipped them in puddles of cold ketchup.
Hildreth’s makes its desserts. We said we’d share the chocolate cream pie ($6) after the server admitted it was her favorite, and she brought two plates with the pie already split. The pudding-like filling was covered in chocolate-trickled whipped topping. Tracy dislikes piecrust but she liked Hildreth’s enough to almost finish it.
At the end of the meal our server brought boxes and the tab, $40 before tax and tip. We really enjoyed our meal and said so, to which she replied, “It’s homemade, that’s why it’s so good.”