Friday, September 6, 2013


The Charbroil is decidedly and intentionally anti-hip.  It celebrates old school diner food without being retro: unapologetically offering a thick menu of comfort staples served by a friendly staff who call you "Hon" regardless of your gender or age.   Enough older patrons are greeted by name to suggest they've been eating there since they were teens, but new faces are greeted with equally big smiles.  You can have breakfast at 7 am or pm; you can have big, unadorned baked potatoes with everything from hamburgers to chicken french; you can read the day's "Pie" menu which includes such classics as blueberry, lemon meringue, and everyone's favorite pie: chocolate cake (what? whatever!).  Heck, tonight when we went, we could have ordered "Salt Potoaotes," but we didn't.

For our family, Charbroil is ideally located for a quick, no-heavy-thinking dinner after picking up the kids from any number of activities--and they love it!

My son's go-to dinner choice is chocolate silver dollar pancakes with a side of bacon.  It never disappoints and it always disappears.

My daughter lights up with joy when chicken french is on the special board.  When it's not, she defaults to chicken parmesan.  Both have a based of crispy chicken breasts served over a huge portion of pasta--the chicken is really quite good: the breasts are flattened to cook evenly.  The french comes with a lemon-scented garlicky sauce; the parmesan with a basic red sauce.  Either way, my petite princess plows through it, usually leaving just enough for breakfast the next morning and just enough room for a piece of chocolate cream pie.

If I'm looking for something lighter, I'll take the broiled haddock with lemon pepper seasoning and one of the Charbroil's old fashioned baked potatoes.  The fish is consistently well-cooked, light, flaky with a seasoning that should really be called "pepper-lemon."   Like everything, the portion seems oversized for the plate, but that's not a complaint.  The potatoes are steaming hot, moist, dense.  They bring back foil wrapped memories of midwestern meals.

The Charbroil is the kind of place we so often take for granted as we zip by on our way to the latest foodie haven.  It consistently offers good food at a good price served by nice people.  Nothing wrong with that--in fact, most times, it's just right.

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