You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:
Petrock’s Bar and Grille
Overview: Opening in 1961, Petrock’s Bar and Grille is among Hillsborough’s oldest restaurants—if it’s not the oldest restaurant in town, period. Located on Amwell Road, it combines tasty food with variety and value, in an atmosphere reminsicent of the neighborhood pub.
Décor: Petrock’s definitely concentrates on the “bar” part of its moniker—in a town with few sports bars, it’s a place to watch the game. There are two small dining areas in the restaurant, since the bar that’s in the center room takes up most of the space. Vintage ads and signs for various beers are hung on the walls, below the television sets that line the bar walls. Sports fans can rejoice—at any given time, you’ll be able to watch football while also following hockey.
The Drinks: Petrock’s has a variety of draft and bottle beers, as well as mixed drinks and wines. The family’s liquor store is right next door too, and has a selection of interesting wines, spirits and beers.
The Entrees: Entrees range from salads, sandwiches and burgers to more elaborate pasta dishes and steak entrees. Petrock’s also offers specials with sandwiches and items that aren’t on its regular menu—and can be quite tasty. According to our server, they’re always experimenting, and custom orders are available too. Looking for a steak dinner that doesn’t break the bank? Petrock’s offers half price steaks on Tuesdays, which is a bargain for the meat lovers out there.
It’s also part of the reason [coupled with knowing we could watch the Devils-Rangers game] my dining partner and I selected Petrock’s as our dining location Tuesday.
I admit I wasn’t immediately sure what to order when I read the menu. The choices were fairly abundant for both appetizers and entrees, and I’m not as sold on steak as my dining partner. Luckily, we agreed to split an appetizer, opting for Brie in a phyllo crust with cranberry sauce and apples instead of the pierogies with fried onions. As it turned out, we’d both have fries with our meal, and wanted to avoid potato overload.
The Brie appetizer was a hit with both of us, with my dining partner saying, “I highly recommend the brie appetizer. The combination of the creamy cheese, the hint of raspberry combined with the apple slices provides a nice way to get your pallet ready for the meal to come.”
I ordered the Drunken Bird Burger, which is a seasoned turkey burger with bacon, cheddar, and bourbon barbecue sauce, paired with Cajun-seasoned fries. The burger was tender and tasty, though I would have preferred more of the sauce. It’s definitely an order I’d make again, if I’m not swayed by the other items on the menu.
The Cajun fries were a bit of a sticking point for my dining partner and I. I thought they were fine, crisp, and spicy; he thought they were salty.
He went for the T-bone steak, pairing it with—what else—steak fries. As a fry connoisseur, he was pleased that the fries were, in fact, steak fries. Apparently, there are places that substitute shoestring for steak, but Petrock’s got this right. He also commented on the value factor, noting, “T-bone Tuesday is a great deal. At half off, only paying $12.50 for a nice cut of beef is an outstanding deal. The Montreal seasoning is not overpowering, and simply adds a hint of smokiness to a surprisingly tender steak.”
The Service: The service was pleasant and timely, checking in on us at appropriate times and making sure our glasses were always filled. Also, the food came out in a reasonable amount of time. The atmosphere of Petrock's is one of a neighborhood pub with TVs showing sporting events in the bar area, even throwing on games by request of patrons.
Address: 413 Amwell Road, Hillsborough