The term “comfort food” can mean something different depending on who you are talking to. Smells and flavors of food can transport you to another place, time, or state of mind. Maybe it is your mom’s meatloaf or your grandma’s macaroni and cheese or maybe it is the grilled cheese sandwich and hot tomato soup from your favorite diner. Comfort food is anything that brings warmth to your soul and a smile to your face…on a rainy day, a cold night, or whenever you need it.
Patrick’s Family Restaurant at 4041 Buffalo Road has been one of my favorite places to visit for home-cooked food since my freshman year in college when I stumbled upon it with my roommates. The restaurant has gotten a recent face lift as well as a menu makeover, but still serves the same stick-to-your-ribs food that I have come to expect. Amanda and I headed to Harborcreek for dinner at 6 o’clock on Monday night. While looking at the new menu, I was having a hard time thinking of comfort foods that mean something to me. My mom was an amazing cook and I haven’t been able to find the dishes she made that I consider to be comfort food- like noodle kugel or apricot pork chops, at any restaurants in town. Amanda and I talked about some of the favorite family recipes we grew up eating while we decided what to order.
Amanda chose the meatloaf and gravy with a side salad and mashed potatoes. Three slices of thin cut meatloaf and a pile of mashed potatoes were topped with velvety brown gravy. The meatloaf was well-seasoned and very moist. I personally prefer my meatloaf with ketchup or even barbecue sauce, and maybe it was because of the cold weather, but the brown gravy added just the right comforting touch. It was beefy, rich, and paired well with the meatloaf. The potatoes were fantastic as well. They were fresh-made and still had a few little potato chunks that were left un-mashed. Absolutely fantastic. Amanda said her mom’s meatloaf, which contains sliced mushrooms and a hint of sour cream, will always be her favorite, but this was a satisfying substitute.
I decided to try the cheese manicotti. Three large pasta tubes were filled with a wonderfully creamy ricotta mixture. Ricotta is a cheese that I could eat an entire bowl of without fail. The plate of pasta was topped with a standard, but delicious, marinara sauce. Like Amanda’s sentiment in regards to the meatloaf, my mom’s marinara sauce will always be my favorite, but this was quite tasty. Not overly spicy or sweet, it mixed well with the cheese in the manicotti. The sauce was covered in a layer of melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses as well as a sprinkling of Italian seasoning. Each bite was a whirlwind of textures and flavors; a well-cooked pasta, chewy cheese, creamy filling, and hot sauce.
The food at Patrick’s is traditional and gives a good reminder of home. You can get a very filling meal for an extremely reasonable price and leave more than satisfied. Our service was great and I gladly recommend giving Patrick’s a try if you never have. The phone number for the restaurant is 814-899-7071. Their hours of operation at 7am – 9pm Monday through Saturday and 7am – 8:30pm on Sunday. They are a BYOB establishment with a small corkage fee.
Until next time,
Andrew – Beard vs. Food