By Sal Rodriguez
Heading south on Glenoaks Boulevard, approaching Hill Street Café on the right, one gets the feeling they are in a historic district of Burbank. This palm tree-lined thoroughfare, home to the picturesque St. Leon Cathedral, as well as the twenty-two acre Woodbury University, offers the perfect setting for a lazy breakfast, casual lunch, or family dinner.
After stopping to smell the roses which line Hill Street Café’s entrance, I spotted the banner advertising “Kids Eat Free Tuesdays,” and immediately regretted not having children. I quickly recovered, however, after noticing “Free Glass of Wine with Each Entrée Wednesdays.”
When prompted to provide a description of his offerings, owner Charbel Ghaby simply answers, “California Cuisine.” With its vast menu, Hill Street Café has something delicious for every palette. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and considering that they won the “LA’s Best Food Award” for five consecutive years, you can see that Charbel’s pride in Hill Street Café is well-deserved.
Boasting homemade soups and salad dressings, and never-frozen, real potatoes for both French fries and mashed, this easy-to-overlook eatery doesn’t lack in flavor, especially considering this era where, in the name of “healthy,” flavor is the first to go.
For the waistline-conscious reader, a Fitness Menu is available with oil and butter-free offerings, such as Sliced Turkey Breast and Poached Salmon, all under 600 calories. This writer, having admitted defeat when it comes to swimsuit season, gleefully sampled the Classic Burger, with lettuce, tomato, red onions, pickles and (homemade) Thousand Island dressing. I consider myself a burger-connoisseur, disdainful of the recent infestation of “mid-range” burger joints which cater to the “too cool for Carl’s Jr.” crowd; I treat any burger with skepticism. But this burger? In one word: impressive. Not only was it delicious, but I actually enjoyed looking at it! Charbel’s pleasant conversation became background noise as I chased each bite with (not-overly) seasoned fries.
Being the family-oriented, generous-with-food man that he is, Charbel then placed the Country Fried Steak entrée before me. Swimsuit be damned! Smothered in gravy, and not overcooked, this southern-style masterpiece beckoned me as I dipped each bite into the freshly homemade mashed potatoes. Truth: I’m not a big vegetable person (sorry Mom). But the accompanying steamed-then-sautéed vegetables were surprisingly good. I even asked Charbel how the vegetables were cooked, which I never ask because I usually don’t care. But these veggies were that good!
Follow your meal with a wonderful homemade cobbler dessert, and check your email with their free Wi-Fi. With crayons for the kids, Hill Street Café is a destination for food-lovers of all ages. For seniors, the café also offers a special senior menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which has great portions and is well priced!
Be sure to mention The Tolucan Times for 10% off your order!
Hill Street Café, with Manager Modesto Martinez, is open 7am – 10pm daily, and is located at 3301 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA. Call (818) 845-0046 or visit www.hillstreetcafeonline.com for more information.