Cafe Hon1009 W. 36th St. Hours: Monday through Thursday 9...

CARRY OUT

February 27, 1993|By Vida Roberts

Cafe Hon

1009 W. 36th St. Hours: Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call: (410) 243-1230

Cafe Hon on Hampden's main thoroughfare has the air and pace of a small-town eatery. For take-out, it's as far a cry from assembly-line fast food as you can get. But that's the point. While you wait, you can scope out the art and decor, which runs to thrift shop dinettes and painted plaster saints. The gift shelf up front features Hon T-shirts and greeting cards of an early Betty Crocker era. So comfy and familiar. So is the menu.

Comfort food is the order here. The surprise is in the real kitchen quality. A Virginia baked ham and Cheddar cheese grilled sandwich may seem steep at $4.50, but the bread is real, the ham has bite, and the cheese has zest. It's a hearty combo and nothing like the white, yellow and pink gelatinous squares we all know.

The cafe touts the meatloaf platter as better than mom's. Three tasters with different moms rated it as "different," "just as good as" and "way superior." The platter ($6.50) comes with fresh hand-cut french fries and a vegetable. A good bet on a cold night.

Burgers, with toppings of various cheeses, bacon or chili ($3.50 to $4.50) are grounded on a substantial quarter pound of beef.

There's homemade chili ($2.75), hot and filling roast beef and cheese-steak sandwiches with sides of fries and slaw ($5.95) and a variety of cold sandwiches.

The house specialty, which is gaining a reputation, is the sundae ($1.75 single dip) with homemade chocolate fudge sauce. A treat to think about all the way home.

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