There a lot of things I really like in restaurants, be it decor or service or just the arrival of an excellent meal. I suppose in going to so many places my ultimate goal is to like whatever it is that I’m eating; I would imagine this is the goal of almost any excursion into the culinary. This is probably the main reason that I love greasy spoons, places that have a good grilled cheese and some crinkle fries are high on my list of comfortable places and Brotherton’s Family Restaurant is one of those places.
My friend Alex, of the previous Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers review, was coming to go out to dinner with me. To say she is one of my favorite people is a complete and utter understatement. She has always been a person I turn to in times of need or when I am in times of plenty, she’s fantastic company and always has great things to say and interesting viewpoints. I am fortunate in this life to have a lot of really wonderful friends but she is among the cream of the crop and this excursion to Brotherton’s did nothing to prove differently.
She had suggested this place because we have always been fans of going to American fare, she knows my taste pretty well and once she had eaten there she had made a point of telling me about it immediately. I remember during this time around February of 2010 I was having a rough go of it, not a whole ton of things were working out for me and I had just gone through a really awful break up so I needed to have some time to hang out with a good friend and have a nice comfort food meal.
When walking into Brotherton’s the first thing you will notice is that the decor is a bit mismatched, full of low booths that are a reddish color paired with an odd cream colored wallpaper, it’s essentially exactly how a family owned diner should look. They, like a lot of the greasy spoon ilk, also serve alcohol; it’s always odd to me to walk into a diner and see a bunch of beers and liquor bottles on display. You aren’t gonna find a Long Island iced tea, a martuni or any kind of craft drinks here, you’ll find your run of the mill jack and coke or vodka cranberry and that is totally fine with me.
After being seated at a nice booth over in the middle section they gave us the menu. What I like about places like this is they always have a good variety of American type of food, so you can usually count on some of your favorites; 3-ways, hamburgers, roast beef, etc. But at Brotherton’s you can count on a whole ton more as they have an extremely extensive menu, one that will serve almost any taste. They have philly cheesesteaks, filet mignon sandwiches, veggie burgers, a plethora of appetizers and, of course, a massive breakfast section.
For my money I like to test a place by trying out some of their easiest to make things, so when I go to a diner I like to try out the grilled cheese or the cheeseburger. In my mind I think that if you can make good, basic things then the more advanced stuff will probably be good the next time I come there and try them. So, in accordance, I ordered a cheeseburger and some fries, also some cheesesticks for an appetizer, Alex got the firehouse chicken philly cheesesteak and fries.
The cheesesticks came out and they were delicious, some of my favorites I’ve ever had in fact, they are beer battered thickly and absolutely melty and delicious. The true mark of a good cheesestick is always the stretch factor; that awesome thing that happens when you bite in and, instead of hot grease burning everything in your mouth to cinders, you get tasty mozzarella and then you have troubles because the cheese stretches farther and father from your mouth, it’s probably one of the best of the futile eating exercises of which you can partake.
After the cheesesticks our meals came out my burger was fresh, it may have been a pre-pressed patty but it looked very good and nicely medium cooked. Alex’s sandwich looked really great and smelled awesome. The fries were golden brown and piping hot, the kind of hot where you have to use a fork and cut them in half so that they, too, do not burn your mouth like the fires of Mt. Doom. I bit into my burger and it was really great, I got cheddar on it and they used shredded cheddar which is never my first choice but it was good and stretchy and gooey so it was A-OK in my book. Alex liked her chicken philly as well, which was expected as she’d had it before so kinda knew what to expect. Overall we both agreed it was fantastic meal!
We sat and talked a little while longer about all the things going on and in general caught up on each other a bit. We were full and happy, two things that are most important to me when I eat anywhere. I reread the menu for a moment and saw they had a burger called the Get Up and Go, which is a quarter pound burger with a quarter pound of goetta on top of it with cheese, bacon and a fried egg and I vowed to return one day to have it, and I did, and it was ridiculously good.
So, in summary, if you have a good friend or any important people in your life you owe it to yourself to come to this place. It may be tiny, it may not be upscale or expensive, it might not have the hugest selection of drinks or anything of that nature; but what it does have is really great food and a really good atmosphere to catch up and have conversations over food that just makes you feel really happy, and I would say that’s a pretty good feeling to purchase for under 10 bucks.