Mom & Pop's Café Where Great Food, Family and Friends Come Together

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One of my favorite things to do here on the blog is give some love and publicity to local, family-owned businesses.  It's been a while since I've done one of those posts, but I've been saving a few for you and I think it's a good time to share them with you this week.  Two will be a couple eateries to add to my Let's Eat category and the next will be a new Best Businesses for 2017 (Businesses You Won't Want to Live Without).  Good service can be hard to find these days, so when I experience something that's top-notch, I love to share.  That's definitely the case with Mom & Pop's Café in Ballston Spa.
Jamie, Michael, Donna and Grandma (Helen)

Although Mom & Pop's has been open since June 3, 2013, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we finally made our way to check it out.  I'd heard lots of good things about it from a variety of people so we went expecting to be impressed.  As I normally do before visiting a restaurant, I checked out Mom & Pop's Facebook page and their website.  When I saw that they also catered, my interest was piqued because I was in the midst of planning my daughter's baby shower.  The pressure was on.....a good meal today could mean an easy meal for the shower.

Mom & Pop's is a small café located on Route 67 right next door to Curtis Lumber.  When we were approaching our turn, we got a little nervous with the sea of cars for such a small business.  Our fears were for naught as most of the cars were not at the café, but at the administrative offices next door to Curtis Lumber.  Whew!  We arrived around 11:00 a.m. purposely to come between the breakfast and lunch crowd.  Although it was between peak meal hours, there were still plenty of customers, several of whom appeared to be regulars who were well known by the staff.  Our waitress, Jamie, was efficient and friendly and very knowledgeable when I began inquiring about the catering menu. Although I'm sure she could have easily handled our catering order, Pop (Michael Venturiello) came and joined us at our table to handle the order himself.  Michael, who came to the US from Italy when he was 9, clearly has a passion for food.  He and his wife, Donna, have been in the food industry all of their lives.  Before moving back to Ballston Spa to be near family, they owned Papa Bello Italian Ristorante in Cape Cod. Michael's Italian genes are probably the explanation for Mom & Pop's 'more is better' philosophy because portions here are huge.
I ordered Two Eggs in a Nest which came with home fries and meat (I chose bacon).  Jamie suggested the Italian bread instead of white bread and she was precisely on point in her recommendation.  Because I don't regularly do restaurant reviews and even though some think I'm a little camera happy, I have a bad habit of forgetting to shoot before I dig in.  So, forgive the destruction I caused before I remembered to capture this delicious feast.

John ordered blueberry pancakes, 2 instead of 3, which was a good decision because they were the size of a dinner plate.  Sorry, no picture but he said they were delicious.  Again my mind was distracted the day of the baby shower and I failed to take dedicated photo shots of the food.  Luckily I did take a few because I'm here to tell you, everything was delicious.  It was a small shower, about 15 people.  I ordered a tray of wraps, a pan of Greek Salad, a fruit platter and a couple dozen cannolis.  The wraps were huge, stuffed with delicious, fresh roast beef, turkey and Italian cold cuts and fresh veggies.  The fruit was fresh, sweet and accompanied by a fluffy dip that got rave reviews.  The Greek Salad which came with grilled chicken was also fresh and crisp, and the dressing was perfect. Their cannolis.....sinful.   I knew then that a blog post was happening and that meant a return visit was necessary in order to take some proper photos.
After 15 people had eaten!!

That visit happened this morning.  Again we arrived at what I expected to be an 'off' time, 10:30am. Mom & Pop's is open from 6:00am - 3:00 pm and it would seem from our experience that there might be no "off" time.  It was difficult to do much shooting amidst customers, although I was grateful that several were gracious enough to let me photograph their meals!  One of the great (and smart) things they do at Mom & Pop's Café is post their daily specials the night before on Facebook and their website.  I had already made my decision the night before to order one of the day's specials - homemade sausage gravy & biscuits with eggs.  If this looks like a ton of food - it IS.  I could barely make it through two biscuits which were 1/2 the height of typical biscuits, which was ingenious by the way - no more dry biscuits.  John had another of the day's specials - crab cakes with a side salad and cole slaw.  Crab cakes were delicious and again, the salad was super fresh and crisp.
Biscuits with Homemade Sausage Gravy & Scrambled Eggs $6.25

Crab Cakes, Side Salad and Cole Slaw $8.25
Other diners hopefully brought their appetites today because their orders were also plentiful.  I did note people at both visits leave with doggie boxes.  No did we!

This was a side of Corned Beef Hash (homemade)

Aside from the great food, generous portions and reasonable prices, Mom and Pop's is clean, cozy cafe full of warmth, great service and wonderful hospitality.  Michael and Donna love food and love being able to share it with their customers.  In between orders, both are out front visiting with the customers making everyone feel welcome and appreciated.  It only takes a few seconds to realize this is a real small town family establishment where the customer's satisfaction is the first priority.  The 'family' part is evident throughout the cafe - in the old family photos, the quotes on the wall about family and the loving banter between Michael and his team.

If you're looking for some delicious food - the kind like Mom and Grandma makes, not all gourmet and froufrou, just homecooked goodness - Mom and Pop's is your place to go.  Open Monday-Saturday for breakfast and lunch, Michael, Donna, Jamie and Grandma will be waiting to make your dining experience filling and fun.  And if you have an event coming up, consider having them cater it....again - generous portions at a great price!  Check out their Facebook page, their menus and their website using the links below.  Thanks for reading.  Don't forget to use the links at the end of this post to share this with all the friends  you know that appreciate great food.

1 comment

  1. Mom and Pop's is an incredible place to eat. Everything in this article is spot on! Their homemade chips are the best!


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