Bill Gray's: family friendly
This Bill gray's is not typical of the seating in most of the other units of this chain restaurant.
The other units are usually one large room with lots of echoes. The Henrietta branch is divided into several seating areas with dividers to provide sound baffles and only one of the areas has the weekly entertainment.
The food is the same as the other members of the chain, as is the counter service. You stand at the counter and choose your food from a menu board that is lit above the cashiers head.
You pay your money, get your food ticket number and go get a seat until your food is prepared. Then you go get the trays of food and bring them to the table.
It is a couple steps better than fast-food and yet it keeps the low costs that fast food places have because it enjoys high volume.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday late afternoon seems to be when the large crowds of families descend on the restaurant. And even with the planned layout for noise control, the restaurant is not a quiet one by any means. It is a made for a family to feel comfortable and homey; a loud American family that is.
We used to enjoy bringing the kids to Bill Gray's for dinner but now that the kids are grown we tend to find the noise a bit annoying and usually just stop on for a cup of coffee or ice cream dessert during the early afternoon before the crowds are there.
On the whole, it serves good food at a reasonable price and you don't have to dress up or mind your table manners. They have plenty of clean-up people who constantly walk around with broom and mop to keep the place clean.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
DiBella's: old fashioned goodness
It all started with a meat shop and a secret formula for making bread. And now it is a million dollar business with franchises on the east coast of USA.
The shop is old fashioned in style purposely to remind you of the happy days of the 1950s. Wood booths with black and red naugahyde; blac-white checkerboard tile floors; old posters on the walls; high tin-plate ceilings with globe lights.
It really brings back a whole era of goodness and fun.
You walk into the counter line and select the meat and fixings you want for your submarine sandwich. You tell them whether you want it hot or cold. Then you walk over to the cashier and choose a beverage and snack and wait three minutes (a little longer for a hot sandwich) and pay for the food they freshly made just for you.
You can take it home or eat it there; we've done both. I'd say that most of their business is take out but we find the booths comfortable, the atmoshpere pleasant and the environment generally quiet enough to carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice.
The best selection in cold sandwiches is the mixed meat with provolone and oil dressing.
The best hot selection is the philly cheese steak.
A medium sandwich (enough for me) is about $5; a large one, which is satisfying for most people, costs $7 (hot sandwiches are about $1 more). A coke and snack runs another $2.5; so you get a decent sit-down meal for under $10 (and there is no tip to leave because it is self-serve).
You can call ahead for pick-up and they make party trays for bigger groups if you need that service.
- Road Trip
Schallers Brighton: Schallers
I have not been to this Schallers personally but have eaten at their other two locations in Rochester.
This Schallers is in the part of Henrietta that is the mall-area. Lots of strip malls and macro-malls. Schallers does a great busines serving hot tasty meals quickly to people on-the-go in the area. Everything is cooked AFTER you place your order and it only takes 4-5 minutes before it is all ready for you to eat.
The fare is American: hots, hamburgers, Italian sausage, fries, onion-rings, ice-cream cones, soda in a paper cup. The price is about average for the Rochester area.... about $10 for lunch for one person (and you don't need to leave a tip).
The servers are friendly and they take your order and get your meal quickly and with a smile (they actually seem happy that you are there).
You can eat in a booth or bag it and eat on the run. Either way you're gonna like it.
Favorite Dish: Hamburger and Fries (light on the grease).....
- Road Trip
The Cartwright Inn: "Nothing fancy... just oustanding"
The Inn has a very long history of serving good food. (since the 1830's in the same location).
Many locals make annual visits to the restaurant on anniversaries or birthdays.
They have a fabulous clam chowder. Their Prime Rib is tender and moist.
For appetizers, try the fried calamari in special red sauce. Stuffed Haddock on Friday's menu is a good choice. Or if you prefer Italian selections, get the Pasta Gorgonzola.
The decor is early 20th century, like a carriage house.
They cater to special events and parties, groups large and small.
There are six or seven rooms and an outdoor patio area so several parties can be handled at the same time. The staff is efficient and waiting for your meal is minimal.
- Road Trip
Arigato: hot hibachi
This restaurant is called "Japanese Steak House". I guess that is to differentiate it from a "Japanese Sushi Bar". It is individual hibachi's right at each table setting where the Japanese cook prepares the meal that you order right then and there. Eat, amazed at the talented chef, who uses your table as his kitchen as you have a front row seat to the preparation of your meal.
Arigato is Rochester’s oldest Japanese Restaurant, first opening in 1973. They have been a favorite spot for casual dining as well as graduation groups and pre-wedding parties. (I had a college graduation party here back in the day).
The menu is chicken, steak, shrimp, scallops; all fried on the hibachi and stirred in with vegetables and oils and spices and a lot of flipping of the cleaver and ladle. You can even order a steak and lobster mix that is stir fried in the more american manner if you wish.
Saki and Sakura are on the top of the drinks list or you can have tea, coffee, or soft drink if you prefer.
The atmosphere of the place more than makes up for the slightly inflated prices.
If you want to impress your traveling companion, then stop in here and watch the chef's magic.
- Road Trip
Pontillos: good pizza
Just call up and they'll deliver. $17 for pizza and wings. You can get it in the motel lobby.
No need to get all dressed up.
When on vacation, and with many places to see in a short time and a lot of hours on the road, every little convenience helps. Good food, fast, no hassles... what more could you want?
You will enjoy Pontillos pizza for its sauce and dough. Sauce is not bitter, dough is like italian bread without being too chewy. A large pizza gets you 12 large slices; plenty enough for you and a friend or two. The chicken wings are more thigh bones than wings which is just fine with me. The wing sauce can be either mild or very spicy depending on which you order.
- Road Trip